The Public Service Star, Bintang Bakti Masyarakat, (known as BBM) is awarded annually by the President of Singapore to exceptional individuals who have given personal service to the nation. This year, Sr Deirdre O’Loan IJS was among the recipients of this signal honour.
The awards were presented on the 23rd November 2014, by HE Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore. In his address, the President said: We are very fortunate in Singapore that there are persons like those we are honouring today who voluntarily involve themselves in service to the community for the betterment of their fellowmen.
Deirdre’s sister, Pat, travelled from Ireland to attend the ceremony. We have 11 CHIJ schools in Singapore, educating 15,500 pupils annually and forming them in IJ values. Deirdre has been in Singapore for over fifty years. Throughout that time, in various roles, she has been an inspiring leader in the field of education.
In his letter of congratulations, Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, expressed his delight that Sr Deirdre had been awarded Singapore’s Public Service Star for her outstanding contribution to the people in the field of education. His letter continues:
Please allow us at home to acknowledge and celebrate that contribution.
It reminds us of the role that our religious communities have played as educators,
providing new possibilities for young people all over the world.