Happenings, News

National honours for former BB President Sam Tan

Mr Sam Tan assisting then President Wee Kim Wee to light the torch for the Golden Jubilee Run at St Hilda’s Secondary School – BB picture.

MR SAM TAN BOON YEOW, a former President of The Boys’ Brigade (BB) in Singapore, wears many hats. He is the managing director of an insurance brokers firm, a leader in various organisations, heads fund-raising committees and a golfing enthusiast – some say “fanatic”. But the one badge that he has worn for so long and with so much pride is his identity as a BB Boy.

This year, after 45 years of involvement and service in the BB, Mr Tan has been conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) by President S. R. Nathan on the occasion of Singapore’s National Day.

Mr Tan, a long-time active member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, said: “To me the award is a recognition and appreciation by the Government of the good work and services put in by our BB Officers to develop our members to become responsible adult citizens with good moral and Christian values.”

He joined the 2nd Singapore Company at Kampong Kapor Straits Methodist Church in 1958. At 20, he was appointed Captain of the Company and led it for 19 years before being elected Brigade President.

In 1993 he was appointed as an Honorary Vice-President of the BB.

His contributions as the Brigade President include pioneering the BB Sharity Gift Box in 1988. This flagship project of the BB has become a household word in Singapore. It collected 7,000 gifts in 1988 and more than 300,000 gifts last year.

He also initiated the setting up of the BB Youth Centre to reach out to neighbourhood youths.

More recently, as Chairman of the BB 70th Anniversary, he spearheaded projects such as the Volunteer Guide Programme with the National Parks Board at the Orchid Garden (BB members trained as volunteer guides at the Orchid Garden for tourists and primary school students), the Pulau Ubin Nature Trail, and the publication of the book 2000 The Way Ahead with essays written mainly by former BB Boys and edited by Mr Earnest Lau and Mr Peter Teo, who were both from the 4th Singapore BB Company.

He also spearheads fund-raising projects in the BB, the latest being the Charity Golf Tournament in aid of the BB 21 Development Fund to be held at Tanah Merah Country Club this month on Oct 22 (see Page 17). He has also chaired fund-raising committees for other welfare organisations.