When the late Dr NK Yong walked into a room, it lit up. His quiet warmth and stately presence, felt. It was our honour at St. Andrew’s Autism Centre (SAAC) to have made his acquaintance, and our privilege to have been deeply touched by his giving.
We remember how gentle and generous, attuned and astute he was. We remember how he was moved by the autism cause and listened keenly to the needs of families we serve. Together with his wife, Mrs Melina Yong and friends, a charity wine gala dinner and wine tasting sessions was organised in 2017, to celebrate Dr Yong’s 90th birthday and raise funds for SAAC. The dinner, Celebration 90, raised $1.25 million for the new residential service which SAAC began operating in 2019.
Dr Yong is remembered for his significant contributions to the field of medicine in Singapore. A pioneer, he performed the first open-heart surgery in Singapore in 1965. He was also a well-respected wine collector by passion, and connoisseur. Friends with top international wine growers, he organised more than 10 wine auctions to raise funds for charity, and had been writing a column for The Business Times since 1988. In 2004, he received the title of Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite from the President of France for his achievements in promoting French wines. Dr Yong is remembered as a legend.
To us at SAAC, words are inadequate to express the depth of gratitude we have for Dr Yong, an inspiration and a friend who made time to pause and rally support for the work that we do in the autism community. We pay tribute to you for the indelible imprint you made with your giving. Thank you