National hockey player, son of late TNP news editor graduates as doc
When it comes to his fondest memory of his late father Santokh Singh, a former journalist at The Straits Times and news editor at The New Paper, Dr Ishwarpal Singh Grewal says there are too many.
The 26-year-old national hockey player, who represented Singapore at the 2013, 2015 and 2017 SEA Games, told TNP: "I will always remember watching TV and laughing together with him; and when he came to watch me and my brother play at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil."
Dr Singh graduated on Saturday from Nanyang Technological University's Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine with a degree in medicine and surgery.
He chose to study medicine after his A levels as he appreciated its practical usefulness and how it could impact lives.
He said: "At the core of it, it is about helping people. My parents were always supportive of what I wanted to do, and my dad suggested that I check out medical school."
He is currently a houseman in Tan Tock Seng Hospital's orthopaedic department, where he is responsible for patients in the ward when the senior doctors are away.
Mr Santokh Singh died in 2016 at the age of 57, after he collapsed at home from a heart attack.
Dr Singh was in Malaysia for a regional hockey game. He remembers his coach breaking the news to him at the hotel, the night before the game.
Dr Singh said: "I did not believe it at first. I tried calling my dad but no one picked up."
He returned to Singapore immediately.
The tragedy had also struck two weeks before his second-year examinations, but he stayed focused and even studied at the temple where the funeral was taking place.
He said: "If my dad was there, he would have wanted me to do well in school. My mum was the rock. She was strong and handled everything for the funeral."
On the best piece of advice he has received from his father, Dr Singh said: "It is important to bounce back in life — and that has stuck with me."