Monday, March 27, 2006

A Short Tribute to COL Bernard Tan

COL Bernard Tan passed away yesterday. It was reported in the papers today. Front page. I was informed of the news yesterday afternoon as I made my way back from Muar.

Indeed, I was with a heavy heart.

COL Bernard was an ex Brigade Commander in 7 SIB when I was there. He was well remembered by the people there as a hard worker but also cared extremely for his people. An iron fist in a velvet glove, he was often described.

COL Bernard was a master with words. Quotes were his favourite forms of expressions. "Let a thousand flowers bloom", "the beauty of the AND" and many others were phrases he came up and used so effortlessly.

Many of you have heard "Give the man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for life." But COL Bernard took it, added to it, and made it his own:

"Now, teach him to love the sea, and he will teach his children to love the same. They will build ships and vessels, and they will conquer the ocean."

Not exactly the exact words, but more or less.

Quotes like these often left us lost in its meanings but nevertheless, inspired us tremendously. Such is the legacy of him.

During his COC last year, I had the privilege of doing the tribute video for him, chronicling his achievements in the Brigade and how he touched the lives of the people who worked for him. What I see is this: Everyone who worked with him never fail to be touched by him.

Heavy hearted as I am, I know that I can take consolation that he is now in a better place. A devout and fervent Christian when he was alive, I believe that now his spirit is with at rest with the LORD.

God bless you, COL Bernard Sir. Although I did not have the honour to work closely under you, it was still an honour and privilege to be in the Brigade under your command for a year. May God bless your soul and may He continue to watch over your family.


Anonymous Vincent said...

wow, what a good article!

actually I dun understand it with my poor English~~~

12:04 pm  

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