Dad's Eulogy, the late Mr Albert Tan Cheng Ban, Age 81 years and 8 months – Prepared by Dr Karen Anne Tan Su Mei | Biz Info


Dad’s Eulogy, the late Mr Albert Tan Cheng Ban, Age 81 years and 8 months – Prepared by Dr Karen Anne Tan Su Mei

ALBERT TAN CHENG BAN – 81 years and 8 months

 

How do you summarise a life well-lived?  To many more he was simply Uncle Albert and to some he was the ICE CREAM MAN – because he rang the bell every Saturday afternoon for catechism classes for more than 15 years.

 

He was the smiling ever-friendly Church Photographer you see, for Baptisms, First Holy Communion, Confirmations and sometimes for weddings. For love of God and photography, daddy transitioned with the times, from manual NIKON camera to his Digital Nikon SLR camera in his 70s.He was also a COMMUNION MINISTER, and before that, a CHURCH USHER. But he also, had an unofficial role in Church – he was the church Greeter –  making everyone feel welcome. So it’s natural, that many people know him. And, he was also the DAILY MASS COORDINATOR, ensuring that daily mass would run smoothly.

 

For over 32 years he served the church and he was also the Treasurer for Catechism and ran the church bookshop – selling rosaries, cards and gifts – so  it was NATURAL, that many people know him. But, they knew more than just the face because Dad made it a point to stop, chat and if you were not rushing off, he would joke with you. His warm smile was a reflection of his big, enormous heart – and if you needed a listening ear, he would provide one.

 

DaDDY LOVED THE CHURCH – the people in church and his many friends in church. I believe because we lived so close by, he adopted the church as his second home, because his warm caring nature needed another outlet. You are his adopted family and I am so happy to meet so many of you gathered here to pay your respects to dad and to help celebrate a life truly well-lived.

 

For some of you who knew him outside church, he was an exemplary teacher. And that is why I became a teacher as well. I remember, when I was around 10, someone ringing him up to ask if he was Mr Tan CHENG Ban; dad sounded puzzled and and said yes, I taught in Francis Light School in the 1950s. A few days later, a man turned up at our doorstep. He was now a professor in the University of Malaya, and wanted to personally thank daddy for his kindness more than 20 years ago. Just yesterday two of his former students contacted us, sharing what a good teacher daddy was. Uncle Robert Loo, very proudly shared that he still remembered the first song daddy taught him as the Cub Master: ‘Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag and smile, smile, smile’. After almost 60 years – 59 years to be exact – , they still remember what daddy did and how much he meant to them. There is no denying – daddy made a difference in people’s lives.

 

For us – he was a dearly beloved father, a loving, devoted husband who loved mummy very much; and a fantastic role model. Being a teacher he valued education, and would encourage us to study hard and to always try our best. If we were disappointed with our marks, he would say, ‘Never mind, you can do better the next time’. So there was constant encouragement and support to all three of us. Daddy was just simply proud of his girls – his three daughters whom he used to call Tan’s angels. He taught us to always be honest, to lead a life with integrity and never do anything that would displease Jesus – and he lived out his life the way he taught us. But more than that, daddy taught us to be appreciative and to see beauty in small things and to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

More than the jovial man that he is – being a devout Christian –  Daddy was also a dedicated volunteer with mummy, with the Little Sisters of the Poor for their Tuesdays Lotto and, he was also their designated driver because he was not a speed demon; but would consistently drive 10 -20 km below the speed limit – which suited the elderly and I also heard, visiting bishops – yes, he was such a warm friendly man that he was asked several times to drive visiting bishops and Pro Nuncios in Penang. Usually, everyone in his car or van, would be treated to a guided tour of Penang if they were unfamiliar with our island paradise.

 

Daddy has a gift of making friends effortlessly – Daddy was also a highly appreciative man; a grateful man who counted his blessings and so that is why he would want me to thank all you wonderful people on his behalf  who made his life such a blessing.

 

  • His friends from daily mass – he adored you all and loved staying back to say the rosary, keeping Jesus company with friends, he would say.
  • He would also want me to thank the many people, who allowed him into your life; and for all the many kind acts you rendered daddy as he became frail.
  • He had a soft spot for priests and nuns – especially the nuns from the Little Sisters of the Poor, he would want me to thank you for your prayers and for setting such a good example for him to follow
  • He would not want me to forget all the lovely doctors and nurses at Penang General Hospital, Pantai Hospital especially his former student & his cardiologist Dr Liew Chee Tat and the dedicated staff at IJN – Institute JantungNegara
  • Daddy loved his food: he would want me to thank all of you lovely wonderful friends over the years who shared your delicious home cooked food with him or passed along fruits -he loved his durians – to him –  he loved really loved his home cooked  food but your thoughtfulness meant even more to him
  • He loved company, and you all brought joy to him.

 

Someone just described him as a lovely, loving and lovable man and that’s who daddy was.

 

We know him as a loving father who would do anything for us – and that is why, we three girls strongly urged him to exercise, to strengthen his legs and to get way stronger, but wise man that he is, he found another way. His own way – and it’s hard for us girls because he had gently encouraged us all our life to be determined, strong, tenacious and forthright. And we were forthright – we were determined that he was going to get better by hook or by crook. But God had another plan for his most gentle and devoted servant – and this time, God took him away just one day before his scheduled procedure. And I believe, Daddy was happy to go with Jesus, walking strongly and striding into the arms of his Father, chatting and walking side by side with Jesus and Mary.

 

Daddy would like to be remembered for being a gentle, friendly man, who loved the company of friends – young and old, merry and solemn, lots of laughter and home-cooked food, but also someone who adored simple hawker food. I know he’s now in better company with Jesus and Mary and he’s probably bringing them around in Penang that he knew so well, introducing them to his favourite snacks especially his favourite Penang Road Chendol with extra ang tau, and encouraging Jesus and Mary to have more. So when you have your chendol, your ang tau seng, eat for daddy and know that he’s watching from above, smiling and praying for all of us – content to be with his Lord.