We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Honorary Member and Advisor, Dr Lau Wai Har, on 29 April 2020.
Dr Lau was an esteemed alumna of NYGH, and one of the founding members of the NSAA. After the second world war in 1945, Dr Lau and her schoolmates were determined to restore the school. They formed the Alumni Association, with Dr Lau as Vice President. Despite major disruption to transportation and communication routes, they successfully located then Principal Mdm Liew Yuen Sian and the teachers, and allowed classes to resume quickly.
The Alumni Association devoted itself tirelessly towards the restoration and development of the Nanyang Schools, and Dr Lau was at the forefront of fundraising efforts for that cause. After alumni associations were dissolved by the colonial government in 1952, there was no formal alumni association to coordinate efforts of the Nanyang alumni for 30 years. However, Dr Lau and the alumni continued with their fundraising efforts and further expanded the school. With their unwavering support, Nanyang continued to make progress during this period.
Recognising that support from the alumni was key to the schools’ development, the NSAA was officially re-established in 1984. As one of the founding members who led the re-establishment, Dr Lau resumed her position as Vice President. In addition to massive fundraising efforts, she was also deeply concerned for the welfare of members of the Nanyang Family. She actively participated in NSAA and school events, and often gave invaluable advice to the committee and encouragement to the students.
She was a staunch advocate of the study of mother tongue, and as the head of the curriculum team working on Confucian Ethics in NIE, was also focussed on moral education. These complemented Nanyang’s emphasis on fostering bilingualism and sound values in students. Her contribution in these areas helped to shape Nanyang’s unique education approach towards cultivating effectively bilingual students with a strong moral compass.
Dr Lau’s relentless efforts laid the foundation which the NSAA build upon: to unite the alumni, give back to our alma mater and develop the schools of Nanyang.
The NSAA is deeply appreciative of Dr Lau’s selfless dedication to Nanyang for over 70 years. Her tenacity and strength in the face of adversity is an inspiration, and she will always be held in the highest regard as a strong and loving role model.
Peh Hwee Choo
Nanyang Schools Alumni Association Committee Member