Sad and Unexpected Death of Andrew Chen

Dear Parents/Caregivers and Students

It is with deep sadness that we need to share that our Business Manager, Mr Andrew Chen, passed away yesterday. His passing was completely unexpected and was due to an undiagnosed medical condition. I am sure that you can appreciate that for many of us, particularly work colleagues, that this is deeply upsetting.

Mr Chen worked at LAC for 17 1⁄2 years and many of his relationships extend well beyond those years. Mr Chen’s wife, Erni, recently retired from the Chef’s position in LAC House (our Boarding School), and his daughters, Grace and Jacinda, are also LAC Alumni.

Mr Chen’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, 3rd February at 11.30 am at Palmerston North Central SDA Church (257 Ferguson Street). As the vast majority of staff will be attending the funeral, the programme for students at school on Wednesday has changed.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many
rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me – that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
John 14:1-4 NCV

Wednesday 3rd February School Programme:

  • Year 7 and 8 classes will run as normal with Mrs Paki and Ms Lightbody.
  • No programme will run for all other year levels (Year 9 to 13). This means that the Year 11 and 12 a scheduled programme for Wednesday will not run.

Thursday 4th February School Programme:

  • The school will recommence on Thursday, 4th February for all year levels.
  • Year 7, 8 and 13 will run the Day 4 timetable, starting with roll mark.
  • Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 have combined roll-mark in the Chapel at 8.45 am followed by year level meetings. Classes will commence in period 2.
  • A reminder that school finishes at 2.00 pm on Thursdays.

Thank you for your prayers and understanding at this time.

Brendan van Oostveen, Principal

On Sunday morning, 31 January, Andrew Chen, surrounded by his family, very sadly passed away at Palmerston North Hospital. Andrew became ill on Friday and was flown to Wellington Hospital but medical experts there were unable to help him and he was returned to Palmerston North Hospital where he passed away.

For 17 years Andrew was the Business Manager at Longburn Adventist College. His accounting expertise rescued the college from a precarious financial position when he arrived there and his cheerful low-key approach was appreciated by all those he worked with. Andrew loved his work putting in many hours. Andrew’s wife Erni, for many years, has been the chef at the college cafeteria. Andrew also loved his church being one of the ‘quiet supporters’  who helped make things happen. He particularly loved and supported “Fly n Builds” to various countries including the Cook Islands and Vietnam. Always friendly and smiling he was generous with his time and assets towards anyone needing help. Andrew was well-known for most Sabbaths for posting photos on Facebook of the Sabbath lunch Erni had prepared with the caption, “Simple Sabbath Lunch, all welcome”. That was an invitation he genuinely extended.

Andrew was very proud of his family and loved them dearly and he will be greatly missed by his wife Erni, his daughters Grace and Jacinda, son-in-law Campbell and his extended family. He will also be sadly missed by the PN Central SDA Church community, the Longburn Adventist College community and the local Indonesian community.

A funeral service to support the Chen family, to give thanks to God for the life of Andrew Chen and to remember his life will be held at the Palmerston North Central SDA Church, 257 Fergusson Street at 11.30 am, Wednesday, 3 February. If church members who are attending are able to bring a plate of food for refreshments after the funeral, this would be greatly appreciated.

Bruce Sharp – former principal of Longburn Adventist College

Please Note:
There will be a live stream of the funeral service which will be on the LAC’s YouTube Channel