These VSOPs (Very Strong Old Persons) are ageing gracefully by keeping active


  • Seniors
  • Sunday, 16 Jun 2019

Foong Yoke Mun on a sky-diving adventure before he turned 80.

By FOONG PEK FOONG

I would like to honour fathers and grandfathers who, despite their advanced age, are still active and continue to make every day an adventure.

They may be a little slower, stiffer and more forgetful, yet they have made adjustments to their lifestyles to keep up with the changing times. From learning new skills to starting new activities, to developing new hobbies, these men just do whatever it takes to get on in life and live life to the fullest.

Foong Yoke Thong (born 1926) 

A month shy of his 93rd birthday, my dad is still going strong and has full control of his mental facilities. Living in the city centre, he walks at least 2km each day to nearby malls for meals, shopping and daily essentials.

Highly methodical, he believes that there is a proper way to do everything, taking his time to do things well. He is blessed with infinite patience and that, I believe, is the key to his longevity. He continues to impart this teaching to his four daughters, even today.

Old man
Foong Yoke Thong is still going strong and has full control of his mental facilities.

Indulging in his hobbies is another contributing factor. His lifelong passion for First Day Covers involves going to the Post Office to first buy the Covers, and then carefully stamping them. Though he has retired from working life, he has not been “pensioned off” as the home handyman and pest controller.

Mentally, he is still active, reading newspapers and doing crossword puzzles. He also diligently cuts out interesting or funny stories to share with his four grandkids. For their birthdays, he would go to Chinatown in search of creative toys as presents, much to the children’s delight.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Foong Yoke Mun (born 1935)

My dad’s younger brother, 84, also leads an active life of mountain climbing, hashing, road running and Towerthon races.

When he was 71, he took just eight minutes to climb 22 floors of Menara MPBJ as part of the 24-hour Towerthon event. He did the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk at 73, white water rafting at 74, and sky diving just before he turned 80.

For his 80th birthday, he had wanted to conquer Mount Kinabalu for the third time, but the earthquake struck. Another disappointment was a hike to Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal in December, which he had to abandon due to extreme cold.

In between checking items off his bucket list, he keeps busy pottering around the garden and rearing fish, starting each day with a 5km walk. He has four children and two grandchildren.

Hashing grandpas

Teh Kan Tong (born 1937)

Fondly known as Uncle Teh, this self-employed professional electrical engineer has been a member of RLC Harriers for the last 20 years. He makes it a point to attend the weekly Tuesday hash runs, never takes shortcuts and completes the full course at walking pace, with his wife Margaret.

Old man
Big stride for Teh Kan Tong, a self-employed professional electrical engineer who has been a member of RLC Harriers for the last 20 years.

For Uncle Teh, life is about enjoying what he does, at his own pace. A typical day for this 82-year old starts with Qi Gong before attending to business matters from 10am.

Twice a year, he joins hiking tours overseas, which includes half-day hikes, in addition to the usual sightseeing.

Uncle Teh is blessed with two sons and a granddaughter.

Bob Yong (born 1938)

Old man
A retired Chartered Insurer, Bob Yong is a member of two hash chapters.

A retired Chartered Insurer, Bob Yong is a member of two hash chapters that run on Tuesdays and Fridays. Armed with a camcorder, Bob does a live recording of the trail and his fellow hashers, posting the videos on FB, YouTube and his personal blog.

For a non-millennial, Bob boldly embraced and successfully navigated the not-so-scary waters of digital technology, 11 years ago. Self-taught via online tutorials, he spends hours letting his creativity and imagination run wild when editing videos and doing song recordings.

Living by the motto “Passion conquers everything”, Bob’s zest for life saw him putting on a pirate costume for a themed event. His other passions include badminton, swimming, ballroom dancing and karaoke. Since 2003, he has been participating in karaoke competitions at inter-club and in-house levels.

He has two daughters and three grandchildren.

Tim Moey (born 1939)

He may have started hashing only at 60, but Tim Moey has definitely made up for lost time.

While in government service as a tax practitioner, he played mostly golf. Later, while attached to the private sector, he took up tennis and ballroom dancing.

Since joining hash, Tim has been enjoying nature while discovering off-the-beaten-track run sites in and around KL. As his fitness improved, running and hiking were added to the mix, opening up more newer and richer experiences.

Now 80, Tim is living testament that it’s never too late to start a new activity. To keep his mind active, he plays Sudoku on his iPad.

He has a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

Old man
Since joining hash 20 years ago, Tim Moey, now 80, has been enjoying nature while discovering off-the-beaten-track run sites in and around KL.


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