Footprints on Foreign Shores
By: K P Menon
Cover Type: Paperback
Year Published: 2021
The book is a compilation of the experiences of retired (or resigned) Foreign Service Officers during their overseas postings. Nineteen officers have contributed their stories and they range from ex-Ambassadors to ex-Personal Assistants/Stenographers. The broad mix of levels provide a varied view of the sort of lives led by our officers during their postings overseas. These stories have never been told except perhaps to close relatives, friends and colleagues.
It is my hope, as Editor, that, firstly, the book will give the general public a glimpse into the lives of our foreign service officers as they serve overseas to protect and promote the interests of Singapore. As Prof Tommy Koh wrote in the book :
Most Singaporeans are unaware of what our Foreign Service Officers do when they are posted abroad. The essays in this book contain many
heart-warming stories of the joys and sorrows, challenges and opportunities, danger and peace, experienced by my colleagues in different parts of the world. They are stories of courage, resilience and humour.
Secondly, I believe that, as former diplomat Gopinath Pillai has written :
I am sure this collection of experiences of the retired FSOs will be educational to all FSOs in the future.
And not only that. This book will serve as a recruitment tool for the Foreign Ministry. I believe that apart from a recording of historical experiences, the book can help convince potential FSOs that there is more to foreign service life than official engagements, dinners and cocktails.
The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Lee Chiong Giam. Chiong Giam was well-liked and respected by many of his colleagues in the Foreign Service and beyond. I have included a tribute to Chiong Giam comprising fond memories by some of his former colleagues.
The proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Dyslexia Association of Singapore.