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Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 9:12:43 AM
by cheryl hew
IPOH: Hundreds of people came for the funeral wake and procession of former Perak commander of St John’s Ambulance Ng Khoon Hong (pic) here.
Many of the those who came were dressed in the black and white association uniforms.
Khoon Hong, who was state commander from 1972 to 1996, died of a stroke on Thursday with family members at his bedside. He was 88.
His youngest son Kelvin Ng Hock Heng penned a moving one-page tribute to his father that was published in The Star on Friday.
Kelvin said the family, including his two older brothers and Khoon Hong’s grandchildren had gathered in Ipoh a few weeks ago when they learnt of his father’s ill health.
“I wrote the tribute on my smartphone when I had some time alone on the night of Christmas Day.
“After my father took his last breath, I sent the tribute to my law office in Kuala Lumpur for the obituary, but did not think that the message could be published in whole,” he said.
In the tribute, Kelvin, 46, reminisced about his first day as a St John’s Ambulance member, his father’s contributions in aid efforts during World War II and the Gunung Cheroh disaster, where about 40 people died in 1973 when chunks from a limestone hill in Gunung Cheroh, Ipoh, collapsed onto a squatter colony below.
“I remember him as a loving father who took us on fishing trips to his hometown in Kuala Kurau, and his tireless efforts in supporting the family.
“My brothers and I learnt many valuable lessons from him, such as to respect everyone regardless of race or social ranking and the St John’s Ambulance motto of ‘Service to Mankind’,” he said.
St John’s Ambulance state secretary Manin Singh said Khoon Hong’s passing was a great loss to the brigade and those who knew him.
“He was a very nice and generous man who was always there to lend a helping hand even after he retired from service and up until his final years,” he said.
After family members, friends and brigade members paid their last respects, the St John’s Ambulance State of Perak band gave Khoon Hong an honorary send-off and his cortege left the funeral parlour for the Kek Look Seah crematorium in Bercham.
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