The Dunearn Road Hostels (DRH) and Sheares Hall (SH) have played a significant role in moulding the lives of students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) over the last 60 years. As the two halls celebrate their 60 and 30 years of heritage respectively this year, there is no better time to pay tribute to a remarkable lady who has been a constant source of friendship and kindness to generations of DRH/SH residents for 46 years – Betty Goh.
To honour Betty’s contributions to DRH and SH, the Betty Goh Bursary Fund was recently launched under the DRH/SH Alumni Endowment Fund, on the suggestion of ex-SH resident Ms Khalijah Bte Masud (’92). She says, “Betty Goh is an icon in Sheares Hall. She has been working in Sheares Hall for 46 years and has been a mother figure, especially to non-local Shearites. Establishing this Bursary is befitting of all of Betty’s contributions and loyalty to Sheares Hall.”
The DRH/SH Alumni Endowment Fund, initiated by NUS alumnus Mr Seah Cheng San (’82), will be able to support 28 bursaries annually for Shearites facing financial difficulty.
In 1952, Betty came to DRH as a six-year-old when her father was employed as a hostel cook. For the next 46 years, Betty’s life has been closely intertwined with DRH/SH, where she grew up and then worked in various capacities – in the kitchen, the administrative office and in Alumni Relations.
NUS alumnus Dr Ho King Peng (’77), a former DRH resident who contributed generously to the Fund, said, “When Cheng San first spoke to me about being one of the ‘anchor donors’ for this Bursary, I agreed without a second thought. Betty has done so much for students of the two halls, and it is only right that she be remembered in posterity long after she retires, which I sincerely hope is many years away.” Currently, 38 donors have contributed to this Bursary.
Since 1952 when DRH opened its doors through its move to SH in 1981, Betty has seen many generations of students grow up, graduate and go on to establish successful careers. Having dedicated her entire life to DRH and SH, it comes as no surprise that the hostel and its residents are dear to her heart. She says, “Go out of your way to help and care for people. Remember their faces and their names, and that is how other people will remember you.”
And remembered, she is. Dr Ho recalls an incident when, as a freshman in 1973, Betty impersonated a senior and ragged him. “To this day, I still maintain that I could not have been orientated by a finer or greater Grand Super Senior Lady,” he laughs.
Betty continues to touch the lives of many hostelites in SH. Dr Ho likens her to a “living and walking address book, maintaining contact with hostelites even after they graduate, making them feel that they are still a part of the hall even after graduation, and welcomed and proud to come back to share their experiences with current hostelites”. For everything that Betty has done for the students in DRH and SH, Dr Ho expresses his heartfelt gratitude.
He says, “Thanks for everything Betty. We will always love you.”
If you wish to make a gift to the DRH/SH Alumni Endowment Fund, contact Ms Jamie Lau at 6516 1022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.