Like the rest of us, Dover Park Hospice had to adapt to the socially-distanced world – not just for its palliative care programmes and patients, but also for its annual fundraisers.
As it turned out, the NPO’s first-ever virtual charity dinner was a runaway success. In just a few hours, Dover Park Hospice collected more than $1 million in donations from the 250-odd attendees, which included Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as Guest-of-Honour and patron of the hospice and former president Dr Tony Tan.
The 2021 edition of Dover Park Hospice’s Sunflower Charity Dinner will follow in the same virtual format, this time with a “Modern Peranakan” theme and a whole new lineup of auction items in the hopes to raise $800,000. Highlights of the online auction include a Peranakan “Kamcheng” porcelain covered jar with colours and motifs that symbolise happiness, longevity, youthfulness, and innocence, as well as a jewelled brooch from The Canary Diamond specially created for the occasion.
Johnny Lam, lead designer at The Canary Diamond, gives us an inside look into the making of the Tranquil Sanctuary brooch.
How did you come to work with Dover Park Hospice?
The Canary Diamond has been a long-time patron of Dover Park Hospice. We have been donating auction pieces to the Dover Park Hospice Sunflower Gala Dinner for quite a number of years. During one of the Sunflower Gala Dinners, I was seated next to Ms Marlene Foo, a Council Member of Dover Park Hospice involved in volunteering and started chatting with her on her experience as a volunteer. At that moment, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to do more and decided to sign up as a volunteer. Most recently, I was invited to be part of the fundraising committee and I feel extremely honoured to be part of the team and in the presence of such great people.
Can you share with us your signature and how you approach jewellery making and design?
I usually start by getting to know the customers first; in understanding their style, be it for a bespoke piece I custom design and make for a customer or a particular line that we will be launching in the shop. I try to have in-depth knowledge of the customer who will be wearing the piece in mind first and get inspiration for the design after that process of discovery. Each piece is unique and hopefully, I am able to capture the essence of what that piece is meant to represent. For example, if it’s for an anniversary or a push present, I hope to capture that special moment in the design of that piece so that the owners can forever remember the significance of the piece and also pass on the story to generations to come.
Tell us more about the Peranakan-inspired brooch Tranquil Sanctuary.
I wanted to capture the essence of the theme “Modern Peranakan” as much as I could into the piece. The first step was to study and do some research on what it means to be a “Peranakan” which included a study of the food, culture and legacy. I stumbled upon a brooch that was designed by Foundation Jewellers in Singapore that was gifted to the Queen of England in 2012. I found that story extremely inspiring because it not only captures Peranakan jewellery but is also uniquely Singapore which I thought was fabulous.
With that in mind, I also added a modern twist to the mix aligning to the theme of the dinner. What I came up with was my own take of “Modern Peranakan” jewellery, which I hope will appeal to someone who likes the Peranakan style or with a Peranakan heritage. I used a traditional symmetrical shape for the brooch and retrained some Peranakan patterns in the filigree and added the black onyx background to give it a bolder and modern look. Breaking a little from tradition, I created a “sanctuary” design by adding abstract branches to reflect Dover Park Hospice as a “tranquil sanctuary” serving its patients and caregivers and added the three doves to commemorate the Hospice’s 30th anniversary next year. As a finishing touch, I added a bold dash of Fancy Yellow Diamonds which represents Canary Diamonds’ support for the Charity which also happens to be our signature diamond.
Can you elaborate on the specifications on the brooch?
The entire brooch is crafted out of 18k white gold and adorned by 485 white diamonds of VS2 clarity with a carat weight of 4.14ct, and 44 yellow diamonds of VS2 clarity with a carat weight of 0.37ct. The main stone is a 1.50ct fancy yellow and has a clarity of VS2. The whole brooch sits on top of a custom crafter piece of onyx. The whole piece is 52mm in diameter.
(All images: Dover Park Hospice)