Late National Serviceman Gavin Chan honoured for volunteerism

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
Desmond Chan, 50, and Lim Teck Kheng, 51, parents of the late 3SG Gavin Chan who died in a military training accident last September. (Video screencap)

Some 130 guests observed a solemn minute of silence in honour of the late Third Sergeant (3SG) Gavin Chan at the annual YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Awards Night on Friday (26 January).

The late full-time national serviceman, an active volunteer with the YMCA from 2011 to 2014, had previously been presented with a Special Mention Award for his efforts at the YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteer Awards Night in 2014.

The minute of silence, held at the YMCA of Singapore’s headquarters’ Lee Kong Chian auditorium during the award ceremony, was accompanied by a snippet of “Amazing Grace” performed by the Pipes and Drums of The Boy’s Brigade.

It was preceded by a photo montage of Chan’s achievements as a YMCA volunteer.

Paying homage to Chan in her speech, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC Joan Pereira said: “We honour the memory of the late Gavin Chan, as a leader and role model who has devoted his talent, time and own personal resources to benefit the community around him.”

His parents Desmond Chan, 50, an airline cargo manager, and Lim Teck Kheng, 51, a customer service officer and three younger siblings, aged 20, 16 and 10, were present at the ceremony.

“After attending the event, I’m so touched that he contributed to the society so much, even I myself cannot do that,” said Desmond Chan. “He liked to take care of others and (social work) was his passion.”

On 15 September last year, Chan was participating in Exercise Wallaby at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia, when a Bionix infantry fighting vehicle he was guiding out of difficult terrain landed on its side.

The driver and two other passengers travelling in the vehicle were unhurt. Chan, however, was left unconscious by the accident.

The 21-year-old later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on the same day at Rockhampton Hospital. Eight days later, he was given a military funeral and cremated at Mandai Crematorium.

The YMCA-Lim Kim San Volunteers programme was started in 2007 to groom volunteers and promote corporate volunteerism. This year, over 80 individuals, corporations and institutions were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the YMCA through their voluntary services.

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