My first Magazine - Page 29

7 THE MURAL THAT WAS GONE TOO SOON After Sister Janet was diagnosed with cancer, she stayed at St Joseph’s Home to recuperate and there, she channelled her energy into painting a mural for the home’s 25th anniversary. The mural expresses at once Sr Janet’s vision of the home as ‘serene and peace-filled’ and her imagination of God’s glory and goodness. On the right are 25 heliconia rosea-pendula which signify the blessings the home has received in the last 25 years. The stalk with 15 flowers stands for the first home in Gek Poh Road (1978 - 1993) and the second stalk with 10 flowers, the second home in Jurong Road (1994 - 2003). The bottom tip of the left plant is still in the budding process indicating the road ahead. Sadly, the mural was torn down along with the second home when it had to make way for redevelopment. Sister Janet just beginning her work 8 AUSTRALIA INSPIRED THE HOSPICE CARE THAT WE HAVE TODAY Back in the 70s when philanthropist Dr. Ee Peng Liang visited retirement homes in Australia, he was greatly moved by the kind of care they gave their dying. According to his daughter Theresa Ee-Chooi who wrote in the memoir ‘Father of Charity and...my father Ee Peng Liang’, the episode left such a deep impression on him that he was ‘forever on the lookout for a way to create hospices in Singapore’. All Singapore had at that time were the grim memories of the death houses in Sago Lane wherein people with neither family nor money were left to die, alone and in agony. When the Canossian Sisters were setting up St Joseph’s Home and in need of funds, Dr Ee raised the money needed, seeing in the home a ‘glimmer of hope for his dream of a hospice’. It did not take long for the Canossian Sisters to see the need for the service Dr Ee felt so passionately about. Seven years after the home started, the hospice was born. St Joseph’s Home | 27