Mr Boon Hong, a General Surgeon and ACMAV member, was awarded an OAM on Australia Day 2019. He was honoured for his contribution to community health in the promotion and teaching of Tai Chi.
Boon first learnt Tai Chi in Sabah, Malaysia during his high school days to improve his health and for self-defence skills. He suffered from peptic ulcer disease, which would ultimately inspire his two great passions: surgery and Tai Chi. When he migrated to Australia 53 years ago to study medicine, he brought this Yang style of Tai Chi with him.
Formal teaching was first delivered to the Australian public in 1982 at the Chinese Association of Victoria. A small group of enthusiastic students eventually grew into a large crowd and the Integrated Yang Style Tai Chi Association (IYSTA) was formed in 2000. Today the Association has a few hundred active members, having taught Tai Chi to thousands of people over the years. There are campuses in Forest Hill, Kew and Templestowe.
His reaction to receiving the award was one of gratitude. “It is a great honour to receive this award,” he said. Boon also paid tribute to the instructors in the Association. “I am always grateful to our team of hard working assistant instructors. It would not be possible without them.” A staunch member of ACMAV since its inception, he has held many workshops and demonstrations for its members over the years. ACMAV members are among the many students and instructors. “Medicine is hard, stressful work. I encourage all doctors to have regular exercise,” he said. “Tai Chi is a good form of meditation in motion and gentle exercise.”
Perhaps the most striking observation in practitioners of Tai Chi is the diversity of people learning: people of all ages, from the young to the old. In our rapidly changing world with increasing pace and stress, the gentle motions of Tai Chi certainly bring a calm balance.
For more information, visit: www.iysta.com.au