On 5th August 2021, I received a group chat message on the passing of our former Gan Eng Seng School (GESS) Dragon Scout Group (DSG) scoutmaster/teacher-in-charge, Mr Richard Teo, affectionately known as MRT among us. Memories and tributes started pouring in, remembering what he had done, the impacts, his teaching, his leadership style and legacy that he had left behind.
My love for the great outdoors, trekking, camping, going into nature and green spaces, all that came from my scouting days in Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group. The life skills, scouting skills, survival skills, leadership, training and camaraderie were the foundations that shaped my adulthood. The rich history, heritage and culture of Dragon Scout Group was also instrumental in my history, heritage and culture documentation that I had been working for the past decade.
History and PE teacher in Gan Eng Seng School
He was my history subject and PE teacher when I was in Secondary One. His teaching style made history fun and interesting, we had laughter, it was never boring and we will never fail his subject. Along with PE subject, we always look forward to it because we can play football! Who can forget his iconic dressing at that time?
Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group
He will be best remembered here, this is the legacy that he left behind for us. We will never forget his cool cowboy style with his sunglasses coupled with Bruce Lee hairstyle. He doesn’t directly train or interfere unless absolutely necessary, his trust in the scout leaders to lead, train and run the DSG unit. The leaders in turn, continue to train the next batch of leaders, continuing a lineage of leaders to return, taking over the helm, passing on this legacy to the next group of leaders.
We were blessed with many leaders who trained us, passing down their scouting knowledge, skills and many life skills that shaped us in future journeys and professional working life till today. Beyond scouting knowledge and skills, we had a close Dragon Scouting brotherhood and bonding that made us unique and special among our peers.
October 2014- A small Dragon Chapter gathering in Singapore with Mr Richard Teo
A small Dragon Chapter gathering with Mr Richard Teo who was visiting Singapore from Perth, this gathering was organised by Rose. I was the most junior present among my Dragon Scout/Dragon Chapter seniors, they are the ones who taught me my scouting and life skills when I started scouting in Dragon Scout Group.
Mr Richard Teo probably don’t know me that well as compared to my seniors whom he trusted them to lead and train the Dragon Scout Group, that produced a legacy lineage of leaders who took over the helm that continued training and passing down scouting skills and knowledge to younger scouts like myself and beyond.
I remembered telling Mr Richard Teo that I was one of his last batch of Dragon Scouts before another teacher-in-charge took over. We all had a great chat and catch up, listening to Dragon Scouting stories from his time to mine. All these are now priceless memories accompanied by some photographs that I took during the gathering, something that I was glad that I did manage to capture it down on my camera.
Legacy- Pay-It-Forward and Pass-It-On
He’s more than just a legend, his leadership, trust in leaders and training can be seen passed down from the seniors to juniors like myself. As I moved into adulthood and working life, I continued to Pay-It-Forward and Pass-It-On, just like my seniors before me, in whatever possible ways and whenever I was able to do so, giving back at my alma mater, Dragon Scout Group.
Some of my Dragon Chapter journeys helping out in the Dragon Scout Group family can be viewed inside this Flickr collection. It’s a small part on mine, I hope that my small contributions to Dragon Scout Group over the years helped in some ways or another.
A scout has gone home, he will always be remembered by the Dragon Scout Group and Dragon Chapter family. His legacy lives on forever in our Dragon Scout Group and Dragon Chapter family.
Just like this DSG 90th Anniversary Dinner photo of us lighting up the DSG badge together as one family, the scouting light shines brightly and guiding us, just like his legacy, the leadership, training and mentoring that Mr Richard Teo left behind for the Dragon Scout Group and Dragon Chapter family.
Let’s continue to Pay-It-Forward, Pass-It-On, his legacy, Onward Dragon Scouts!