MR LEE SENG WEE

             1930 - 2015

In Memoriam - Mr Lee Seng Wee

It is with deep sadness that the ACS family learned of the passing of Mr Lee Seng Wee on August 7th. On behalf of the ACS family, the ACS Board of Governors, ACS (International) and ACS (Independent) Boards of Management, the ACS Old Boys’ Association and the ACS Foundation pay tribute to Mr Lee as a loyal Old Boy, gentleman, benefactor, pioneer and pillar of ACS.

Mr Lee was a student of ACS in the 1940s, and the youngest son of the late Mr Lee Kong Chian, who many of us know as a successful businessman, but whose most lasting legacy is arguably as a philanthropist.

In a statement released by OCBC Bank, where Mr. Lee Seng Wee was the former Chairman, "He had always guided the running of OCBC Bank with the highest integrity and the biggest heart,” said the OCBC statement, adding that Mr Lee always cared for employee welfare and made sure no staff was laid off during financial crises. He also placed a focus on career development for employees.

He was described as a “very honourable man”, who was “always so humble and self-effacing whenever he was asked about his achievements”.

And yet despite his accolades and material success, Mr Lee and his family never failed to heed the call of the less privileged. The ACS schools have been the direct beneficiaries of their big heartedness and willingness to serve the community.

The Lee family has been one of the ACS family’s biggest and strongest benefactors, for which ACS must always be grateful. Generations of ACS students have been blessed, and continue to be blessed, by the Lee family’s generosity. The ACS family has been the beneficiaries of the Lee Kuo Chuan building in the 1950s, the Lee Kong Chian block and auditorium on the Barker Road site, to the various ACS causes that the Lee Foundation continues to support across our ACS schools. The legacy of the Lees perseveres through the Lee Seng Gee House in our ACS House system which is the foundation of a distinctive tradition that we know and feel as the ‘ACS Spirit’.

As ONE ACS, we held a family-wide tribute to the late Mr Lee during the week of August 10th during which our ACS schools delivered the same devotion of remembrance followed by a minute of silence.

In the devotion, 3 core messages summarised the legacy that Mr Lee leaves behind for the young men and women of the ACS family.

AADVANCEMENT. To always look forward and focus on improvement. The Lee Foundation was created to aid “the advancement of education, medicine and culture”. True to the ACS motto of ‘The Best Is Yet To Be’, we must never rest on our laurels and strive for greater heights in everything we do.

CCOMPASSION To be sensitive to others and to seek to alleviate human suffering. Mr Lee was a compassionate employer who put himself in the shoes of his employees. We too, can do this in our own school by small acts of kindness and consideration towards our teachers and schoolmates.

SSERVICE. To be open-hearted and serve God, country, family and society with both pride and humility. Decades after leaving ACS, Mr Lee and his brothers continued to give back to their alma mater and to Singapore.

We were also reminded of the words of the Lord from Luke 12:48 which say: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded, and from the one who has been entrusted much, much more will be asked”.

Indeed, the late Mr Lee Seng Wee embodied this verse by sharing much.

We as ACSians all know that we too have been blessed with a unique education rich with history and tradition. Our benefactors, alumni and supporters have rallied around us in our times of need. So even as we look back at the contributions of giants before us, we must also look forward to ensure that the ACS culture of sharing our blessings with the future generations endures.

Only then, can ACS be assured that ‘The Best Is Yet To Be’.
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