The journey of Singapore Round Table 3 (SRT3) started at the Board Meeting of Singapore Round Table 1 (SRT1) in October 2016. At that time, I was the Secretary of SRT1, having recently moved to Singapore from The Netherlands, where I was a Tabler at RT Voorschoten 91. Reflecting on 6 months of Tabling in Singapore, I felt it was time to put my money where my mouth is. After learning that an attempt to start a third Table had previously failed, I felt even more motivated to make this a reality. The fact that Round Table Singapore would need a third Table to become a full association member within Round Table International inspired me even more as I have always been a firm believer of growing this Movement.
The first steps
After talking to current SRT1 members, it was time to kick-start the idea. The first step was exploring interest of potential Tablers. The starting point of the journey was an initial drink with a potential Tabler on January 18th 2017. Since then, I met many more potential Tablers who I actively recruited for SRT3. The first official meetup took place on 7 March 2017. Seven potential Tablers got together for an informal get-together, drinks and some food at the Southbridge Hotel in Chinatown, Singapore.
On 19 April a second meetup was planned with other potential Tablers. Vinay Paulose (originally from India) decided to join the SRT3 journey, followed by Petri Riikonen (originally from Finland). All along, the aim has been to create a Table that portrays Singaporean society – an internationally focussed group. Derived from the famous TED-talk: how to start a movement by Derek Shivers: the first follower transforms a crazy lone nut into a leader. The second follower is a turning point and from there, a Movement is created.
In April 2017, we also joined the fourth Singapore Round Table Annual General Meeting (AGM), which gave the guys without a Tabling background a peek into what the Round Table culture holds. In May we organized the third meetup and second social evening, which was a sports night including partners. The sports night was a Finnish ball throwing game known as Mölkky. Again, the vision of Round Table 3 came to life: to form a Table that learned from various backgrounds and nationalities. In June, the fourth meetup was followed by our first charity event, which was a presentation by the Free A Girl Movement.
Growing into a Table
At our fifth meetup in July, matters became more serious. We discussed the budget of the Table as well as potential Tablers signing up to become an official Tabler. At that moment, we only had 3 Tablers who showed definite interest! August started with our sixth meetup where we discussed the process of becoming a Table in more detail. This was the tipping point for new potential Tablers to officially join.
In August, a Table-Circle Evening was organized in cooperation with Ladies Circle Singapore 1, to drive the #sidebyside theme. Sidebyside is theme by both Round Table and Ladies Circle to co-organise social & charity events and help each other. During this evening, a visiting Tabler and Circler joined as well, and shared their experiences in Tabling and Circling with us. A very special evening indeed. Eventually, at the seventh meetup, we reached the milestone of 10 potential Tablers.
In the last weekend of August and the first weekend of September, most of the potential Tablers helped out at the charity organization Willing Hearts (a soup kitchen). This not only showed that we’re here to lend a hand to the community but also strengthened the bond between us.
Fellowships and travelling are an important part of Tabling. Recently we had a fellowship with a Tabler from Botswana and a few of our Tablers have travelled to meet-up with other Tables. Vinay and I both represented Singapore Round Table at the ASPA meeting in Boracay, Philippines, while Petri & Kamal (SRT1) attended the World meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. I also travelled to Vanderbijlpark, South Africa to attend the ARTSA meeting, which was a whole new world of Tabling! All Tablers are looking forward to travelling and starting fellowships all around the world. Of course, we welcome all Tablers in our City State as well.
Closing in on the Charter
To be chartered as a Table, we needed to have at least six potential candidates; check. We also should have organised six meetings minuted; done. In addition to that we should have organised a charity event; check. A Table cannot start with a board. The inaugural SRT board consists of:
- Alexis van Dam (NLD) charter Chairman & IRO
- Petri Riikonen (FIN) charter Vice Chairman
- Vinay Paulose (IND) charter Treasurer
- Jesper Terkelsen (DNK) charter Secretary
Since the formalities are in place, we are also organising a Charter Weekend. A team of 3 Tablers are organising a fun-filled Charter Weekend for Tablers in Singapore, ASPA (Asia Pacific) Region and beyond. The package includes hotel, a fellowship event, a fun part on Saturday and of course the official Charter Ceremony with buffet dinner and party. At this moment in time we’re reaching the 40 guest mark. We’re now working on the fundaments of the Table organisation and entity, and a presentation for our official Charter Ceremony.
Show your colours
Part of starting a new Table is creating your own identity and vision. Our Table logo has the Singapore Round Table Rondel on top of the skyline of Singapore. This skyline represents modern and traditional Singapore as well as the international mix of Tablers and local Singaporeans.
In addition to our logo we started our Facebook page as a primary communication platform to share events and photos. A little later we started our Instagram profile to share visually what is happening, as well as blogs and updates on our website.
What is a Table without a pin and a banner? Exactly, that is a must have item! The pins are made and waiting to find their way to the SRT3 Tablers and visiting Tablers at the Charter Ceremony. The flags and polo’s are being made as well.
Reflecting, since I only have been a Tabler for about 2 years, I did not know what I got myself into. There were times when I considered stopping this journey! But, as Vinay mentioned to me, “You are persistent and without your drive there wouldn’t be any SRT3”. That is the best compliment and motivation I could receive to keep going. In return, I am happy I kept on pushing to build the Table. I am proud, we now have over 10 Tablers signed up with an outlook on a sustainable Third Table. My motto, which I borrow from RT Netherlands will be the motto of my Charter Board year 2017-2018: “Tabling is a journey!”