Brief History of Kwan-In Welfare Society
Kwan-In Welfare Society was established on 26 June 1975, under the initiative of our late President, Mr Lim Ngee Hong 林义丰, to provide free medical services for the poor and needy. With the support and encouragement from the late Venerable Shi Guang-Yi 释广义长老 of Avatasaka Vihara 华严精舍 and the general public, Mr Lim Ngee Hong set up“ Kwan-In Welfare Society” with a group of like-minded Traditional Chinese Medical professionals and friends.Their objective was to provide free medical services and medicine, while advocating the teachings of Buddhism and promoting good health and dietary habits.
A year after the establishment of the Kwan-In Welfare Society, our Honorary President Venerable Shi Fa-Quan 法权法师 offered the ground floor of Fa-Hua Temple 法华庵, Located at 7 , Kreta Ayer Road, to be used by our Society to run our free clinic, thereafter named as “Kwan-In Welfare Society Free Clinic” 观音慈善诊所. In 1980, the entire 2-storey building was donated to our society.
To provide more convenience for needy patients who lived far away from our clinic, Mr Lim Ngee Hong advocated the implementation of mobile clinics, which later became a trademark of Kwan-In Welfare society's medical services. With the collaborative efforts of the management and our medical professionals, a total of 13 vehicles were purchased for use as mobile clinics over the past three decades. Through the replacement and scrapping process, two mobile clinics are currently in operation.
Since the establishment of our mobile clinics, our Society had been facing problems like having to frequently change the venues to park the vehicles of our mobile clinics, in view of the fact that these vehicles took up considerable space in car parks. To enhance our medical services and to secure a permanent parking venue for our mobile clinics, Mr Lim Ngee Hong and the Society’s Executive Committee members drew up a proposal in 1987 to build a free clinic. Their proposal was approved by the Society’s Advisory Board and in the same year, a piece of land at Jalan Eunos was purchased to construct a 3-storey building to house our “Kwan-In Welfare Free Clinic”. Fund-raising activities to build the free clinic received overwhelming support from people of all walks of life. Seven years later, in late 1994, the construction of the new free clinic was finally completed. Besides providing a permanent parking venue for our mobile clinics, the first level of the building was used to provide free traditional Chinese medical services. The second level was used to house a library for books on Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as the administrative office, while the third level was designed as the Auditorium and Meditation centre. Located at 34 Jalan Eunos, our new “Kwan-In Welfare Free Clinic” was officially opened on 28 May 1995.
To extend our medical services to the North-Eastern part of Singapore, the “SengKang Free Clinic” was set up on 2 January 2002. In total our Society has three free clinics together with nine mobile medical stations, continued to provide free medical services to the poor and the needy families in Singapore.
Besides providing free medical services, our Society also provides other activities including housing a library for books on Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which are available for public loan. We also publish the quarterly newsletter, “The Sound of Mercy” which include articles on Buddhism teachings, Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as current events of the Society, which are distributed free to friends and members of our Society. Besides running classes on Buddhism studies, meditation and seminars on TCM knowledge and research, our Society also conducts Buddhist ceremonies which are held five times a year, including three Goddess of Mercy Ceremonies, one Diamond Sutra Ceremony and one Amitabha Ceremony. We also formed a Sutra recitation group which would provide solicitude in the event of the demise of a member, sponsor or designated beneficiary. Apart from our monthly distribution of welfare relief fund to the needy, we also conduct regular visits to the homes for the aged and distribute“Hong Bao” to the elderly and low-income families during Chinese New Year.
With the passing of Mr Lim Ngee Hong on 26 September 1997, Mr Lim Seng Hock was elected as the next President to succeed and carry on the legacy left by Mr Lim Ngee Hong, to expound on the Society’s mission to continue helping the poor and serving the general public.