0 Items

Member Spotlight: Benjamin Tan

Member Spotlight: Benjamin Tan

May 1, 2024

Benjamin Tan thanks the server who brings his water, addressing her by her name, as we settle down at LATITUDE Bistro for the interview. He does the same with every other staff at the restaurant and whoever he meets around the Club. “I make it a point to know them by name,” he asserts, and going by the reciprocation of his greeting, it is clear that his presence and actions are appreciated.

The Club is where I am myself, apart from my home. My work is intense, so the Club is a tranquil place for me to unwind. It’s my sanctuary,” says Benjamin, who has been a Member since April 2023.

“I’ve always had an affiliation to the sea and wanted to join a club that would connect me to it,” says Benjamin. In fact, he has wanted to join the Club since its opening 16 years ago, but held back as his wife does not share his appreciation of the sea. “She prefers that I be involved in activities on land than in water.”

As fate would have it, much as he loved water, Benjamin made his career in aviation. In fact, he met his wife Genevieve at work—they were attending a course together. “Her presence was definitely more exciting than the content of the course,” he laughs. The spark was mutual, moving very quickly from friendship to a relationship, and they got married two years later. The couple have two daughters, 18 and 26 years of age.

Benjamin was born into a family of government civil servants. His father was in the Ministry of Defence and mother in the Ministry of Finance—incidentally, his wife, too—so the inspiration for his career choice is obvious. “I think I was driven by the fact that I wanted to do something meaningful and professional at the same time,” explains Benjamin. “I believe that those who are able to work within regimented standards and yet be able to lead and take charge are a special breed of individuals. That was something I told myself that I wanted to achieve in my career.”

He wanted to be part of the commandos, but that remained a dream as he wore—still wears—spectacles. Being a pilot with the air force was again off-limits for him. So he opted for aviation-related operations that would allow him to work closely with ground and air crew, undergoing training with the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom.

Eight years ago, at the age of 44, he left the military to counter its retirement-at-50 mandate, “to give my career a longer runway”. He, however, continues to be in aviation.

“The two careers have given me a lot of opportunity and learning, and shaped me to be the man I am today—how I respond, how I handle issues of all manner and life as a whole,” he adds, with palpable gratitude.


All that military conditioning, however, goes out the window at home with his daughters. His wife is more of a disciplinarian, while Benjamin is the “go-to friend” they can talk to about anything, and the dad that opens up opportunities for them. “Nothing compares to having that close relationship with your children,” he says proudly. “My eldest daughter is getting married. I suddenly came to realise that this would be the year that she would leave the family, when she’ll be staying out of the house. It’s really hitting me,” he says with true Father of the Bride anxiety.

Aside from his three loves—his wife and children—Benjamin has one more: the sea. An active surfer, sports diver and a canoe instructor since young, he also got his power pleasure craft licence many years ago. “I have always been interested in boats. When I was a teenager, I would diligently save money so I could buy a $40 rubber boat,” he recalls.

Being a Member at the Club is the closest he can get to experience the exhilaration he feels when he is in the water. Owning a yacht and moving to Sentosa Cove are dreams he hopes to realise one day. “Whether or not it materialises depends on my wife, but I am working on it,” he laughs. “She is starting to slowly appreciate the exclusivity of the place, the sights that you can see, the marina and the yachting lifestyle.”

The original article was published on the May/ June 24 issue of Longitude, ONE°15 Marina’s Club magazine. Read it here.