Senior Members of the IPRS remembers the late Yeo Toon Joo who passed away in Seattle on 30 August 2023.
Tribute to Yeo Toon Joo
Yeo Toon Joo lived and breathed Mass Communications. I first met him in the newsroom of Straits Times in the early’70s when I was starting out in my first job as a cadet journalist. He was the news editor of the Straits Times, having risen from the ranks. As a hard task master, he pushed all the reporters to chase leads, write tight gripping stories that could earn by lines for the writers.
Years later, our paths crossed again when he left journalism to start an advertising cum public relations agency named YTJ-Kent. I observed that he was not afraid to pursue mega projects, notwithstanding the modest size of his agency. One particular one which he won was to stage a prestigious showpiece to highlight a major Singapore historical milestone event at the Singapore harbour front site, where the latest state-of-the-art av equipment was deployed.
Anecdotal stories from those who worked with him revealed that he drove his staff to deliver not just good but outstanding results for his clients. He was also a staunch member of the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore, obliging every year to be the Returning Officer of the Institute’s AGM, especially during my tenure as President.
In 2006, the Institute bestowed him with the Lifetime of Achievement Award.
After his retirement, he moved his family to Seattle, USA but occasionally returned to Singapore to catch up with friends. Even in his autumn years, he found time to wite a memoir of his days as a newshound. He will always be remembered for his pursuit of excellence in his craft in journalism, advertising and public relations. His departure is a loss to the industry he was so active in. ~ By IPRS Past President Yap Boh Tiong
“Most describe him as a “good man”. Toon Joo was a great mentor, kind person and had a great sense of humor. He continued to support IPRS and was the Returning Officer for a number of AGMs.” ~ By IPRS Past President K Bhavani
While I have not had the privilege of knowing Toon Joo, I am grateful for his support and contribution to the IPRS. The society owes its success and continued presence today to the pioneers of Singapore's media and communications industry. ~ By President IPRS Koh Juat Muay