Mrs Toh Kah Beng
Singapore: Ethos Books, 2014
Mrs Toh Kah Beng -- a teacher's name which brought both fear and respect into the hearts of generations of students from one of Singapore's top schools.
Growing up in the early years of post‐war Singapore, Mrs Toh experienced hardship and poverty, but also learnt discipline and perseverance, which she brought to the classroom when she became a teacher; she sought to imbibe in her students at that stage of their young lives.
Tapestries is a collection of reflections by Mrs Toh on her life, her principles, her (at times) harsh actions and outlook on dealing with life and young lives in a country coping with the throes of change. Whether in the area of politics, public service, medicine, engineering, real estate or others; students from the schools where she taught never forgot the stern discipline or quiet compassion which she demonstrated as a teacher.
Many are now top political leaders, policy makers, leading professionals and leaders in their industries. Arguably, the lessons they learnt from those years have been formative in shaping their own careers and attitudes to a life of service.