The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Singapore
In 1951, the late Monsignor H Berthold (Vicar General) proposed the formation of The Society of St Vincent de Paul. Amongst the founders was the late Joseph Ee Peng Liang, who after being persuaded by Mgr Berthold, assumed the task of establishing the society and launched it on the feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1951.
The society was first started in the parish of Saints Peter and Paul. Following the formation, conferences were started in different parishes throughout the diocese.
On 24 January 1955, the first Particular Council was formed to increase coordination between the conferences. The first president was Joseph Ee Peng Liang, with Mgr Berthold as the Spiritual Advisor. There were 91 members and 2 honorary members in the society at that time, as well as two doctors who gave free medical attention to the FIN (Friends in Need) of the conferences. The creation of particular councils encouraged closer contact between conferences.
In 1962, the twinning scheme was introduced, linking the 15 existing conferences with conferences in Ireland. Besides financial assistance from the Irish, the society had the chance to exchange views, as well as support one another in prayer and mutual help. Later, the twinning was also made with conferences in Australia.
The society continued to grow and on 15 May 1961, the Superior Council of Singapore, which oversees and coordinates Vincentian activities, was formed and registered with the Registrar of Society as a charity.
In March 1968, four Particular Councils were formed (North, South, East, and West). In October 1992, the Archbishop of Singapore decided to redefine the parochial boundaries and re-arranged the parishes into 5 districts. On 13 July 1994, The Society of St Vincent de Paul adopted the new arrangement and re-grouped the conferences into 5 Particular Councils (City, West, North, Serangoon, and East).