Spreading the Spirit of Mutual Help
Putting and doing business
Set up, aim and swing. The little white ball rolls down the green. Mr Goh Soon Poh, the Deputy Head of Property of Tung Ann District Guild practices his strokes weekly.
‘Putting is a way to test my judgement, to challenge myself, yet, I can improve my practice without competing with others.’ Mr Goh explains his love for golf.
The game enables him to meet like-minded friends on the range. It also helps to strengthen his determination to stride out in business. ‘If the ball happens to have a bad landing, you would have to ask yourself how to get out of it. The philosophy is the same when it comes to doing business’, said Mr Goh.
Mr Goh deals with import and export of food products, industrial materials and animal feeds, with markets sprawling Asia, Australia and Europe.
Remember the hand that feeds
After the second Sino-Japan war, i.e., the Battle of Lugou Bridge broke out in 1937, Mr Goh’s dad left China for Singapore as he had known well that his family back home could no longer provide for him. At the age of 20, the senior Goh Chye Huat (Wu Caifa) arrived in Singapore alone. he got a job from a distant relative Mr Huang Yudai who also looked after his various aspects in life. Later, the senior Goh got married and started his family. Among his 7 children, the junior Goh is the youngest.
It was with assistance from Mr Huang that the senior Goh was able to live a relatively stable life. When Mr Huang finally decided to return to his homeland in China, he reminded his two sons Fuhua and Zhonghua to continue to take care of Senior Goh and others from their homeland. Mr Goh’s decided to join Tung Ann District Guild had to do with his strong belief in mutual help among clansmen.
It was not all smooth and no doubt for Mr Goh after he joined Tung Ann District Guild as a member. Mr Goh became the Guild’s member through his business partner Mr Tan Tiong Hoo, the Guild’s Deputy Secretary. In 2007, two years after Mr Goh being elected into the council, he refused to submit the council member nomination form, not until the very last minute.
‘I felt there was a lack of a common goal among council members. It was hard to get things done, so I thought of not participating in the council election.’ It had been after much persuasion that Mr Goh finally decided to stay. ‘The Guild has a solid foundation in terms of its hardware and finances. It would be a waste if it is not put into good use. Moreover, my initial goal of propagating mutual help in the Guild would not be realised.’ said Mr Goh.
Pass on the mutual-help spirit
Mr Goh hopes to start a golf team comprising young members from the Guild. He hopes that youngsters would learn the traditional values from their seniors when they participate in such activities. With young people spreading their wings to the various corners of the world in the name of globalization, Mr Goh hopes the spirit of mutual help among clansmen can take root in various places.
Note :Mr Goh has penned his views on the Guild’s future functions after his interview with the website administrator.