The Shamrock Hotel (trading as Hotel Shamrock) is a grand 19th-century hotel in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia situated on Pall Mall, the city’s main street.
The current Shamrock building is a major landmark of Bendigo and is of historic and architectural significance to the nation of Australia as a significant building and to the state of Victoria as part of a significant streetscape and collection of late Victorian buildings in a similar style. Continue Reading…
Eight stories of how lives were saved due to the generosity and commitment of our blood donors. They needed blood for different reasons, including childbirth, traffic accident and leukaemia. Without the precious gift of lifeblood, life-saving medical treatments would not be possible. Find out their stories at www.giveblood.sg.
Story 1: LIANG SHU-MIN
Having a baby should be one of life’s most joyous experiences, but for me, it was a close and traumatic brush with death. I lost so much blood during delivery that it took many bags of blood before I finally pulled through. I feel really blessed to be here today with my husband, Jeremy, to see our son, Shane, grow into an inquisitive, active and happy boy.
Story 2: SULAIMAN BIN SURADI
When I was younger, I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and needed chemotherapy and blood transfusions regularly – too many for an 11-year-old boy to remember. But I do remember wondering if I had to live this way for the rest of my life. Fortunately, after 3.5 years of treatment, my condition improved. I’m very thankful for the countless blood donors who saved my life. Because they were there for me yesterday, I’m here today, working hard for a brighter tomorrow.
Story 3: TAKALAH TAN
My life literally crashed to a standstill when I met with a traffic accident in 1994. It broke numerous bones in my body, fractured my skull, blinded my left eye, tore off my left nostril and inflicted me with permanent amnesia. I lost 1/3 of my blood. If it weren’t for the multiple blood transfusions I received in the hours following my accident, I probably would have died. Today I’’m a regular blood donor because I know how crucial it is for blood to be available at all times. It’s my way of saying thank you and making sure those who need blood have a chance to survive.
Story 4: AMANDA LER
I was born with anaemia, which means I need blood transfusions on a regular basis. They’re a part of my life but that doesn’t mean my life has to stand still. I’m still able to graduate from art school, start a rewarding career in advertising, and spend quality time with my family and friends just like everyone else! But my life would be very different if it wasn’]’t for the commitment of regular blood donors. Thanks to them, I’m able to live the life I want. Watch her video here.
Story 5: ALGENE KOH
When Daddy was little, he got very sick and was rushed to the hospital so doctors could save him. Mummy told me the doctors couldn’t have helped if they didn’t have blood to give to Daddy. I asked her where they got the blood from and she said from healthy people who gave their blood to those who needed it. Thanks to the people who gave him blood, I have my Daddy.
Story 6: RAJ THAKURDAS
As a child, I learnt the importance of blood donation when my mother needed blood due to a medical condition. I will never forget the anguish and desperation of my father. Once I was old enough, I became a regular donor and gave blood for 24 years. Later, when I had my heart bypass surgery, it was reassuring to know I could rely on dedicated blood donors. I can’t donate anymore but I’’m doing my part by organising community blood-drives and inspiring others to give.
Story 7: WONG JUN DA
It was really hard watching my only younger brother struggle with leukaemia when we were growing up. I saw all the blood transfusions he needed but I couldn’t do anything to help because I was too young to donate blood. However, countless blood donors could and did, and I owe my thanks to them for keeping my brother alive. Today, I’m a regular blood donor because I could be helping someone else’s brother live.
Story 8: MDM LALITHA
Back in 2000, I learnt that my blood-count was extremely low and I had to receive emergency blood transfusions. I was clinging on to hope, not knowing what was in store. But thanks to blood donors, the gift of life was shared with me. And when I recovered, I became a blood donor. These days, I also help to organise mobile blood-drives and motivate my family and friends to donate blood. Because of blood donors, I’m celebrating life today.
Where to Donate Blood?
You can make a blood donation at any blood bank across Singapore or at a community blood donation drive near you!
William Jackson Smart was a twice-married, twice-widowed Civil War veteran and father of 14 children, one of whom dedicated her life to the creation of Father’s Day in honour of her devoted and selfless dad.
The story goes that William’s daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd, was attending one of the first official Mother’s Day services in 1909 at her church in Spokane, Washington, when she had an epiphany—if mothers deserved a day in honour of their loving service, why not fathers?
When Sonora was 16, her mother Ellen died, leaving William as a single father to Sonora and her five younger brothers. And by Sonora’s account, he performed brilliantly. “I remember everything about him,” Sonora said many years later to the Spokane Daily Chronicle. “He was both father and mother to me and my brothers and sisters.” Continue Reading…
In today’s uncertain times, museums can act as an anchor in the storm.
To those who aren’t as passionate about the power of museums as readers of this blog, it can often seem that such institutions are merely places where forgotten objects go to enjoy their final years.
But despite this, there’s a strong case to be made that the museum is more relevant today than it has ever been. From addressing key social issues to transforming how we see the future, the humble museum has the power to reflect and shape our society. Here are five reasons why we need museums now more than ever.
Learning from the past
First and foremost, museums and galleries provide an insight into the history of humankind. And while no museum can claim to provide a complete picture, the lessons we can learn from past events, wonders and tragedies are priceless.
This is especially true in times of turmoil. Today, it’s impossible to ignore the escalating tensions between nations, between political parties and between different cultural groups. Instead of finding common ground, it seems that issues of class, race, gender and environmentalism are becoming ever more polarised.
To help the public re-establish this common ground and learn to build bridges rather than breed division, many believe that museums have a role to play in giving us perspective – be it through intellectual exercises or merely holding up mistakes of the past as evidence of where such behaviour will lead us once more. This is what the museum has the power to showcase.
On 31 March 2017, the Musée de l’Homme in Paris launched a major temporary exhibition “Us and Them – From Prejudice to Racism”, organized under the patronage of UNESCO. It showcases an original immersive scenography which aims to shed new light on racist behaviour and prejudices through time. In the face of hatred and ignorance, knowledge and understanding are often the best weapons.
Bringing communities together
Museums have the power to create unity on both a social and political level, but also on a local one. Local museums are able to provide a sense of community and place by celebrating a collective heritage, offering a great way to get to know the history of a particular area.
There are endless examples of local museums in the UK. One such institution is the Hove Museum and Art Gallery, located in Hove near Brighton. Housed in an Italianate Victorian villa near the seafront, this local abode was once home to a wealthy widow before housing German prisoners of war during World War II. The home is filled with a variety of local historical treasures, including dolls, rocking horses, prints, paintings and sculptures. From prehistoric times to the pioneering 20th-century filmmaking that occurred in the area, this museum offers a comprehensive history of Hove.
As technology and digitalisation see us becoming more and more globalised, institutions such as these offer a welcome reminder of the achievements and discoveries located closer to home, bringing communities together.
Museums can also bring people together in a more literal way, through public events, workshops and lectures. The British Museum, for example, works with community organisations and charities to explore, research and respond to projects. Meanwhile, some museums like the Museum of Street Culture in Dallas, Texas create exhibitions designed to support vulnerable local people. The Museum of Street Culture recently launched a project designed to engage the public in dialogue with people experiencing homelessness, challenging stigma and increasing awareness.
Exhibits like this couldn’t come at a better time, with recent reports confirming that the levels of homelessness are actually five times higher than previously thought.
Digitalisation, innovation and interaction
Thanks to the rise in technology over the last two decades, what it means to be a museum is being questioned and challenged. Modern tech is transforming museums from spaces of looking and learning to spaces of interaction, participation and engagement.
This is evident in major institutions around the world, including the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum’s Lumin AR Tour uses augmented reality to improve both the educational and the practical aspects of the museum experience. The tour, introduced in 2017, can be implemented on a handheld device available inside the building.
When the device is pointed at certain sculptures, artefacts or paintings, more information about them is made available. Pop-up snippets, detailed descriptions and additional photography are just a few examples of what the devices offer, increasing the average time visitors spend engaging with items inside the collection.
One of the most interesting and popular options is the ability to ‘x-ray’ an ancient mummy, allowing visitors the chance to experience the interior as well as the exterior of this fascinating find.
Similarly, the ArtLens Interactive Studio at the Cleveland Museum of Art contains a variety of screen-based activities that require physical movement and interaction from the viewer in order to operate.
Just some of the activities visitors can expect to enjoy include: virtual painting and virtual collaging (using items found throughout the gallery’s collection); researching and learning about various featured artists and mediums using portable devices; front camera self-portraiture; virtual pottery; and matching shapes to items in the gallery. Examples such as these show the changing faces of museums, as curators begin to think outside the box and develop more immersive, social and collaborative ways of learning for visitors.
Advances in technology have also made museums more accessible than ever. For those who might struggle to attend an institution in person, museums and galleries are increasingly sharing their collections online. Virtual reality, digital guides, downloads, apps and digital trails are all becoming increasingly available to anyone and everyone.
We need museums because their future is so full of possibility and opportunity – and more people than ever can access them.
Educating future generations
Speaking of the future, museums and other cultural institutions will always have a role to play in the education of future generations. From creating exhibitions targeted towards children to teaching children in a quasi-classroom environment, institutions around the world are doing their bit to pass down knowledge.
Back in 1990, Semper described a museum as “an educational country fair” – and this is more true today than ever. In the United States alone, around 80% of museums provide educational programmes for children, and spend more than $2 billion per year on educational activities, according to the American Alliance of Museums.
What’s more, traditional museum spaces are also offering interactive exhibitions and opportunities for children. The Tate in London offers a dedicated website for children about art – Tate Kids – which allows children to play games and quizzes, watch videos about art and be inspired to make their own creations at home. They can also share their creation with other children around the world via the site’s online gallery.
Museums are just as important to the future as the future is to museums. Not only can our museums bring history to life, but they can also shine a light on both our present and our future – a light which can be hard to find elsewhere.
A woman refused to take her father, who has Parkinson’s disease, for his medical appointments.
She ignored doctors’ advice to feed her elderly parents soft and healthy food and instead denied them access to proper nutrition, forcing them to eat bread for most meals. She also deprived them of money and warned them not to seek help.
Ms Shannen Ang, centre manager and senior counsellor at Sage Counselling Centre, gave these details of an elderly abuse case, a problem that has seen rising numbers in recent years. Latest figures from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) show the number of such cases has more than doubled in two years. In 2016, 55 cases of elderly abuse were reported to MSF. In 2017, they rose to 77 cases, then shot up to 126 cases last year.
Apart from physical abuse, victims could also face neglect as well as emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, said MSF. Its spokesman told The New Paper: “The injuries arising from these types of abuse vary in nature and severity. Typically, injuries may involve bruises, cane marks, abrasions, hip fractures and bedsores due to neglect in care.”
MSF noted that there has been no known fatality resulting from abuse of the elderly, which is defined as anyone aged at least 65. The abusers are often caregivers. About 80 per cent of the victims know their abusers, who could be their children, step-children or spouse, said MSF. Experts told TNP that abuse sometimes occurs in the heat of the moment when caregivers are overwhelmed, frustrated or stressed out. On average, about 12 per cent of the cases investigated by MSF will also have a concurrent police investigation, said the spokesman.
“Typically, the police may be involved in cases where there are concerns over a criminal offence being committed against the victim, such as sexual or serious physical abuse,” she added.
MSF figures show that sexual abuse of the elderly is rare, with no reported case in 2016 and one each in 2017 and 2018. Ms Shailey Hingorani, head of advocacy and research at Aware, said: “Regardless of the age of the parties involved, sexual violence is more often perpetrated by someone known to the survivor than by a stranger.”
Ms Ang told TNP that the elderly couple in her anecdote would be considered to have been emotionally abused and neglected. They were so terrified of their daughter that they had to discreetly contact her.
“It is sad to see elderly people in such abuse cases being so helpless, yet they can rely only on their children.”
MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling told TNP: “It is sad to hear about the rise in such cases, especially when it comes to the elderly who are vulnerable, not just because of their age but also their physical condition.
“It is even sadder when it is their family members, whom they love and trust, who abuse them.”
Many cases of elderly abuses remain unreported. Dr Ng Wai Chong, chief of clinical affairs of Tsao Foundation, said: “Some elders may not be aware that they are being abused, such as in cases of financial abuse.
“In another instance, victims may not want to speak up and report abuse for fear of loss of face. Even when it is discovered, the victim may not want decisive intervention, such as segregation from the abuser.”
MSF said the rise in the number of cases could also be attributed to increased awareness about the issue.
“While there has been an increase in elder abuse cases, the absolute number continues to be relatively low,” its spokesman said. “The increase in elder abuse cases handled by MSF does not necessarily indicate a growing occurrence of abuse, and may in part reflect the community’s growing ability to identify cases of abuse and refer them for help.”
Still, the consequences of elder abuse are dire, experts said. Ms Evonne Lek, a family therapist, told TNP: “At their end of life, having to face such abuse at the hands of their children can lead to a steep psychological decline, and they may feel that life is not worth living.”
Associate Professor Tan Ern Ser said: “(A rise in elder abuse cases) would undermine the family as an institution for mutual support and for inculcating respect and honour for elders in the family.”