Tribute to Mr Lin Tah Hwa
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Lin Tah Hwa on 10 September 2023, an esteemed benefactor of the Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre. Mr Lin’s unwavering support and belief in our mission to advance the frontiers of mind health research to build an undefeated mind led him to make a generous contribution in the memory of his late mother, Madam Yeo Boon Khim.
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go with Mrs Lin and family during this time of bereavement. We hope they find solace in the knowledge that his legacy will continue to touch the lives of many. As we mourn the loss of a dear friend, we also celebrate a life beautifully lived, dedicated to kindness, generosity and the noble pursuit of improving mental well-being
A heartwarming segment was dedicated to Mdm Yeo during the launch of Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre on 5 May 2023. Mr Lin recounted the profound influence of his mother in shaping his life. She imparted in him invaluable virtues of gratitude, humility and resilience, which continue to inspire us all. In honouring Mr Lin, we are reminded of the enduring power of love and the transformative impact of a life dedicated to the well-being of others.
“The naming of the Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre is my gift of eternal gratitude to her and to commemorate her life. It is in line with the values that she imparted to me – to always remember to help others less fortunate than ourselves, to have a sense of gratitude to society and country when we have good fortune, and to always know the joy of giving something back to our fellow human beings when the time comes. These are the values my mother taught me during her life, and these are the values I hope by example to impart to others now that she is gone.”
– Mr Lin Tah Hwa
The late Madam Yeo Boon Khim was the beloved wife of the late Mr. Lin Jo Yan, a banker with OCBC, when it was the largest banking institution in Singapore and Malaysia. Madam Yeo was his devoted partner and journeyed alongside Mr Lin, when he started as a clerk with a monthly salary of $30 in the 1930’s, in the bank that would be his one and only employer, till 1975, when he retired as Director and General Manager of the bank.
Madam Yeo’s children remember their mother as a tough and independent woman, bringing up her 3 sons and 4 daughters to become teachers, lawyers, stockbrokers, doctors and housewives, while her husband devoted his life to the banking industry of Singapore and Malaysia.
Tonight, five of her children are here with us, namely, by way of seniority, Kat, Sue, Tah Hwa, Ai Ling and Peter.
Madam Yeo remained active into her nineties, recalls her 2nd son, Mr Lin Tah Hwa, who named the Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre after his mother.
“I remember when she was already 91, she refused to give up her love of cooking for her family, asking her domestic helper to sit around while she did the cooking,” said Mr Lin.
“Her life exemplified her devotion to her family. Her sole interest was in making sure her children and her husband were well taken care of, and her own welfare was secondary to this mission that she had chosen for herself.
No setback was strong enough to deter her from her mission. She soldiered on even when five of her family members were declared bankrupts, following the collapse of my stockbroking company in 1985.
Following her death, strangely, my own fortune improved by leaps and bounds. It was a portent of the good times coming to my life after her passing. She even timed her death to mark the end of her devotion to her family at about 4 am in the morning, when she was asleep. Old folks used to say that this meant symbolically that her family would always have 3 meals to eat every day after her passing. What a generosity of spirit!
The naming of the Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre is my gift of eternal gratitude to her and to commemorate her life. It is in line with the values that she imparted to me – to always remember to help others less fortunate than ourselves, to have a sense of gratitude to society and country when we have good fortune, and to always know the joy of giving something back to our fellow human beings when the time comes. These are the values my mother taught me during her life, and these are the values I hope by example to impart to others now that she is gone.
My mother passed away on 25th February 2004, a day I shall always remember. She departed less than 3 months after my father’s passing in desire to be again with her beloved. It was her tryst with destiny.”
Apart from the $6 million gift, the Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre has also benefitted from two Professorships – Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Lin Jo Yan and Yeo Boon Khim Professor in Mental Health and Neuroscience, which Mr Lin and his wife, Mdm Lucy Khoo generously donated in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
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