By ROSELYN ELLISON
SHE is now addressed as Dame Sandra Geok Mei Lau. And she will never forget the moment Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the title on her at Buckingham Palace last month.
“It was on Oct 10 at Buckingham Palace in London at 11am. The weather was just fine and perfect as I was preparing for a memorable and historical moment in my life.”
Accompanying her from Kokopo in East New Britain to see Missy Kwin in London were husband John, son Victor, daughters Marina and Joanne.
“I was feeling very excited. I was going to receive my Dame award from Queen Elizabeth.”
The managing director of the Tropicana Ltd felt so blessed and honoured to meet Missy Kwin.
“The moment which I was waiting for has arrived. I was so blessed and honoured because I was recognised for what I have been doing to reach out to the people of East New Britain and Papua New Guinea as a whole.”
Dame Sandra arrived in the country in the early 1970s. She met and married John. They have four children: Victor, Stephanie, Marina and Joanne.
To physically receive the award from the Queen was one of her best moments of her life. Her citation focuses on the charity work she had been doing not only in East New Britain but also around the country.
She is forever grateful to the people who supported her through the years.
“ It was on Oct 10 at Buckingham Palace in London at 11am. The weather was just fine and perfect as I was preparing for a memorable and historical moment in my life.”
“My biggest support from the beginning to today is the peace-loving people of East New Britain – from Kokopo, Gazelle, Rabaul and Pomio. These beautiful people had thrown their full support behind me.”
She is thankful to have been given the opportunity to give, help and reach out to the needy.
Dame Sandra and her family have done so much to assist individuals and organisations. Her charity work has touched the hearts of many people in ENB.
She assists and supports schools in the province. Some schools are recipients of the Tropicana annual tuition fee assistance. They include Vunapope Sacred Heart International Primary School, Sacred Heart International Primary School in Rabaul, Vuna Bosco Agro-Technical Secondary School, Oisca Eco-Tech Training Centre, Our Lady of Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School, Kerevat National High School, Kokopo Secondary, Malabunga Secondary, Utmei Secondary, Warangoi Secondary, St Mary’s Secondary, Vuvu George Brown Secondary, Malaguna Technical Secondary, Kokopo Primary and the Vunamami Farmers Training Centre.
Every year she gives donations to the hospitals, especially Nonga Hospital where she is a member of the board.
She also works with others to donate items such as mattresses to the hospital.
“I also assist visiting overseas doctors on their documentation to come to ENB and help the sick in hospitals.”
Though not originally from ENB, she regards the province as her home.
People there fondly refer to her as Mama Sandra Lau.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the people of ENB for giving me support all the way. Because of them I was given the Dame award. So thank you all.”
Congratulations Mama Sandra.