Tan Boon Chiang
(4 June 1923 – 28 December 2015)
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me
Mr Tan Boon Chiang passed away on 28 Dec 2015 at the age of 92. He had epitomised a heart for service –quite literally, having been founding Chairperson of the Singapore National Heart Association (now the Singapore Heart Foundation) –and The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) remembers him for his contributions to the Church as well as to the larger society in his professional and personal capacities.
Born in Singapore on 4 June 1923, Mr Tan spent his early days in Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) and in The Boys’ Brigade (BB) in Singapore, where the teachings of Christ influenced his life significantly. He later became President of the ACS Old Boys’ Association(1961-1963) and Honorary President of the BB (1967-2012), where the “Tan Boon Chiang Medal” is awarded to the “Best Boy” in the Juniors and Seniors programmes.
Mr Tan had a distinguished professional career, serving in the Attorney-General’ s Chambers as Crown Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Labour. He was then appointed as President of the Singapore Industrial Arbitration Court in 1964, a position he held until 1988. At the NTUC’ s 50th Anniversary celebrations, he was cited as one who “set the tone for fair, fast and inexpensive settlement of disputes”.
His contributions to the MCS were significant. He was among the lay delegates appointed to the First General Conference of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore in 1968. He served as Lay Leader and Board Chairperson for Laity for Trinity Annual Conference from 1985 to 1992. Mr Tan and his wife were also members of Wesley Methodist Church for more than 50 years, where he served in various capacities as honorary Lay Leader and steward in the Local Church Executive Committee, worship leader and communion steward, among others.
Mr Tan served the community with passion throughout his lifetime. In his eulogy, his son Daniel affirmed that his father was “a social worker at heart”. He was the Chairman of the Management Committee of Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’ s Home and later its patron. He also served on the council of the Singapore Cancer Society, was Chairman of the Hospital Medifund Committee of the National Neuroscience Institute, Vice-President of St. Andrew’ s Mission Hospital, and served in various capacities in the Rotary Club, St John’ s Home for the Aged, Swiss Cottage Secondary School and numerous other organisations.
The nation also recognised his contributions. Mr Tan was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 1963, the Public Service Star in 1981 and the Public Service Star (Bar) in 1999.
Mr Tan is survived by his wife, Pui Yong, and sons Daniel and Donald and their families.
Mrs Tan recalled that Mr Tan used to sing fondly the song ‘ Let There Be Peace on Earth’ . By all accounts, Mr Tan took the lyrics “Let peace begin with me” to heart, and lived them out in full. May his life be an encouragement to all of us.
Photo courtesy of ACS Echo
Jonathan Huang –is from Wesley Methodist Church and graduated from Trinity Theological College in May 2016 with a Master of Divinity degree. His passions include music and young adults’ ministry, and he will be working as a Pastoral Team Member in Wesley MC.