We have lost part of us: Team S'pore

We have lost part of us: Team S'pore
(From left to right) The synchronised swimmers from Team Singapore Shona Lim, 20, Natalie Chan, 18, Gwyneth Goh, 16, and Lee Mei Shuang, 19, paying tribute to victims of the Sabah earthquake at the Tribute Corner erected at Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS).

They brought our children home.

Instead of celebrating their two golds at the SEA Games, synchronised swimmers from Team Singapore paid tribute to the pupils and teacher who died at Mount Kinabalu.

One of the swimmers, Lee Mei Shuang, said the team felt sad that the pupils had lost their lives at such a young age.

The 19-year-old said: "We felt it was only right for us to come down and pay our last respects.

"We have lost our fellow Singaporeans and we felt as though we have lost part of us."

Also present at the Tribute Corner at Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) was Mrs Skipp Hung Yee, 69, Emilie Giovanna Ramu's ballet teacher.

Emilie was one of the six pupils who died.

Mrs Skipp was devastated when she heard about her death.

She had taught Emilie ballet for three years at the Jenna Elisabeth Dance Academy and described her as the "life and soul" of the class.

She also said the time spent with Emilie were some of her happiest.

"We went to concerts together, sang together and danced together," Mrs Skipp said.

"She brought joy to all of us and even though we are unsure of how we are going to cope with her loss, we will be strong for her."

Emilie had been training for a dance production and was slated to perform this Saturday.

Mrs Skipp said: "Even though Emilie will not be able to perform with us, I am sure she will be there in spirit."

Parents and pupils who knew the teachers on the expedition, Mr Terrence Sebastian Loo Jian Liang and Mr Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed, who is missing, were also at TKPS.

Mrs Clover Choo, 34, a housewife, said Mr Ghazi, whom she described as friendly and helpful, had been teaching in the school for many years and had gone to Mount Kinabalu several times.

She hoped he is still alive.

She said: "I look forward to seeing him again."

Nicest

Georgia Jackson, a Primary 5 pupil at TKPS, said Mr Loo was one of the nicest teachers who made English lessons interesting.

He would guide the weaker students and made sure they excelled.

She also remembered how Mr Loo often taught them values to live by, telling them to respect one another and constantly encouraged them to persevere and study hard.

Georgia said she felt sad that he will no longer be teaching her.

"I wish he was here. He was the force that kept all of us motivated.

"But we will continue to work hard so that he will be proud of us," she said.


This article was first published on June 9, 2015.
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