Gold Star Driver of IPAC
By Casmine and Phoebe
According to a Straits Times report on 14 Feb 2020, there are about 40,000 cabbies and private hire drivers in Singapore.
(Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/coronavirus-77-million-package-to-help-taxi-private-hire-drivers, retrieved on 18 Mar 2020)
With that number of drivers, finding a reliable driver to ferry our children to and from school should be easy, isn’t it? Not in our experience. Although it is a paid assignment, few drivers are willing to travel to island-wide locations and even forgo the high peak hour rates they can enjoy somewhere else. We are truly blessed the day one of our colleagues hopped into Uncle Raymond’s taxi and had the opportunity to share with him the work that IPAC does.
It has been 4 years since, and Uncle Raymond has become the longest serving driver our service has ever had the pleasure to work with. During this time, he has unfailingly put our children as top priority among his customers. For Uncle Raymond, his motivations are beyond monetary rewards.
With a warm smile on his face, he said that driving the children makes him recall fond memories of driving his own children to school when they were young.
Seeing himself as a temporary guardian to the children during their rides, he never takes his duty lightly. Out of the kindness of his heart, he buys candies for the children and even takes the effort to play various types of music for the children to enjoy in his cab. The younger ones love the nursery rhymes, while the older girls appreciate the soothing piano pieces which help them unwind after a tiring day at school. Uncle Raymond helpfully shares with staff his observations of the children and news from their schools.
“I feel so sorry that they have to be away from their families at this young age,” he remarked sombrely. “I just want to do what I can to bring them some comfort and care.”
Such love for the children does not go unreciprocated. Asked about an outstanding memory he had with our residents; Uncle Raymond shared that he received a glittery thank you card from one of our girls before she was discharged from IPAC. He still keeps the card and cherishes it very much. One of our young residents referred to him as “My Uncle Raymond” and even became jealous when other children greeted Uncle! These little joys experienced during his journey with the children of IPAC mean much more to Uncle Raymond than the monetary gains from the job.
Ever positive, Uncle Raymond said that he has learnt new things while driving our children around, “I now know how to get to so many new schools!”
With his thoughtful ways and heart of gold, we were not surprised that Uncle Raymond received the Excellent Service Gold Award from his company. He wears the badge on his collar with pride. We vouch for his integrity and reliability, and are very grateful for his partnership in serving the children.