In Memoriam – Dame (Dr.) Rita Yeoh (October 1923 – June 2022)


In Memoriam – Dame (Dr.) Rita Yeoh (October 1923 – June 2022)

“Don’t worry, I can get at least $50,000” – this was Dame Rita Yeoh’s usual answer to getting the requisite funds for the Order of Malta’s major charitable projects in Singapore. She had the gumption to approach her affluent contacts and tell them precisely how much they were to donate – taking no excuses for anything less. When it came to supporting the poor and needy, she didn’t let a little thing like embarrassment stop her from getting our beneficiaries the help they needed.

When her confreres in the Order shared that it was sometimes awkward to approach friends and family for donations, Rita would remind us that we should not feel embarrassed since we were not asking for ourselves but for the poor.

Rita was our champion fundraiser – resolute and determined in her task. She did not care what others thought. Her compassion for the poor and disadvantaged compelled her to serve them any way she could.

Another endearing quality that distinguished Rita was her steadfast love for God and Mother Mary. She placed God in the center of her life and placed her trust in Him. The Eucharist nourished and sustained her daily. She was faithful in praying and leading the rosary at her parish every day until her failing health made it difficult to continue.

Despite the challenges of old age, Dame Rita Yeoh would be one of the first persons to register for the Order of Malta’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes. She was unafraid to share her views and preferences, often selecting who she wanted to assist her with her wheelchair during the pilgrimage. She had the Christian refinement to be boldly honest without giving way to discourtesy.

Rita’s dedication and love for the Order of Malta was evident in her contribution and participation in the Order’s works. Her commitment and fidelity were exemplary. Despite her many years, she made a concerted effort to join every activity. This was the norm until her early nineties when she became more frail.

Rita Yeoh lived her vocation as a member of the Order of Malta fully. She was a feisty, courageous dame with a heart of gold for the poor.

She will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.

– written by Dame Rose Lu, President, Order of Malta, Singapore

(Photo: Dame Rita Yeoh in audience with Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the 900th Anniversary of the Order of Malta.)

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Singapore Association

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