Continuing our series of people profiles, we chat with British-Australian expat Ian, who has lived in Singapore for seven years with his wife Kristy, son Ewan (16) and daughter Paisley (14). Moving around the world for engineering projects, St Andrews society has provided Ian the opportunity to reconnect with Scotland alongside other British expats in Singapore. Read on for more about his life here and the work in and out of Singapore Ian has been involved in.
Where are you from? What do you miss about it?
I was born in Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland. I left Scotland in 1992 and I miss the spirit of the Highlands; it’s such a beautiful place. I also miss being part of modern Scotland and all that it has to offer as a thriving business hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
What brought you to Singapore?
We moved with my company in January 2016. Previously, we were in Anchorage, Alaska for five years, which was an amazing experience! Before that, I was in Australia for 18 years.
Tell us a bit about your work in Singapore.
My role is supporting large engineering and construction projects around the world in sometimes very challenging locations with very little infrastructure. This year, I spent most time in Kazakhstan, which is a beautiful country.
Any particular surprises or challenges you’ve found living and working in Singapore?
We miss having four seasons – and getting used to the humidity after living in Alaska was a real challenge in our first year. Driving in Singapore is always interesting! Where is your home in Singapore? We moved to the West Coast area in February and previously we were in Bukit Panjang. What are a few things you like to do in Singapore when you’re not working? I love to cook, work out, dive, play poker and most importantly spend time with my family.
Tell us about your involvement in the Singapore St Andrew’s Society
I was a board member of the Robert Burns Appreciation Society in Alaska and once we knew we were moving to Singapore, I wanted to maintain an involvement in Scottish activities here. I joined the Society before we even arrived!
In the first couple of weeks we attended the Burns Supper and, from there, joined the Committee. I delivered the Immortal Memory speech in 2017 and have MC’d a number of the events too. In 2019, I became Vice Chieftain and then Chieftain in 2020. It’s very exciting being able to hold our major events for the first time in three years!
What are you looking forward to most for 2023?
Being able to travel and explore the region again.
Quick questions about Singapore: what is your favourite …
Casual restaurant? Burger & Lobster, Chop Suey, Señor Taco Chijmes.
Date-night restaurant? No one place – we like to change it up; some of our favourites have been Chef’s Table, Anouska’s Bar, Botanico at The Garage and Lime House.
Bar? Anywhere with a good Negroni or malt whisky.
Local food? I love laksa! The spicier the better.
Nature space? Chestnut bike trails.
Things to do with visitors? The light and music show at Super Tree Grove, MacRitchie Reservoir
Nearby holiday destination? No question: Gili Air, Indonesia!
Find out more about the Singapore St Andrew’s Society at standrewssociety.org.sg, and read more people profiles at expatliving.sg.
This article first appeared in the December 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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