Sunday, June 12, 2011

A long lost mentor... Dr. Tan Wee Kiat

Back in the 1990s, when I was still in my primary school days, my mum was a hawker selling minced meat noodles at the old NIE campus which was located at Bukit Timah. During school holidays, Mum would usually bring me along so she could take care of me, and at the same time managing her stall. I still remembered I killed my time by catching spiders, big ants, and even playing card games with the NIE Teacher-to-be undergrads. One or two of them coincidentally became my primary school teacher before I left my Westlake Primary.

Thankfully, I met Dr. Tan during one of those days. I'm lucky to have met him, as he had brought me around to places like Botanic Gardens, Science Center, his offices and even to his house. Along the way, I pick up some knowledge which was never taught in class... such as pitcher plants, and in fact, some of these plants can grow as big as the size of a human palm.

Today, Dr. Tan is already 72 years old, still engaging in sports such as swimming. We met up today, after so many years. I think I last saw him was in 1998. He passed me two of his books on Singapore stamps. When I was young, Dr. Tan used to bring me to Singapore Philatelic Museum to look at the exhibition on Singapore Stamps. I had also later pick up the hobby of collecting stamps. But unfortunately, one year ago, the recycle organization accidentally took a bag left outside my house, and my few albums of stamps was gone. Well, stamps, in general, depicts a country's timeline. In fact, there's a story behind every stamps created. It can be a significant country event, an organization's anniversary, and even a famous person who had contributed to the country. These two books in the picture taken above, was written by Dr. Tan, and depicts the history and milestones behind some Singapore stamps. Written in a easy to read manner, suitable for all ages.

It was this book that bring 2 of us back together again. One day, during my NTU exams, I was packing my stuff, and found this book which was given by Dr. Tan when I was younger...

So I started searching Dr. Tan and this book online, and thanks to the power of the internet, not only did it bring the world closer, but it had also helped to reconnect relationships.

Dr. Tan, thanks for teaching me so much when I was younger. Without you, it wouldn't have spurred my interest in science. (I actually took up triple science class in secondary school). Keep in contact, and stay healthy!

1 comment:

Julian C said...

Hi Kelvin, can you let me have Tan Wee Kiat's contact. We were in RI together and he was my army cadet platoon commander. You can verify by watching on YouTube my 6 years in Raffles Institution. We won and chaired Wee Kiat up. A few of us want to have a reunion with him. My hp is 91735604. Thanks for your help.