TRIBUTE TO KATHLEEN TAN BENG LEONG
KNOWN to us as “Sister Siang Chwee”, Mrs Kathleen Tan Beng Leong was a friend, mentor, comforter, leader, mother, and most of all, a true sister-in-Christ to all who knew her.
She served in the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of The Methodist Church in Singapore for the greater part of her life. She was President of the General Conference WSCS from 1982 to 1988. As a leader, Sister Siang Chwee gave her all. She served in any way she could and was always there when needed.
In 1991 when the World Federation of Methodist Women held the World Assembly in Singapore, she led the organising team and put Singapore on the world map.
She championed for Christ all the way in her relationship with everyone. She encouraged the women to participate in world events and she herself had participated in international conferences as speaker and facilitator.
In 1992 she became President of East Asia Area of the World Federation of Methodist & Uniting Church Women.
Mrs Tan participated in every activity she could. She was a regular helper at the ESN (Educationally Sub-Normal) sessions for girls held weekly at the Methodist Women’s Centre. She sang faithfully in the choir of Christ Methodist Church and also in the GYM (Glowing Years Ministry) Choir and at every opportunity whenever there were important events she would join the Methodist Combined Choir.
Her great commission to make Christ known spans every facet of family, church and community life. She lived life to the full in Christ and was always full of praise and thanksgiving.
Her devotion to her family was private and precious. She never failed to speak well of them and collected gifts for her grandchildren wherever she travelled. Her birthday celebration in September 2001 was a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God for all the good years she was enjoying.
We thank God for the life she gave in serving God in ways sometimes some of us could not understand. It was a never-ending service “no matter what”! Nothing could stop her from stretching forth a hand to help someone, or prevent her from setting foot on foreign lands to share Christ beyond our shores. Her generosity will be remembered by those whom she had quietly and spontaneously helped.
Indeed her “Hallelujahs and Praise the Lord” were uttered to the end when she was found submitting her spirit to her God in a kneeling posture. On April 20, 2003, Easter Sunday, we heard the news that she had passed away – to be with her risen Lord! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!
Laureen Ong is the President of the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service.