Wesley Food Fair Returns with a Bang – After Four Years!

The long-awaited Wesley Food Fair was back on 26 August 2023. An annual tradition for over 70 years before COVID struck, this event attracted a substantial group of both young and old who braved the crowds to enjoy their favourite foods and festivities.

The food fair didn’t always go by this name. It used to be called the WSCS (Women’s Society of Christian Service) Annual Bazaar to raise funds for the needy. It started before the Second World War with only half a dozen stalls. It was a four-hour event, starting from four o’clock in the afternoon.

Crowd starting to form even before the official opening time

All corners of the church were filled with the aromatic smells of delicious food and goodies from two packed food zones at the atrium and rooftop (Wesley Plaza). There were stalls selling local favourites like mee siam and satay to baked treats like the traditional ‘Wesley Waffles’—an age-old recipe from Mrs HB Amstutz, wife of Dr Amstutz, then pastor, and later Bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore.

Multi-generational culinary family

The sweet scent of freshly baked Dutch stroopwafels greeted all at the Wesley Plaza thanks to three generations of the Tan-Leong family. Five sisters, one brother, 16 children and more grandchildren came together at the stall to sell freshly baked traditional Dutch goodies like stroopwafels and poffertjes (mini pancakes) with local fillings like gula melaka. With family from the Netherlands, the Tan-Leongs decided to share the unique taste of Dutch desserts.

The stroopwafels and poffertjes stall run by Ming Tan and his family

Helping to manage the stall was Ming Tan, a second-generation Wesleyan and a local celebrity chef. “For over 15 years, our family has enjoyed participating at the Food Fair by sharing our special family recipes. It gives us great joy to be able to bond and worship as a family through food,” said Ming.

Ming Tan working with chocolate sauce

Flea flea market and festivities

Fun and games awaited all at the Level 2 hall. Families and friends gathered to take photos at a professional photo booth for precious mementos. The NextGen Ministry’s face painting booth delighted the children. At the Plaza Hall, a boisterous band – Creative Expression Ministry – belted out familiar tunes. A flea market was also setup at the hall, selling decorative flowers, clothes, knick-knacks and even furniture!

Family taking a fun shot
Youth with painted face enjoying a bite
The Creative Expression Ministry belting out familiar tunes at Plaza Hall
Wooden furniture made by Tao Hai Sin
Attractive batik craft on sale

Family, friends and fish

A highlight of the market was a booth selling fish. Hoping to share their passion and give some fishes a new home, David Lim, Theresa Leong, Johnny Seah and his granddaughter Ava Seah sold guppies and aquatic plants. David, who has been worshipping at Wesley for 20 years, has been breeding fish at home as a hobby.

Johnny and Ava Seah

Ava Seah said, “I enjoy spending time with my grandpa and his friends caring for his fishes, and it brings us closer together. Being able to share the joys of raising fish with the Food Fair visitors and seeing their interest was a great experience for us.”

Johnny also shared the ironic coincidence of his son, daughter-in-law and other grandchildren selling nasi lemak and otah at Ann’s Otah in Wesley Plaza.

Ann’s Otah stall

Another newcomer to this year’s Food Fair was a sketch booth manned by Sandra Hee. Though not a new face at the Food Fair, the sketch booth is Sandra’s first. She sketches from customers’ photos and delivers beautifully framed portraiture.

Sandra Hee showing off her craft

A big thank you to all

The tireless efforts of all volunteers, contributors and fair goers was much appreciated, and all proceeds were donated to 13 designated charities and non-profit organisations.

We look forward to next year’s Wesley Food Fair!

Happy customers Pastor Adrian and his wife Serene

View and download more Wesley Food Fair 2023 photos at Photo Gallery

Photos by Henry Lim, CJ Goh, William Choo, Leong Siew Yin and Gaius Ho

Read also: Ministry Fair 2022: No gift is too small


Wesley Methodist Church would like to acknowledge the immense contributions of Mrs Dora Chan, Chair of the Organising Committee of the food fair. Dora, 75, has been helming the work of organising the fair for the last thirty years, giving to it in more ways than one.

She is the longest-serving Chair and in her last stint as Chair this year, she would like to thank all those who supported her in all her years of service in this area. 

Her prayer is that we may continue in our good efforts to run this fair, to raise funds for those who need it, which has been the reason she has kept going at it for so long.

We wish Dora the Lord’s blessings as she retires from this service. 

May God continue to use her mightily in other areas where her skills and talents will be put to use.

Blessings!

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