April 3, 2005 (Straits Times)
By Sharlene Tan
MR LIM Chye Joo, Pulau Ubin headman and probably the island's oldest resident, celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday at his home, surrounded by family and friends.
Special guest at the party was Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, Speaker of Parliament and an MP for East Coast GRC, who first met Mr Lim about 10 years ago.
Mr Lim, who is wheelchair-bound, looked happy as more than 50 family members and guests sang Happy Birthday and helped him blow out the 10 candles perched on a frosted pink cake.
He has been living on Pulau Ubin since he arrived from China nearly 70 years ago and has eight children.
His granddaughter, Ms Lim Mui Hoon, 25, told The Sunday Times: 'He's very happy. He's been looking forward to this event for quite a while.'
Mr Abdullah, who attended the lunch party with his wife and some grassroots leaders, said: 'He's a very warm man and well-respected. He's always been supportive of grassroots activities and it's not every day that one reaches such an age.'
Mr Lim was the former chairman of the management committee of the Pulau Ubin community centre, which closed in 2003.
He used to rear pigs and chickens on a plot of land near his house and also ran a provision shop on the island.
His fourth son, 64-year-old Lim See Hai, told The Sunday Times his father had always been active in the community.
'He likes to help out and neighbours would always come to him with their problems, whether big or small.'
Despite his advanced age, he said his father is in good health, although he is weak and has difficulty speaking.
The elder Mr Lim, whose own parents also lived long lives, is looked after by two of his sons, their wives and a maid. Other family members visit on the weekends.
Ms Lim spent her childhood on the island, moving to the mainland at the age of 18.
She returns to the island every Sunday. 'I feel more relaxed when I'm here. Maybe that's why my grandfather can live such a long life,' she said.
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