United We Stand – COL (NS) Jorge Lau says he couldn’t have made it as a career NSman without the constant support of his wife, Angie Yee.
TEXT: CLAIRE TURRELL
PHOTOGRAPHY: VERNON WONG
ART DIRECTION: FISH CHAN
STYLING: GABBY GABBANA
HAIR & MAKEUP: FELICIA NG & REGINA KONG
LOCATION: MOUNTAIN TEAK FURNITURE GALLERY SINGAPORE
COL (NS) Jorge Lau, 50, is currently Deputy Commander, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) 3rd Division. He and his wife and work partner, Angie Yee, 49, have been in the real estate industry for the past 12 years. When Jorge is mobilised or has to go on exercise, Angie picks up his workload and shows clients around.
Communication and support have been the keys to their success.
PS. Check out their Behind-The-Scenes video at the end!
Share a few high points in your NS career.
Last year – NS50 – I had the privilege of interacting with President Tony Tan during the Home Team Festival at Kallang Wave. I introduced him and his wife to the festival exhibition, which showcased the history of NS and the roadmap of HomeTeamNS.
I was also very happy when the Ministry of Home Affairs awarded me the 2011 Home Team NSman of the Year Award. Only 5 ORNSmen from SCDF are chosen for the Award each year.
I was pleasantly surprised to be invited on stage with Jorge when he collected his award. I was so happy for him and proud of him. Then I received a necklace from MHA as a token of appreciation for my support for an NSman, and I felt really pleased that NSmen’s families are appreciated too.
What would you like the public to know about NS?
It is a good platform to build and mature your character. You get to learn skills that you will use in other areas of life, such as teamwork and leadership.
In the Forces, we take care of each other and watch one another’s backs, whether it’s in the Army, the Police or the Life-Saving Force. They are under different ministries and wear different uniforms, but teamwork is their common thread.
How has NS changed your life? What drives your passion for NS?
It has given me a wider perspective, and taught me leadership and patience. During NS, you have to learn how to interact with, be patient with, and understand people from different backgrounds.
As SCDF’s highest ranking NS commander, I make my presence known by visiting exercises and joining the men in the field to mentor them. I would also give feedback on their performance, as well as participate in dialogues and review committees. This is one of my ways of giving back to our country. I enjoy seeing younger generations grow into their roles, both as ORNSmen and as civilians.
Are there any challenges you have overcome as a couple during Jorge’s NS journey?
I used to have to literally travel across Singapore [from east to west] when mobilised for overnight exercises on Saturdays. Angie had to cover my work and also be my “chaffeur”. Once, we had to meet an important client right after a mobilisation, at 2pm on a Sunday. Angie brought me home, and made sure I had a short nap and some food before we headed out together.
I am really very grateful for what she has done to support me whenever there is a call-up for NS duty. The little things mean a lot.
Jorge says that he can travel to and from exercises by taxi, but I insist on sending and picking him up as I know these exercises can be very mentally and physically draining. Supporting him is also a way to show my appreciation to our nation.