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More tributes from the community pour in for former president SR Nathan
Mildred Tan, Chair, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre:
"At the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, we are deeply saddened at the demise of our former president, Mr S R Nathan. Mr Nathan has been regarded by many as the "People's President". His life epitomises the spirit of generosity and giving. Mr Nathan is a tireless giver. He started the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund (managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore) in 2011 to help the financially disadvantaged children gain access to education. The President's Challenge was also spearheaded by him to help the less fortunate, and had since raised over $160 million for the past 15 years.
"Mr Nathan's giving legacy continues to inspire many of us here. Our condolences are with his family during this difficult time."
The Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Communications Office:
"His Grace Archbishop William Goh and the faithful of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore are saddened to learn of the passing of former President S. R. Nathan last night.
"Known to come from humble beginnings himself, President Nathan was always known to have a heart for the less privileged in society. He himself started work as a seaman welfare officer and a medical social worker. During his term of office he founded the President's Challenge which consolidated many charity projects and those already under his name and patronage. Since 2000 the President's Challenge has disbursed funds to more than 800 registered beneficiaries.
"The late President Nathan was also a strong proponent of inter-religious harmony. He was the first Patron of Singapore's Inter-religious Organisation (IRO), holding the office since 2012 until the time of his passing. Catholics also fondly remember the presence of both Mr and Mrs Nathan at the Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia in October 2001. The first couple then, also met Pope St John Paul II, in a private visit to the Vatican in 2002.
"For his more than 50 years of service to the country and the people of Singapore, we bid Mr Nathan - rest in peace. We the Catholic Church in Singapore send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to Mrs Nathan, her children and grandchildren."
Catherine Loh, CEO, Community Foundation of Singapore:
"We are saddened by the passing of former president Mr S R Nathan and wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his family. We are deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to work with Mr Nathan through the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund which he set up in 2011 in support of education for financially disadvantaged students in Singapore. Thanks to Mr Nathan and other supporters, the fund has helped close to 1,000 ITE, polytechnic and university students by providing bursaries, scholarships as well as monthly financial assistance.
"In memory of Mr Nathan, the Fund will continue to be administered by the Community Foundation of Singapore with the guidance of the Grant Advisory Committee chaired by Mr Bobby Chin."
Ho Yew Kee, president, The Boys' Brigade in Singapore:
"Mr Nathan was a very supportive Patron of The Boys' Brigade. He made time to attend our volunteer appreciation events to personally meet and thank our volunteers. He also attended many of our community programmes such as our BB CARES and BB Share-a-Gift projects to encourage and support us. He never failed to talk to the participants or have his photo taken with them. He had a personal touch that made us all feel special. We will dearly miss him.
"The Boys' Brigade in Singapore (BB) is honoured to have former President S R Nathan as our Patron from 1999 to 2011. During this period, he was actively involved in the Brigade's activities.
"In 2005, the highest award in The Boys' Brigade, the President's Award, was instituted with the support of Mr Nathan. He presided over the inaugural presentation at the Istana that year.
"Mr Nathan had encouraged BB volunteers by hosting appreciation events such as the Volunteers Reception Party at the Istana in 2010 and the BB Jubilee Reception at the Singapore Recreation Club in 2015."
Thomas Chua, president, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI):
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Singapore's former president, Mr S R Nathan. Our longest serving President, Mr Nathan will always be remembered as being a principled and staunch individual with great compassion for all Singaporeans, regardless of race, language or religion. Although he held the highest office in Singapore and was a symbol of the state, he remained warm and approachable and earned the respect of the elderly, young people, children, and all who came into contact with him. His humility touched the hearts and minds of the entire community.
"During his tenure as President, Mr Nathan developed strong ties with the Chinese business community. We greatly appreciated his presence as Guest of Honour at our Lunar New Year gathering in 2009. The world was then reeling from the global financial crisis. Mr Nathan reassured us in his speech that Singapore was well-poised to take on the challenges of the economic downturn. Moreover, he commended the SCCCI's leading role in rallying the business community to respond to national challenges. He believed that this partnership with the government was even more critical during unusually difficult times.
"During our centennial celebrations in 2006, Mr Nathan also graced us with his presence at the Orchid Naming Ceremony, this being one of the key functions of our 100th Anniversary.
He will be sadly missed by all at the SCCCI."