MR TAN WAH THONG has retired as
the Honorary Executive Director of The Methodist Church in Singapore
(MCS) after holding the position for slightly more than five years.
He left MCS to devote his full
attention to the further development of the family of Anglo-Chinese
Schools, a labour of love he pursues passionately as Chairman
of the Anglo-Chinese Schools Board of Governors (ACSBOG). He has
been the ACSBOG Chairman for 10 years, having assumed the position
since October 1995.
The MCS has appointed Mr Richard
B. Y. Khoo as the Director of Finance, Administration and Programmes,
and he started work at Methodist Centre on Sept 19, 2005 (Methodist
Message, October 2005).
Mr Tan, a retired businessman,
was Chairman of the Singapore Manufacturers' Association and Vice-President
of the Singapore Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
from 1985 to 1988. He had also served as a board member of Central
Provident Fund Board, Jurong Town Corporation and the National
Mr Tan was appointed Executive
Director of the MCS in July 2000 by Bishop Wong Kiam Thau. When
Bishop Emeritus Wong retired at the end of 2000, Mr Tan was re-appointed
by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.
One of Mr Tan's first tasks was
to reorganise the structure of the General Conference Office to
provide for the smooth and efficient running of the MCS. The structure
enabled him to focus on policy and leadership as set out by the
General Conference Executive Committee (GCEC).
For his faithful service, tributes
were paid to him at an Appreciation Dinner at The Pines on Oct
Bishop Dr Solomon described Mr
Tan as "a man with a helicopter view, always trying to see
the big picture in the long term".
"He doesn't use much technology,
but he gets the job done," he said.
Thong has a keen discernment for people and situations, and he
is always willing to assist people in need," added the Bishop.
Mr Richard Jeremiah, Chairman of the Finance and Administration
Council (FAC), said Mr Tan has vision and the energy and will
to mobilise the support needed to make a vision a reality.
"Today, we see Wah Thong's thumbprint on many Methodist institutions."
Mr Jeremiah began by acknowledging the "significant role"
Mr Tan's wife, Pat, had played in supporting him in all his endeavours.
"Pat, we want to thank you for all the sacrifices you have
made in order to enable Wah Thong to serve the church."
Mr Jeremiah then related how Mr Tan had solved many problems,
including financial problems, and had put in place short-term
solutions to deal with immediate issues. More importantly, he
helped to put in place structures of financial governance.
"Wah Thong did not only fix the problems he found. He also
laid foundations for the future."
Some of the landmark institutions that Mr Tan played a major role
in establishing are:
¨ The Stewardship Charter, which is his brainchild. It is
something that will serve the MCS well for many years to come
as the cornerstone of financial governance;
¨ The Methodist Schools' Foundation, which will have an impact
on the lives of children who are yet unborn and who will attend
and benefit from Methodist schools in the future; and
¨ ACS (International), which is the forerunner of the next
big push in taking our educational mission overseas.
Said Mr Jeremiah: "While Wah Thong has stepped down as Executive
Director, let me emphasise that he is not
retiring from serving the Lord through the Methodist Church. He
will continue to serve in the Methodist schools and in the boards
of various Methodist agencies. He will also be available to help
and advise us.
"There are no adequate words for me to express my gratitude
to Wah Thong for all the brain work and leg work that he has done
on behalf of the Methodist Church in the past five years. All
I can say is, Thank you and God Bless you and may the Lord continue
to bless the work of your hands in the new areas in which you
are serving Him."
HIS LANDMARK INSTITUTIONS
Stewardship Charter, which will serve the MCS well for many years
to come as the cornerstone of financial governance.
Schools' Foundation, which will have an impact on the lives of
which is the forerunner of the next big push in taking our educational