Paying Tribute To An ‘Angel’ (Part 1)

by Patrick Liew on October 5, 2011

I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to one of the many ‘angels’ in my life.

His name is Albert Lee.

I first came to know Albert Lee at the age of 15 when he gave a talk to some of the students near my alma mater. After the GCE ‘O’ Level examination, I became an active volunteer for the youth organization that he was involved in.

At 17, like most young adults, I was faced with many growing up issues.

While going through the transition between my teenage years and adulthood, I had to struggle to love my self-identity and be at peace with myself.

There were also many questions floating through my mind, the answers of which could shape and mould my future and destiny.

For example, what career should I embark on and how do I make a success out of it?

There were other bigger and more philosophical issues such as, ‘How would our Creator want me to live so that I will make my life really count?’

As my parents were largely uneducated, they were not in the best position to guide me. My brothers were not that much older than me and therefore, I could not depend on their guidance.

My teachers were focused on helping me to do well in my studies and pass the examinations. It was hard for me to relate to them on a personal level.

I did not have many adult friends to turn to as I was mainly mixing around with people of my generation.

As I reflected on this period of my life, I realized our Creator had arranged many ‘angels’ to walk beside me during this part of my journey in life.

Albert was one of them.

We went for long walks countless number of times. I would share with him about my challenges and we would talk over various issues in life.

He would write regularly to a group of young people like me. It somehow inspired me to develop a lifelong passion for writing to others so as to motivate and encourage them.

Albert was a very generous man. He gave his time, energy and even money to help many young people like me.

He was my hero and subconsciously, I would try to speak and write like him. I aspire to be an inspirational leader like him.

We served in the same youth organization and ran one of its regional offices, a terrace house in the Serangoon area.

I helped him to lead and manage a full-time secretariat and a growing team of volunteers.

We were helping students to transform their lives physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

Without realizing it, Albert was going through some personal challenges during this period of time.

However, he did not share his burden with us because he did not want to be a liability to us and to discourage us.

Albert gave me lots of opportunity to learn how to lead and manage an organization. He must have put up with loads of my errors and failures.

There was a group of us who practically camped at the office together with Albert and the other leaders.

Their mentorship moulded me during my formative years. It helped to shape my character and lifestyle.

If I have any positive values, strengths and contributions, I have to thank people like Albert for mentoring and coaching me.

His exemplary conduct, training and guidance have inspired me to be a servant-leader and to give back to society.

On August 17, 2011, I attended Albert Lee’s 60th birthday celebration at the Keppel Club. I almost cried thanking him that night for all that he has done for me.

He passed me a letter that night to thank me for my friendship, but my contribution paled in comparison to what he did for me.

Albert, thank you. I will be eternally grateful to you.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we thank the ‘angels’ in our lives?




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