ACS Principal Mr. Lee Hah Ing passed away on 4 September 2009 at the
ripe age of 95. He left behind a family that stretched three
generations to mourn his passing.
was born on 3 August 1914 in Ping Hai, Fujian Province in China.
When he was five years old, he accompanied his parents to settle in
Kampong Koh, Sitiawan, a small town near Ipoh, where his father the
Rev. Lee Ko Ding was assigned as pastor of the Pioneer Methodist
completing his primary education in ACS Sitiawan, Mr. Lee went on to
ACS Ipoh where he obtained his Cambridge School certificate in 1930.
He was admitted to Raffles College, Singapore in 1931 and after
graduating with a Diploma in Arts in 1934, embarked on a teaching
career that spanned 34 years with the Methodist schools: ACS Teluk
Anson (now renamed Teluk Intan), (1934-1947), MBS Kuala Lumpur
(1948-1951) and ACS Singapore (1952-1969) where he served with
distinction as Principal from 1961 to 1969.
sportsman, Mr. Lee built up the ACS Singapore Hockey XI into a
successful team displaying high morale and sportsmanship and was
well-thought of as a teacher. As Principal, he is best remembered
for integrating the morning and afternoon sessions into one school,
and expanding the Pre-University Classes. He instituted the School
Prefects, re-introduced the daily devotions, and provided new
teaching and sporting facilities. Of these, the Nagle Library, the
Art Room, the Audio-Visual Room, and the Sports Complex which
boasted the first school Olympic-sized swimming pool in Singapore.
Closely related with his sporting interest, he forged closer ties
between ACS Singapore and the Methodist Schools in Malaysia by
organising and participating in several Festivals of Sports”.
According to Mr. Earnest Lau, former ACS Principal and currently the
Archivist of The Methodist Church in Singapore, “To help fund the
projects, Mr. Lee instituted a series of fun fairs, aptly named
Fun-O-Ramas that were memorable in rallying the students into
working together for the School and generating a special School
spirit, always reminding us that “The Best is Yet to Be”. In these
and other activities, he quietly set an example by giving of his
best to the School. For his services to education, he was awarded
the Public Service Star (BBM) in 1969”.
Delivering the eulogy at Mr. Lee’s funeral, former ACS Board of
Governors Chairman Mr. Tan Wah Thong described Mr. Lee, who was his
Senior Cambridge (now ‘O’ level) class master in 1956, as a model
teacher who possessed the exemplary art of treating and counselling
his wayward students. “I was one of them and lesser mortals would
have given up on me”, Mr. Tan confessed. “However, the patient Mr.
Lee took upon himself the onerous task to discipline and counsel me.
He persevered and kept his faith in me and I must admit he had
succeeded in touching and changing my life”.
retired in 1969, Mr. Lee joined OCBC from 1970 to 1986 and was the
Advisor to The Tan Chin Tuan Foundation until 2006. Dr Tan Sri Tan
Chin Tuan’s generosity to the ACS family of schools is legendary,
and we can thank Mr. Lee for playing an unsung role. Even in
retirement, he took great interest in the affairs of the ACS family
of schools. He was indeed a pillar of strength and a great supporter
of the ACS Board of Governors, and also the Methodist Church in
will be missed by many ACSians, young and old. He was a great
teacher, counsellor, motivator and friend all rolled into one.
Perhaps these moving words expressed by his former students from the
Class of 67/69 sums up what most of his former students regarded
him: “You were our principal. But you were always more than just the
head of the school we attended. To some, you were the father they
didn’t have. Or the father they would have wished for”.
well, Mr. Lee. We shall meet again on that beautiful shore.