SINGAPORE - As founder of Xinmin Secondary School, Mr Yap Fun Fong is a figure many would want to hail tonight at the school's fund-raising cum appreciation dinner.
It would be an opportunity for present and past members of the school, together with the guest of honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to celebrate Mr Yap's 100th birthday.
But ill health has put paid to the idea.
Still, to keep the promise made to Mr Yap three years ago, school principal Ong Hong Peng and four alumni visited him at his home in Fuzhou city in June to toast the centenarian on his longevity.
"We celebrated at a restaurant and presented him with a painting by a former student and a video recording of birthday greetings from the school's staff," said Mrs Ong, Xinmin's 10th principal after Mr Yap.
"He was still well and lucid and was happy with our presence there," she added.
Tonight, Mr Yap's presence will be felt when a video is shown on how he started the school.
He did so with money from the sale of five pigs in his farm in Serangoon.