THE Boys’ Brigade (BB) in Singapore has elected a new president – Mr Tan Kok Heng.
Mr Tan, or Colonel Tan as he was addressed as until August 2006 when he retired from the Singapore Armed Forces after 27 years, is currently a Deputy Director in the Personnel Division in the Ministry of Education.
Mr Tan, 45, worships at Paya Lebar Methodist Church (PLMC) with his family. He is married to Chor Hoon, a homemaker, and they have three daughters, Li Ling, aged 16, Li Hong, 14, and Li Shan, 11.
At PLMC, he serves as a camera crew during service and is a member of the Church Finance Committee. He had also previously served as the Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee.
He joined the 6th Singapore Company in 1973 and was the Best Private, and later became a Drill Competition Squad Commander. At Brigade level, he went on to serve as Chairman of The BB 70th Anniversary Thanksgiving Carnival in 2000. He was elected as one of the Vice-Presidents in 2001, and served in that position until 2006.
Mr Tan is synonymous with The BB Adventure Quest (BBAQ). The five adventure races that he organised from 2002 to 2006 have challenged many BB Boys. He still recalls the first BBAQ in 2002 when the BB Boys raced over 50 km from the National Technological University to Yishun Junior College over 12 hours, the first of its kind for them in Singapore.
He is proud of every one of the BB Boys who faced up to the quest of running, biking, kayaking, orienteering, archery, rock climbing and rappelling. But more importantly, he wants the BB Boys to stretch beyond their comfort zone of the digital world and learn life skills from their quest in the living world of God.
He said: “The BB is not just about badges. It has always been about Christian character-building through the varied activities in our programmes. The BBAQ is but a challenge to our Boys to learn a skill instead of just studying and playing indoors. They will discover, very quickly, more about themselves when they participate actively in such wholesome activities.”
As the Brigade President, he seeks to achieve the objectives of “Goals 2010” – to strengthen its officers, strengthen its relationship with its stakeholders, strengthen its programmes and strengthen its companies.
He said: “The Boys’ Brigade has grown rapidly in the last five years. Going forward there is a need to strengthen the foundation of the good works of our rapid expansion. The BB is about mentoring Boys to become good Christian men. We need to make sure that our ever-passionate volunteer officers do not burn out and are equipped with the proper skills and abilities to succeed in their mission of advancing Christ’s Kingdom amongst Boys.”
Other senior office bearers of the BB for 2007 are: Vice-Presidents: Messrs Osbert Chew, Ong Teong Hoon, Poh Leong Berg and Wee Tat Chuen; Brigade Chaplains: the Rev Canon Dr Louis Tay and the Rev Malcolm Tan; Brigade Secretary: Mr Tye Yew Meng; Assistant Brigade Secretary: Mr Peter Ong Kwee Guan; Brigade Treasurer: Dr Ho Yew Kee. The Executive Director is Mr Desmond Koh.