Undated photograph of Mr Lloyd Tan
Mr. Lloyd Tan Pao Chan was born in Malacca on the 8th of May, 1935. He came from a simple and poor Peranakan family. His father, Mr. Tan Tiam Hock, worked as a clerk while his mother, Mdm. Wee Yek Neo, was a housewife. He had only a sibling, Mr. Tan Choon Swee, who was a year younger.Mr. Lloyd Tan started schooling only at the age of ten, at the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca, in 1945. Due to the Japanese occupation in Malaya (1941-45), his early education was interrupted. He completed his study at the ACS in 1953.
Despite it all, he was still human, just like the rest of us, and numerous times, he succumbed to depression.
|Mr. Chee Hood
Chiang”Lloyd had an ‘always-smiling face’ ever since he was a little kid. Lloyd was a jovial and talkative person all along. We had fun visiting each other’s home, as we were living as neighbours at the Tranquerah Road, Malacca,” said Mr. Chee Hood Chiang, a 70-year-old retired clerk and also a maternal cousin of Mr. Lloyd Tan.
|Mr. Mow Ah Kwee
Mr. Mow Ah Kwee, a 71-year-old retired remisier, said, “I had known Lloyd since I was 13. We were classmates from Standard Five to Nine.””Lloyd was the student who had the most beautiful and stylish handwriting (both the ordinary and cursive) in the class. He was also the handsome boy who was well known to have the neatest and well-combed hair.”
Mr. Chang Kai Wah
Mr. Chang Kai Wah, another former classmate of Mr. Lloyd Tan, played an instrumental role in nurturing the latter’s interest in Art. “As there was no proper Art teaching in my school, I took the initiative in setting up an Art Club. Lloyd joined this club right from the start. He had special skills in writing manuscript and designing. Even when he was in school, I could already see that he had great potential in Art. I am not surprised that he eventually became an Art teacher,” said Mr. Chang, a 73-year-old retired businessman.
Mr. Tan Jin Lee
Mr. Tan Jin Lee, another maternal cousin of Mr. Lloyd Tan, described the latter as an ordinary teenager but with a “pleasant predisposition”. When Lloyd was still studying in the secondary school, he moved to the Chan Teck Chye Avenue, where I lived with my mother. He visited my home quite often. He was an obedient young man who had great respect for the elderly people, especially his parents and my mother. Lloyd was never known to be a grumpy or moody person,” said Mr. Tan Jin Lee, a 72-year-old retired engineer.”There was nothing really remarkable in Lloyd’s early life. Being brought up in a simple and poor family, his childhood and teenage life was not different from others. He just did not have the opportunity to reach out to the community until he became a young teacher at the ACS, Malacca,” commented Mr. Tan Jin Lee.Mr. Tan Jin Lee concluded, “Despite this, looking back, the Lloyd Tan whom I knew as a teenager was actually the same person whom I knew in the last parts of his life. The selflessness in him was ‘inborn’. He already had the ‘energy’ in him since young.
“The ‘transformation’ took place when Mr. Lloyd Tan was teaching at the ACS, Malacca (1956-1962), when he came to know Mr. Chua Cheng Chye, a senior teacher and scoutmaster,” said Mr. Khoo Heng Peng, a former ACS student of Mr. Lloyd Tan.”Mr. Chua was the mentor for Mr. Lloyd Tan. Being a very dedicated, popular and loving teacher, he inspired Mr. Lloyd Tan to follow his footsteps, and reach out to the students. It was Mr. Chua who ignited the fire in Mr. Lloyd Tan,” added Mr. Khoo, a 66-year-old architect.That was true enough. From the early years at the ACS, and till the very end, Mr. Lloyd Tan entered an “accelerated” phase of his life.
3rd December 1947 – Standard Three, the Anglo-Chinese School, Malacca
Mr. Lloyd Tan (back row; fifth from left), 12-year-old, with classmates and teacher