Affable man with personal touch

Together with all Singaporeans, I am deeply saddened by the death of our former president S R Nathan ("S'poreans pay tribute to S R Nathan"; yesterday).

Years ago, after I completed my post-secondary education, I enrolled in a Malay language course conducted by the Adult Education Board.

I vividly remember Mr Nathan among my class of 12 students.

He was an affable character, full of wit and humour.

In later years, I was shocked that Mr Nathan could still remember me. Once, as he boarded the aircraft for an overseas trip, he extended his hand and greeted me by my name. I was then the Singapore Airlines duty manager at the old Paya Lebar Airport.

Mr Nathan truly personified the adage, "Not pride of knowledge, but humility of wisdom".

Joseph Hooi Liang Kee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'Affable man with personal touch'. Subscribe