FORUM: Soh Gwek Neo

Last update03 February 2006



Goh Geok Eng wrote (03 February 2006, 0904 hours):

Hi Mei Ling and Doreen,

I sure do remember you both. I was in the Arts class and switched to Science after the results came out. Arlene passed away quite a few years ago - it was a very sad passing.

Regards, Geok Eng


Goh Geok Eng wrote (03 February 2006, 0904 hours):

Dear Boh Pin,

Thank you for taking the trouble to write these lines. I will convey your condolences to Gwek's daughter though I do not know her myself. The Straits Times obituary page today has an announcement about Gwek's passing.

Tommy Koh's wife is Poh Siew Aing and she was also in out MGS class. So many of us studied in ACS!

Geok Eng


Yap Boh Pin wrote (02 February 2006, 1132 hours)

Dear Geok Eng,
I know you do not know me through the Pre-U years in ACS as I had left for the UK after my 'O' levels in 1959. Therefore, I did not have the opportunities to mix with girls from MGS at the Pre-U classes in ACS.

However, I had the privilege of knowing Soh Gwek Neo when we were doing private tuition in 'A' Maths under Mr Chee Keng Lim. My cousins, Yap Boh Ghee and Yap Boh Ann and myself took private tuition at the present premises of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Hill Street. During that time, we were doing the Cambridge 'O' level exams and there was one other girl who was also taking private tuition together with Soh Gwek Neo. I believe she is now the wife of Prof Tommy Koh (sorry, her name slipped my mind, I believe her surname is Ms Lim).

Please therefore send our deepest condolences to her family in Paris. It's always sad to hear the passing away of school friends who are our contemporaries.

Wong (Cheung) Mei Lin wrote (02 February 2006, 0107 hours)

Thank you, Doreen.

Yes, we should treasure every moment as a gift from God, and live each day fully, according to His will. May Gwek Neo and Arlene Soon rest in His peace.

Doreen, remember me?

Mei Lin (the fat one!)


Doreen Lim (Ee) wrote (01 February 2006, 1643 hours):

Thanks for alerting us, TL, and for filling us in on the details, Geok Eng (hope you remember who I am as it's been so long since we met!). So nice to know that we can all be in touch electronically despite the passing of years and the fact that we hardly see each other yet, it seems "but the twinkling of an eye". Ah, those indeed were the days, my friends!

It is good to remember Gwek Neo, who was so gentle and sweet and made an impact on most of us in her own quiet way - and to know that she did pursue her dreams and had her daughter with her in the final farewell. I am not in the MGS circuit but am told there was also another casualty, Arlene Soon, from the Arts Class, many years ago. Let us treasure memories of our classmates who have gone on ahead and treasure too the present day contacts and gatherings that you guys are so good at organising.

May the good Lord continue to Bless and Keep each of you!


Goh Geok Eng wrote (30 January 2006, 1943 hours):

Hi, Sau Imm is married and lives in Australia, Sydney I think. We met up when she returned for a visit about a year ago. It was she who informed me about Gwek. Yes, Gwek had this quiet enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. Even we girls knew she was something special and that she would follow her heart while we others walk the well-trodden path. We were all MGS girls and classmates at that so we do go back a long long time!


Mike Chan wrote (30 January 2006, 1844 hours):

Irene Soh Gwek Neo was the No. 1 beauty of my biology class. She had many ardent admirers including 3 serious ones who are now doctors ... relax, there are more than 10 doctors from my class. A very nice friendly Peranakan girl with never a harsh word for anyone. I met her by chance in Paris in 1994 and had coffee with her right in front of the Champs Elysees. But it was for just 10 minutes as my tour leader called me to board the coach. She married a French guy and became a French citizen. She has a cousin also in my pre-u class, Chia Sau Imm. Anyone know where she is now? Poor Gwek, only 62 yrs old, may her soul rest in peace.


Goh Geok Eng wrote (30 January 2006, 1230 hours):

Hello everyone,

I have been receiving all your e-mails since my introduction to all you good people about 2 months ago!

Gwek passed away peacefully in Paris with her daughter by her side. She had time to say her goodbyes. She had been suffering from oesophageal cancer for some time and was undergoing the latest in chemotherapy when she passed away.

Gwek went to Paris to fulfill a childhood dream of being an artist. This was very brave of her at a time when we girls were still very sheltered and ended becoming teachers like me! She achieved what she set out to do and exhibited here in Singapore a few years ago.

Teck Long, congratulations on doing a wonderful job of keeping us updated and for setting up the web-site. We thought the girls would do a good job of keeping in touch with one another, but I have to take my hat off to you for doing one better than us! 


M. Jegathesan wrote (30 January 2006, 1123 hours):

It is sad indeed.  Reminds us of the frailty of things.  I remember her very well, having sat next to her in class and in the practicals, she used to partner Chia Sau Imm and Gilbert Chiang, and I was just behind.


Choo Teck Long wrote (30 January 2006, 0939 hours):

I don't have the full details, but I believe it was some illness.


Allan Ng Yoon Hooi wrote (30 January 2006, 0919 hours):

That's sad news, the death of anyone, especially those in our years, and a reminder that we don't have that much time left to do the things we want to do and undo the things we don't want to do. What did she die from? Was it old age or something that caught her unawares, eg traffic accident etc?


Choo Teck Long wrote (30 January 2006, 0910 hours):

I have just heard the sad news that Soh Gwek Neo has passed away in Paris about a fortnight ago.

As many of you will remember, Gwek Neo was from the Pre-U Science A Class.