Pragmatic and always, always active, Tam has a strong
capacity for getting things done, as demonstrated throughout his 27 years of Lions
service. From his teenage years onward, Tam shouldered numerous responsibilities
in the support of his family. Rather than cutting his school life short, he simply
made room to live five lives instead of one.
In a typical day, Tam would work as a restaurant waiter
in the morning, attend school in the afternoon, coach the school's basketball team
during breaks, take on extracurricular tuition in the evening and give juniors private
lessons to earn extra cash before going to bed. No fuss was made. Tam, barely 15
and blessed with an innate, boundless reserve of energy, simply volunteered to do
what came naturally to him.
Work hard, and anything is possible!
This natural work rigor and anything-is-possible ethic
would carry Tam through a multitude of life's challenges, from his first working
day lifting and moving 200 boxes of cargo as a part time freight sales agent, and
having the idea to make sales calls to a few small companies in Palo Alto, to his
steady rise from a sole business proprietor to a multi-national veteran adviser
in the aviation, tourism, and transport industries, through to his lifelong devotion
to service for a better world as a fully-committed Lion.
"You must do better!"
Tam's father, a successful trader in
China, had always wanted him to go far. "Explore the world! I have traveled two
China , you must do better!" The loving son didn't let his old man down. At twenty,
Tam took on his boss' offer to train in the
U.S.A. With his typical larger-than-life, can-do spirit, the self-confessed workhorse
galloped through his newly adopted home studying and working three jobs on the go.
He won contracts, made money, earned respect, but none compared in value to the
friendships he gained. b>"Americataught me the value of friendship. We may be from
different parts of the world; if we are friends, nothing can stop what we can change
or make happen."
Friendship and love
Friendships brought Tam to the Lions Clubs in 1981. That
same year he married his beloved wife, Irene. It was a life-changing year, not only
because he was invited to join the Lions, but because through the Club he found
life's new purpose. On one occasion, he accompanied a 93 year-old Lion to donate
gifts to the elderly. "What we gave away, a few grains of rice here, a trinket or
two there, meant so much to them," recalls Tam. "I discovered that even as I give,
I receive so much more back. This truth was no longer just a cliché, it was utterly
Since joining the Lions Club of Mount Cameron in 1981,
Tam has held every post and served every committee from the Club level to the District
level. He served on the international board for an unprecedented 9 years, including 2 years as International Director and held the position of Presidential Board Appointee
7 past International Presidents.
Wherever he travels in the world, from
America , through his devotion and commitment to deliver, Tam builds friendship,
trust and respect. This in turn enables him to realize large-scale, complex projects,
SightFirst China Action, the joint Chinese
Central government-Lions Clubs initiative, which has restored sight to over 5.2
million people across
China . As
China moves from a recipient of charity to being a donor of international aid, Tam's
leadership role becomes even more invaluable.
Some of the accolades bestowed upon Tam in recognition of his achievements:
Bronze Bauhinia Star by the
Hong Kong SAR Government (BBS), 2003
Non-official Justice of the Peace, 1994
Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award,
Hong Kong , 1988
Honorary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent
Order of the
British Empire (MBE), 1997
Her Majesty The Queen's Badge of Honor, 1992
Honorary Citizen of the State of
U.S.A. , 1999
Honorary Citizen of the City of
U.S.A. , 1993
Honorary Consul of the
Kenya in Hong Kong SAR and
Macau SAR, 2003
Commissioner for the
Kenya Tourist Board -
Far East Regional Office, 2004
The First Annual Model of Overseas Young Entrepreneur
Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award by