Founding principal of National Junior College dies aged 81

Mr Lim Kim Woon principal of the National Junior College. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Mr Lim Kim Woon principal of the National Junior College. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Wake of the late Mr Lim Kim Woon. The founding principal of Singapore's first junior college, who once counted future Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong among his pupils, passed away from poor health on Saturday evening at the age of 81. -- ST PHOTO
Wake of the late Mr Lim Kim Woon. The founding principal of Singapore's first junior college, who once counted future Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong among his pupils, passed away from poor health on Saturday evening at the age of 81. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The founding principal of Singapore's first junior college, who once counted future Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong among his pupils, passed away from poor health on Saturday evening at the age of 81.

Lim Kim Woon suffered a stroke in 2010 and was hospitalised with a chest infection two months ago. His condition had worsened in the last two weeks, his 42-year-old son Dr Lim Toon Wei told The Straits Times at his wake on Sunday.

Over the past two months, close to 100 former students visited him at the National University Hospital (NUH), said Dr Lim, a senior cardiologist at the same hospital.

Mr Lim, who founded National Junior College and was its principal between 1969 and 1976, oversaw students such as PM Lee, his wife Ho Ching, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and former Vicom chief executive Heng Chye Kiou.

A recipient of the prestigious Colombo Plan and Fulbright scholarships, he also helped develop the mathematics curriculum here.

Mr Lee most recently paid tribute to Mr Lim in a speech at NJC's 45th anniversary dinner earlier last month, which Mr Lim did not attend due to poor health.

Calling him a "human dynamo" and "consummate teacher", Mr Lee said: "He was always spending time with students - playing sports, hanging out in the canteen, debating with students, arguing, influencing, motivating, being a role model."

Mr Lim is survived by his spouse Mdm Fong Chen Phin, 78, his three children, Yee Wei, 46, Wei Ling, 44, and Toon Wei, 42, as well as four grandsons.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects can attend a service at St Andrew's Cathedral this Wednesday at 3pm.