SOS Celebrates Its Golden Jubilee Throughout the Entire Year

In brief:

  • Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) is turning fifty on 30 October. It is celebrating throughout the year, first, with an anniversary website at
  • The theme/slogan is “Many Stories, One SOS.”
  • On the website, the audience has access to anniversary greetings from tripartite alliances, industry partners, and seafarers at the website. Beyond that, interviews with long-time SOS members and employees.

Visit e-Samudra or Issue 5 (20/21) for more stories.

SOS Samudra: SOS 50th Anniversary

SOS50 logo

By now, you’d know SOS is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. Here is what else you should know:

Registered on 30 October 1971, SOS has come a long way in serving seafarers since it was established half a century ago. Encapsulating the milestone, a logo depicting multiple waves making up the number 50 was specially created.

The SOS story is about transformation and reinvention. It is about grit, being resilient and bold for one purpose – to safeguard the welfare of seafarers.

– Mr Leow C. C, SOS Executive Advisor

The liquid elements show how SOS is related to the maritime scene. It is a trade union that upholds tripartite partnership to better benefit seafarers in the local maritime industry. It loyally serves both local and international seafarers, be it if they are members or not—to fight their battles with them and for them. Through thick and thin, the Union stands by the seafarers.

Ever since SOS has the financial ability and stability to upskill our members, we have spared no efforts in providing training initiatives to enhance the skill sets of seamen to advance their career within and beyond the maritime industry.

– Mr Kam S. H, SOS President

To that end, SOS possesses not just that unwavering love for the sea, but for the seafarers they serve as well. This explains the curvature and blend of the number ‘0’ and wave to display a heart’s shape. The colour blue represents the sea while red signifies our passion in doing what we do every day; why we do it and for whom. It denotes that the interests of the seafarers are at the centre of our existence. The colours blue and red also reflect the indelible link between SOS and Seacare Co-operative in making a difference in the lives of the seafarers and their families and the shipping community.

Our prompt response to the plight showed our ability and willingness to go the extra mile to help. This display of compassion and generosity showed that all these 50 years we have remained true to our calling and have stewarded our resources well enough to make a difference. This SOS spirit which was birthed in 1971 remains ever so strong.

– Mr Daniel Tan, SOS General Secretary

The slogan, “Many Stories, One SOS”, aptly sums up how each encounter with the Union; each adventure; each life transformed; culminates to One SOS. Every challenge we overcome; every collective agreement signed and every dispute settled converged to one thing: SOS has come a long way and we are here to stay.

For more anniversary content, visit

Here are some of our partners’ well-wishes for the anniversary:

SOS Samudra: Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Secretary General

Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Secretary-General

“It has been a year of trepidation with the pandemic impacting everyone worldwide. But one thing is certain in Singapore – that NTUC, unions and tripartite partners are doing all that we can to save the lives and livelihoods of our workers. It may not be the easiest, but we should not forget to celebrate achievements too! I’m heartened that the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) continues to fight for our seafaring sisters and brothers who were impacted by the pandemic and will continue to do so as the world starts to recover from the pandemic.

To me as the labour chief, it has and will continue to be about jobs, jobs and jobs – helping our workers keep their jobs; helping those who lost their jobs find jobs soonest; and skilling up those in jobs to take on higher-value roles. I’m confident that SOS will do its best to serve and take care of our seafaring workers. For the many years to come, NTUC will support you every step of the way!”

SOS Samudra: Steve Cotton, ITF General Secretary

Steve Cotton, ITF General Secretary.

“This year has been extremely hard for seafarers worldwide, with hundreds of thousands stranded at sea for months on end or desperate for work on land. The SOS has lead the response to COVID, thinking not only about the seafarers on their ships, but all seafarers in every part of the world. The SOS has worked tirelessly to ensure that relief reaches all those in need and that the dignity of seafaring is respected.

The ITF thanks the SOS for its solidarity and dedication, and we will continue to fight alongside our brothers and sisters in Singapore for a safer and fairer future for seafarers everywhere.”

SOS Samudra: Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive MPA

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive MPA

“Since its founding in 1971, the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) has been striving to improve the working and living conditions for seamen including running Seacare to facilitate crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marks the Golden Jubilee of SOS. It is a wonderful opportunity for the maritime industry to come together and celebrate the organisation’s remarkable achievements over the past half-century.

We, at the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, appreciate the strong tripartite working relationship with SOS and our various partners. Our heartiest congratulations to SOS on its 50th anniversary. We wish SOS every success in the decades ahead!”

For more messages from our partners, visit