Season's greetings to one and all, this issue brings the heart back home with the Classics. Doyenne of Insurance Winnie Tay shares her life lessons and try some gift wrapping tips in our Dark & Decadent section. Joyeux Noelle~!
WINNIE TAY “He is my pillar of strength,” she said. “In everything I have done, it’s not without his worthy consult and he is always ready to stand by me and encourage me to move forward and do things.” “Getting cold feet but still determined, I started by introducing myself,” she recalls of the meeting that turned her business around. “He said ‘It’s alright. I have heard about you and your father. Your name and reputation precede you.’” “This man gave me my new life line,” she says with gratitude. Winnie was subsequently dubbed as the Motor Queen and Big Sister by her peers in the General Motor Insurance Agent Association. Fast forward to 2003, when Winnie became the Champion Agent. “The CEO encouraged me to go into life insurance. He challenged me to do the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and I did it in three months!” “In 2007, with the launch of a new life insurance savings product, I wanted to repeat my MDRT but the management encouraged me to go for my full potential. Within four months, I achieved Top Of The Table, the highest international life insurance recognition. I broke the company’s record as well as clinched the championship.” GREATER CHALLENGES Challenges did not end there. Back at home, her beloved husband, George, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1977. “I knew then that I had to be a wife and mother first,” she shares. “By God’s grace, with one kidney removed, George recovered. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, this was just the beginning of more medical challenges ahead.” “In 1994, George was hit yet by another big blow,” she says ruefully. “This time he was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer. To get the best possible expertise, we sought medical help in Singapore. “ Due to the severity of George’s condition, and with only a 25 per cent survival rate from such an operation, the doctor advised Winnie to call her sons back from overseas to be by his side. “My sons were in the midst of their exams but this was a lifechanging crisis situation and their presence was needed by their father’s side,” she explained. “This time, they removed half his stomach and oesophagus and two ribs.” Winnie and her family’s strong spiritual belief and prayerful inclinations led to another successful recovery for George. “That day changed my life’s focus and aspirations. Life was too short. I stood by George and watched over him like a hawk, ensuring he watched his diet and maintained good health. As a result, I became a nagging wife!” “Today, he is just recovering from hernia surgery,” she says. “It’s amazing how well he is doing.” She gazes over to George who is pottering about the house – with a little skip in his step, no less – to ensure that he is ready should Winnie need any assistance. “He is my pillar of strength,” she said. “In everything I have done, it’s not without his worthy consult and he is always ready to stand by me and encourage me to move forward and do things.” “All that I have achieved in my life, I did so because of George. Like my late father, he, too, believes in me.” Today at 70, Winnie is the epitome of calm. Having weathered many storms in her day, she is ready to deal with any more that may come her way. “I am still the hawk and barber to my beloved husband,” she smiles. “and cook and baker to my children and seven grandchildren.” “I am still very involved in my work but I keep a good worklife balance and make sure I enjoy my time in my dream house that I designed, cooking up a storm every weekend.” Life has thrown many challenges her way, but yet Winnie, armed with good support and resolute determination, has risen above it all, keeping calm and order and staying resilient each time. TM | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 22
WINNIE TAY Knit turtleneck, MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION. Bangle and earring, KATE SPADE NEW YORK. Pleated short-sleeved top and printed pleated skirt, both from PLEATS PLEASE Issey Miyake Necklace, watch and eyeglasses, Winnie’s own 23 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | TM