Singapore

Couple leave $6 million to NKF, SPCA and hospice

Two Britons met in South Africa during World War II, got married, then eventually decided to make Singapore their home. Now, the late Mr Gerry Essery and Mrs Jo Essery are giving back to their adopted home, with a $6 million legacy donation.

The sum will be divided equally between the Assisi Hospice, National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The donation was announced at the NKF Building in Kim Keat Road yesterday.

The Britons became Singapore citizens in the 1970s, said Dr Tan Hwa Luck, a close friend of the couple.

Mr Essery was an accountant, and Mrs Essery, a housewife who was fluent in Malay and actively involved in causes.

They had no children. Mrs Essery was 89 when she died in 2013, and Mr Essery was 92 when he died in 2015.

Dr Tan is the executor of the couple's estate.

The semi-retired veterinarian said: "They earned their fortune from the society, so they believed that they should give back to the society."

A third of this legacy will go to NKF to build a new dialysis centre in Marsiling.

With one new case of kidney failure every five hours, NKF chairman Koh Poh Tiong said the legacy gift was a timely and much-needed one. He said: "We are touched and grateful to Jo and Gerry for their generosity, love and benevolence." - THE STRAITS TIMES

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