Chronology of events in Mr. Lloyd Tan’s teaching career
1954 – enrolled in the Malayan Teachers’ College (MTC) at Kota Bahru, Kelantan.
1956 – started teaching at the ACS in Malacca.
1962 – underwent further training in teaching at the Malayan Teachers’ College at Kirkby, Liverpool, England.
1963 – taught Arts and English at the Continuation School at Tanah Merah, Kelantan.
1966 – taught at the Klang High School, Selangor.
1976 – appointed to be an art lecturer at the Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute at Cheras, Selangor.
1981 – worked at the Curriculum Unit, Teachers’ Training Section in the Ministry of Education.
1990 – officially retired.
1954-1956 Malayan Teachers’ College, Kota Bahru, Kelantan
In 1954, Mr. Lloyd Tan enrolled in the Malayan Teachers’ College (MTC) at Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Mr. Mow Ah Kwee, a former classmate of Mr. Lloyd Tan who underwent the teacher’s training together with the latter at the MTC, recalled, “Lloyd was a disciplined man. He probably tried his best to learn to become a good teacher. After dinner, he usually went back straight to his hostel to complete his daily assignment. He did not have time for anything else. He was really focused in his mission – to become a good teacher.”
1956-1962 Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca
Upon completing their teacher’s training at the MTC, Mr. Lloyd Tan and Mr. Mow started teaching at the ACS in the same year (1956).
“Lloyd was a dedicated Art teacher who had passion in imparting his knowledge on his students. This was the best of Lloyd that I remember till today,” said Mr. Mow.
Mr. Andrew Goh Tyau Soon, 63 years old lawyer, recalled, “Mr. Lloyd Tan changed my life by sparing me the humiliation and the cane. I was a hopelessly mischievous boy in school and the teachers were having a meeting to discuss on an appropriate punishment to discipline me. Subsequently, I learnt from other teachers that Mr. Lloyd Tan had stood up for me and objected to me being caned in the public. As a result of Mr. Lloyd Tan’s great gesture of standing up for me, I decided there and then that I should change and stop agitating the teachers.”
30th December 2007 – Re-visiting the great teacher
Mr. Andrew Goh standing outside his former teacher’s second home at 2507-C, Chan Teck Chye Avenue, Malacca, which he visited as a teenager about 50 years ago
Just like the other students, I frequently visited Mr. Lloyd Tan’s home at Chan Teck Chye Avenue in the evenings. He had extended an open invitation for us to visit him at home any time. We became familiar with Mr. Lloyd Tan’s parents and brother, and even his neighbours. Mr. Lloyd Tan was always deeply involved in his students’s life, as he always tried to reach out to them,” added Mr. Andrew Goh.
1962-1963 Malayan Teachers’ College, Kirkby, Liverpool, England
Mr. Lloyd Tan progressed very rapidly in his teaching profession. In 1962, he was offered further training in teaching at the Malayan Teachers’ College at Kirkby, Liverpool, England.
1963-1965 Continuation School, Tanah Merah, Kelantan
When Mr. Lloyd Tan returned from overseas in 1963, he taught Art and English at the Continuation School at Tanah Merah, Kelantan. One of his former students in this school was Mr. Ehchot Chachan, a 61-year-old retired headmaster.
Mr. Ehchot Chachan
“In those days, life was hard for almost all his students as they came from poor families. And Mr. Lloyd Tan, being a giving person, had helped many students by providing them clothing, money and books. He even invited his students to have dinner at his home. I can still remember that I and many other students enjoying the hospitability of Mr. Lloyd Tan and his wife when we visited their home,” commented Mr. Chachan.
Recalled Mr. Chachan, “what was most striking about Mr. Lloyd Tan was his unique personality – he was always loving, dedicated and friendly. His ‘always-smiling’ face, which was his trademark, made it easy for all his students to approach him.”
1966-1976 The Klang High School, Selangor
In 1966, Mr. Lloyd Tan taught at the Klang High School, Selangor. Due to his special interest in Art, he became the Adviser for the Art and Craft Society in 1968.
Mr. Phuan Tin Chin
Mr. Phuan Tin Chin, a 50-year-old Human Resource Developer and former student of Mr. Lloyd Tan, said, “I joined the Art and Craft
Society partly because of his good reputation, as a nice and dedicated art teacher. He had an unorthodox approach in teaching Art – he used the ‘carrot rather than the stick’.”
“His favourite (but last-option) method of punishment was pinching the students’ buttock. He did not want to humiliate the students by leaving easily recognizable marks on their exposed body parts (face, hands or legs). In other words, he had respect for the students whom he punished,” commented Mr. Phuan.
Mr. R. Vijayasingham, a 71-year-old former teacher of the Klang High School and colleague of Mr. Lloyd Tan, remembered him as a pleasant person who could get along well with all students and teachers.
“Lloyd was an extraordinary and dedicated teacher – he went all out to help his students. Even when he was not the ‘Duty Master’ on school roster, he took the initiative to send sick students to the hospital. He even visited several students at their home when their parents passed away,” said Mr. Vijayasingham.
1976-1980 Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute, Cheras, Selangor
In 1976, Mr. Lloyd Tan was appointed to be an art lecturer at the Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute (STTI) at Cheras, Selangor. The STTI was responsible for training qualified teachers in various subspecialties. At this juncture, he had four close friends and colleagues, Mr. Lim Kok Seng, Mr. Yang Siow Ming, Mr. M. Nadarajah and Mr. Simon Teh.
Front row (from left); Mr. Lim Kok Seng, Mr. M. Nadarajah.
Back row (from left); Mr. Simon Teh, Mr. Yang Siow Ming.
“Lloyd was a person who ‘walked the talk’ and morally upright,” said Mr. Lim, 61.
Recalled Mr. Simon Teh, “despite his physical disability, he remained mentally strong and retained his good sense of humour. Once, Lloyd was queuing up in bank when he suddenly got ‘frozen’. When a person who was standing right behind him asked why he was not moving forward, Lloyd replied – I am jammed.”
“Lloyd was well known for his strong moral values. Once, a cousin of mine applied for a place at the teachers training college. As she was related to me, I thought Lloyd would do a ‘favour’ for me (by accepting my cousin’s application). Despite our friendship, Lloyd held on to his principles – he rejected my cousin’s application on the grounds that she was not qualified for the post,” added Mr. Nadarajah.
“Lloyd would never compromise on moral values. Once, Lloyd was involved in an interview for potential candidates who wished to join the STTI. During the interview, he deliberately left a piece of crumpled paper on the floor, right beneath the table. When none of the interviewees bothered to pick up the paper from the floor, Lloyd told me that he was disappointed with their attitude,” said Mr. Yang.
1981-1990 Curriculum Unit, Teachers’ Training Section, Ministry of Education, Selangor.
Subsequently, in 1981, Mr. Lloyd Tan was promoted to work at the Curriculum Unit, Teachers’ Training Section in the Ministry of Education.
Mdm. Hajah Kalthum Mohamed, a 67-year-old former teacher, was the Head of the Curriculum Unit of the Teachers Training Section from 1987 to 1989.
She said, “Lloyd was an honest and sincere person who treasured and valued the friendship that he shared with his colleagues. Whenever he befriended anyone, he did not do it for personal gains.”
“Lloyd was a straightforward person without any air. He had always been able to establish a good working relationship with all his colleagues,” she added.
Ms. Gan Chui Peng, a former colleague of Mr. Lloyd Tan at the Ministry of Education, said, “Lloyd was a real gentleman – he was always a neat and well-dressed person. I remember that his hair was always well-combed.”
Mr. Lloyd Tan carried out his duty at the Ministry of Education till he finally retired in 1990.