When July approaches each year, the Registrar’s Office at NUS turns into a hive of activities to prepare for Commencement.
Jasmani Bin Sani, Management Assistant Officer, remains an oasis of calm amid the excitement to mentor his younger colleagues and oversee the processes. Having joined the Registrar’s Office in 1974, the 66-year-old stalwart has been through it all. He holds the impressive record of robing six Chancellors, who were also Singapore Presidents – Professor Benjamin Sheares, Mr Devan Nair, Mr Wee Kim Wee, Mr Ong Teng Cheong, Mr S R Nathan and Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam.
It was a huge responsibility, as the official gown of the earlier years came with a weighty train that had to be carried by a pageboy, usually a University staff’s son, Jasmani recalled. Furthermore, the ribbons to prevent the gown from slipping had to be laced up in front from behind, which posed a delicate manoeuvre. The bulky train was removed during President Nathan’s time, and the lighter gown now no longer requires an accompanying pageboy.
As a young understudy when he robed his first Chancellor, Jasmani was understandably apprehensive. Even decades later, he admitted to still feeling slightly nervous each time he carried out the task.
The year 2018 was the first time Jasmani’s services were not required as the current NUS Chancellor Madam Halimah Yacob was dressed by a lady colleague from the Registrar’s Office.
Jasmani at NUS Commencement Ceremony 2018 helping to robe (from left) NUS President Prof Tan Eng Chye, NUS Chairman Mr Hsieh Fu Hua and NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost Prof Ho Teck Hua
Jasmani received his 45-year long service award this year from NUS. His enthusiasm for his job was apparent when he explained the diverse portfolio he has undertaken, which ranged from admissions, procurement, customer service and student awards to archiving. Challenges encountered along the way do not faze him, as he views them as opportunities to learn and stretch his capability.
Jasmani is also the go-to person whenever records about the University, students and policies, which are stored in microfilms, need to be located. The “walking encyclopaedia” has an excellent memory that allows him to track down the files within a short time, along with the historical knowledge of the subject.
Every day is memorable to me. I always look forward to coming to work.
Jasmani, who performs customer service in addition to other duties, frequently receives praises and glowing feedback from those who interact with him. For his contributions to the University, he has been awarded the National Day Efficiency Medal and Long Service Medal, as well as the Shining STAR Service Award 2004 presented by the PS21 Quality Service Award Committee.
His colleagues are like a big family to him, and Jasmani enjoys coming to work every day. He hopes to continue working at NUS so that the University community can tap his vast cornucopia of knowledge and rich experience.