Tan Tock Cheow
(1942 - 2007)
Mike Chan wrote (06
August 2007, 1550 hours):
TTC attended the only one acs59 lunch last year shortly
after I praised him as a brave 15 yr-old who stood up to
the fierce teacher Yap Ah Chuan back in 1957 (50 yrs ago).
He locked eyes with YAC during the confrontation (you
could hear a pin drop!) and the latter made a U-turn and
scampered off. We cheered TTC lustily and I will never
forget that incident. I was looking fwd to that lunch last
year to meet TTC but unfortunately I had to trip to
Bangkok on family business. Was it the steak-lunch at Ming
Could CTL or
LL also post the orbit of TTC in ST today so that our
overseas classmates can have a look-see? I note that he
has 8 brothers and 2 sisters! My condolences to his wife
and 2 pretty daughters whom I just saw a year ago at
Wheelock Place. May my form 3 hero who has surely gone to
a better world, rest in peace!
Allan Ng wrote (06
August 2007, 2050 hours):
that we should lose an old friend and classmate.
I knew him,
without his moustache. He was a quiet, gentle soul, who
occupied the desk, next to mine. He was conscientious and
forever sharpening his pencils. On occasions when he ran
out of pencils, he sharpened mine too.
wasn't sharpening pencils, he would peer into his textbook
and announce that there was a mistake. He first made this
startling announcement to the Geography teacher, the lanky
Indian with the long ears with hairs sprouting at both
ends ( I forget his name). He would be met by a baleful
stare, a grunt and a snort. And the lesson would carry on.
I never had the guts to ask the teacher what animal he was
mimicking. But most times, Tock Cheow was right. Sometimes
it was a fact, sometimes it was a spelling error.
wasn't peering into his textbooks, he would peer at me.
And he gave me invaluable advice, how not to rile the
bigger boys, how to ignore a taunt, and most important of
all, to concentrate on the things that matter.
touch when I went to university in England, and
unfortunately, our paths didn't cross again, until the
newspaper picture today. Someone had told me that he had
gone on to become a man of figures, an important civil
servant in some government department. Someone mentioned
the Central Provident Fund, but it was in passing and I'm
not sure if I had heard correctly.
you are, Tock Cheow, and I guess it must be some heavenly
place, we wish you well and bon voyage. May God be with
(I hope it's appropriate as I'm not sure how I should end
this. Eternal life, of course, has no end, only the
Wong Mei Lin wrote (07
August 2007, 0116 hours)
this from up north where I am camping.
I heard the
news of Tock Cheow’s death when my friend in Singapore
was my classmate in ACS, albeit briefly, and is married to
my cousin Lily Loh, former librarian with the S’pore
I spoke to
her this morning. Apparently, in 2006, around November,
Tock Cheow went in for a minor operation. She could not
see my husband Bill who was visiting Singapore then. And
she didn’t elaborate on the operation and I respected her
privacy. What I gather is that he has been very weak since
November 2006 and was being treated on drugs. The latest
CT scan showed that the tumour in the liver had shrunk.
However, his immune system had been severely compromised.
Lily didn’t say much, except that 2 days ago he suffered
from a very high fever.
rushed into emergency. Within half a day, Tock Cheow was
in a coma, and succumbed. Lily is not quite sure what the
cause of death was, and I didn’t pursue it.
all, God bless
Remembering John Wei
1942 - 2006
Mike Chan wrote (07
August 2007, 0733 hours))
Allan, as always insightful and drily humorous!
believe my school hero, TTC, was the chief librarian of
IBM here for many years before his Govt job.
As his cremation is set for this evening, we would
encourage those who know him well to also post their cyber
eulogies here asap.
He had a
close buddy also seated next to him in forms 3-5 whose
name was Tay Teng Huat, a body-builder and a music
composer. They were always playing chess. I wonder whether
any of you guys know what happened to TTH who seemed to
To the rest
of us, still hale and hearty and kicking, let's maintain
our health with healthy food and exercise so that we can
all reach our 70s and even 80s still healthy and
Lenn Wei Ling wrote
(07 August 2007, 1006 hours)
The Late Tan
Tock Cheow - a quiet gentle man and an excellent but
unorthodox badminton player.
Michael Hwang wrote (09
August 2007, 1210 hours)
I am a
little surprised that no one has yet mentioned Tock
Cheow’s talent as an artist
without doubt the best artist in our class, and even the
art teacher (cant remember which) said to me : “that boy
is really gifted”.
Unfortunately this was another source of friction between
Tock Cheow and myself. Victor, Tiong Hin, Choon Yang,
Bernard and I elected to take Music instead of Art when
Benjamin Khoo joined the school and introduced Music as a
subject. Music being essentially a knowledge based
subject, all of us could score marks ranging from 70 to
over 90. Despite the fact that Tock Cheow was top of the
class in Art, I think his highest marks were in the 70s,
and this was always a sore point with him.
Teck Long wrote (10
August 2007, 2141 hours)
I had a drink with Robert Gay this evening and he revealed
that Tock Cheow, Theng Huat and he were not only close
friends in school, but had a couple of things in common
besides the game of Chess.
All three were regularly chased out of the class by Mrs
Iau during her Chinese lessons and they used to hang out
at the tuck shop during their 'banishment. I guess that
was how the "3 Musketeers" got close and were often seen
together and as a result, many thought that Robert was
being 'protected' by his other two bigger companions.
All three had somewhat similar nicknames. Theng Huat,
because of his size, was known as Hercules. Tock Cheow,
who used to amaze his classmates with his prowess on the
field as a gifted javelin thrower, earned himself the name
of 'Pocket Hercules" as he was much smaller than Theng
Huat. For obvious reasons which we need not to into,
Robert was known as "Mini-Hercules"!