Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Queenstown Heritage Trail - A walk down memory lane (Part II)

My Queenstown Heritage guided walk continues from where i left off in my earlier article titled: Queenstown Heritage Trail - A walk down memory lane (Part I ). After listening to the story of Stirling Road resident Mr. Mahmood share about his growing up days and especially the incident of the Indian Circus Troupe. i am excited to hear more nostalgic stories of a time in the distant past from actual residents. I didn't had to wait long, as after a short stopover at Queenstown Community Centre for a water break we headed down to our next destination.

Tanglin Halt and stories by two of their residence, Alice and Shirley
Built in 1960's, the 10 storey flats of Tanglin Halt known by the locals as "chap lau keng" in Hokkien, are affected by the Selective En-bloc redevelopment scheme, which means they will be torn down. A total of 31 blocks are affected from Tanglin Halt and also Commonwealth Drive.

Over 40 years ago, Alice (now 66 years old) shared her story of her first experience moving into the high rise flats of Tanglin Halt. Arriving on the 10th floor of her flat she recounted she had a panic attack and her knees almost gave way. She clung on to her husband's hands for fear of falling over. She also shared that for the longest time, she was afraid to hang clothes out on the pole to dry for fear of falling over. Her story may seem weird in today's context but we must remember that at that time, majority of the population lived in landed properties or kampong houses. I am very touched by the years of friendship and bonding shared by Alice and Shirley. They have done many activities together such as going for breakfast, travel and are always looking out for each other. With the impending estate renewal of their flats, options were given to them for replacement flats. Alice, Shirley and their close friends have all decided to try to move to the same block and floor of the new flats so that it will be kampong living once again !
Our group together with Shirley (with a sling bag ) and Alice 
Tanglin Halt Flats and the new 40 storey flats in the background
source: Housing Development Board
We passed by two shops in Tanglin Halt which seem to have remained frozen in time.The Liang Yew Hair Unisex originally made of two shops, one the Unisex Hair salon and the second, a barber (now called Jali Jali barber). The hair perming machine that seem to be from the early 70's are still in used today !


Church of the Blessed Sacrament
Our next two stops are places of worship. The Church of the Blessed Sacrament was blessed and officially opened on May 8, 1965 by the Archbishop Rev Michael Olcomendy. The shape of the building is very unique with slate roof which is constructed in folds in the shape of a tent, said to symbolise the “tent of meeting” in the Old Testament and the roof appears to fall to the ground to wrap the interior, with portions touching the ground and resemble anchoring pegs. It was Sunday and there was mass going on, but we were fortunate to be allowed to take some pictures of its beautiful interior as well.

Church of the Blessed Sacrament 

Sri Muneeswaran Temple
A relatively newly furbished temple but historically important has it started out as shrine serving the Malayan Railway workers before expanding to meet the Hindu religious community spiritual needs.
Sri Muneeswaran Temple

3 storey flats of the Singapore Improvement Trust
Parallel to the greenery of the the former railway tracks ( the Green corridor) are the 3 storey flats designed by the Singapore Improvement Trust. The idea was similar to the landed houses in Stirling Road, which was to reduce the uniformity of flats built during that time. They are now vacant but at one time i was told it was leased out to a University as dormitories and University students used to occupy it. I love the wide green open space between each block.
3 storey and 10 storey blocks behind 
Tanglin Halt Neighbourhood Centre
We arrived close to noon at the neignbourhood centre where the wet market and the hawker centre are located. It was abuzz with activities with people shopping and buying grocery and catching up their fellow neighbors. Some of the shop units looked as if it has not change from the time they first open and it's amazing to see they are still well frequented despite the mushrooming of more modern hypermarts. This neighbourhood centre is slated to be demolished as well.
A square market abuzz with people 
Shop units that are nostalgic and seem to be unchanged since
it first open 
Queueing to buy food and buy hope 

An end to a chapter

My journey down memory lane ends here. Over a cup of coffee and chicken curry with rice, i contemplated and jot down my feelings of what i saw and heard today from the sharing of the residents and our guide. What is certain, some of the buildings i saw today will no longer exist and the shop owners who i spoke with, will either retire or take on different jobs.

The melancholic of familiarity lost and the separation of friends going their different ways as the result of this en-bloc renewal and the eventual destruction of landmarks of places the community grew up with, made me sigh knowing that this is the inevitably of life. Nothing remains the same and this is especially true for Singapore which moves at break neck speed.

Although a few buildings will be conserved, but the community will not. It will move on to new estates. For some people, like Alice and Shirley and their friends , i admire their positivity and their spirit to continue to recreate the same kampong spirit they had in Tanglin Halt, when they move to their new estate.

I admire the efforts of the civic group, My Community in sharing the old Spirit of Queenstown so that others who may not have lived in the same neighborhood can take away this memories as well. Who knows, some of the participants could end up staying in the future new Queenstown estates and create a new generation of memories while honoring the story of the early pioneers of Queenstown.
Bonds of friendship created over the years
Remaining Evergreen in a fast changing Singapore

Further information 
If you are interested in joining an interactive guided walk- the civic group group, My Community organises guided walks that takes place on every last Sunday of the month. More information is available from their website www.queenstown.org.sg/heritage. To register for this monthly walks, go to their event brite page.
The Heritage Trail tour i experienced is one of many in the pipeline planned by the group. Do keep checking out their website for future trail launches. They have a facebook page as well.

References
Archives Online. [website ] National Archives
NewspaperSG.[website]. National Library Board
My Queenstown Heritage Trail. [website].My Queenstown

Monday, July 28, 2014

Queenstown Heritage Trail - A walk down memory lane ( Part 1)

I was fortunate to be invited to experience the launch of one of the guided walks of My Queenstown Heritage Trail by volunteers of the civic society group, My Community on Sunday July 27. It rained heavily in the morning but i managed to arrive at Queenstown MRT station which was our meeting point. After a short briefing by Kwek Li Yong (President of My Communty), we started our tours at 9 am armed with a lovely do-it-yourself walking booklet that provides beautiful imagery and detailed explanation of Queenstown and its iconic landmarks that has garnered many memories to the residents who grew up and lived in the first satellite estate or new township built by Singapore Improvement Trust ( SIT ), the British colonial agency in charge of housing which was the predecessor to the Housing Development Board (HDB).

Prior to this, i was under the impression that Tiong Bahru was the first estate built by SIT in the 1930's compared to Queenstown, which was conceptualised in 1953 and named after Queen Elizabeth II.  But i guess it a matter of syntax, the first estate (Tiong Bahru ) vs the first township (Queenstown). Either way, Queenstown estate is an estate of many first and i am excited that in this tour, i get to interact and listen to the stories of the residents as well.

Former Queenstown Driving Test Centre
The heavy rain that threatened the walk subsided just in time for us to start our tour, lead by a passionate and knowledgeable guide, Angela. Our first stop was the former Queenstown Driving Test Centre, located just after we got out the MRT station at street level. I learned from Angela a lovely anecdote that when the learning school first started, literacy among the populace was not high yet and the theory exams encompass the instructor using a toy car and the candidate had to use the toy car to illustrate their understanding of the highway code !
Former Queenstown Driving Centre

Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Alley and Tah Chung Emporium
Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Alley and Tah Chung Emporium were two buildings that did not exist anymore. The blue hoarding you see behind our guide Angela (in yellow) is what's left of the Cinema that was demolished in 2013. Opened in 1977, i could imagine the cinema and its bowling alley attracting young and old alike. The former Tah Chung Emporium was located on the left of the former Cinema (now a vacant land). The Emporium was said to be the first air-conditioned department store located in a public estate, yet another first for Queenstown.
Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Alley 

Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market
The odd shape building that seem to stick out alone now in the open field used to be the old wet market of 38 Commonwealth Avenue. It was build by Singapore Improvement Trust with the intent of moving roadside street hawkers into centralised buildings to improve hygiene standards. The architecture of the building which consist of the odd shape roof and honeycomb wall was designed to helped improve ventilation and keep the place airy.

You may be wondering why i have a picture of a group of people carrying a traditional Chinese coffin in my mosaic of pictures ! This is because a number of residents drew parallels to it, so much so that when this building first opened, the residents nicknamed the wet market "Coffin Market". Prior to it being closed, i do come here sometimes to eat at the chicken rice store that was temporary located in its premise. I am hearten to hear that this building will be conserved as it is the only wet market built by the Singapore Improvement Trust in Singapore, that is still standing.
Former Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market 

Queenstown Public Library
The next stop is a familiar one for me, as i came down to this library in the past many times. I was involved in its interior upgrading back in 2003. It was a time when there were still HDB blocks in front of it and the Polyclinic was still in operation and the famous two storey cook food centre was a place i went for my chicken rice, char kway teow (ground floor) and steam dumpling (2nd floor). Queenstown Public library is the first public library located in a estate and it was officially opened in by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on April 30, 1970. It was the second library to be built after the National Library in Stamford Road, but after National Library was demolished, Queenstown holds now the honors. This public library build is also a conserved building. It was recently repainted grey to reflect its original colors when it opened back in 1970.
Queenstown Public Library 

Queenstown Polyclinic
I was told by Angela that Margaret Drive Road in the past was the main road serving the estate at that time. Residents would call this "New Road" and taxi drivers would know where to go ! Queenstown Polyclinic was officially opened by PM Lee Kuan Yew in January 13, 1963. The premise is now a Dormitory for foreign workers, but in the past it was Singapore's first Polyclinic and a focal point for many especially during a time when subsidised healthcare help increased the reach of medical care to many who could not afford it.
Queenstown Polyclinic 

Venus and Golden City Theatres
From reminiscing about the 2 storey food centre that used to my favourite haunt when i was in Queenstown, we move on to two buildings that are now used as churches (Church of our Saviour and "Fisherman of Christ" Fellowship). This is reflective of the common trend where the decline of standalone cinemas favoring for cinemas that are integrated with malls. This stand alone cinemas were often rented out eventually as places of worship or demolished. It must have been a golden era of movies as major past time, when 3 cinemas were built in close proximity to each other. Venus Theatre was opened by the President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Soon Peng Yam on September 29, 1965 and Golden Theatres a month later. If you look at the old photo below from National Archives you would notice a fountain located in between the two buildings. I can imagine this would have been the meeting point among the Queenstown residents and especially for the young teens out on dates, during a time when one would have not owned mobile phones or pagers. The theatres closed their shutters for good in 1984.
Venus and Golden City Theatres

Stirling Road Terraces
Our next stop are a group of landed houses built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) and it was here, we got to interact and chat with one its earliest residence, Mr Mahmood Tamam, 63 years old who moved in here with his parents has a young boy (with 11 other siblings ) in 1963 from Jalan Eunos. At that time, they rented the place for $100 a month and it was two years later they were allowed to buy the place after ownership of managing the estates went from SIT to HDB.
Mr. Mahmood Tamam, 63 years old
(one of the 3 old residents of Stirling Road)
I personally liked the story Mr. Mahmood shared about an Indian Circus Troupe that sat up tentage nearby in the 1960's and there was incident whereby the circus elephant trainer was killed by the elephant. He suspected that the naughty children taunted the elephant and that resulted the elephant to accidentally kill its trainer. I researched a bit more on Indian circus troupes during this period and found one that was owned by a Mr. N.C Balan , 24 years old (in 1961) who took over the rains of a 250 strong-staff from his late father, Mr. P. Shankaran who formed the circus troupe 35 years ago. It is from here, i learned that there was also other local circus troupe in operation in addition to the circus troupes that i am aware off from my experiences in Bukit Brown, the Tai Thean Kew Circus.
NewspaperSG (December 30, 1961)


To be continued
Look out for my next article as i learn and experience more about the history, people and food of Queenstown >>>>>>>>>> Queenstown Heritage Trail - A walk down memory lane (Part II)

Further information 
If you are interested in joining an interactive guided walk- the civic group group, My Community organises guided walks that takes place on every last Sunday of the month. More information is available from their website www.queenstown.org.sg/heritage. To register for this monthly walks, go to their event brite page.
The Heritage Trail tour i experienced is one of many in the pipeline planned by the group. Do keep checking out their website for future trail launches. They have a facebook page as well.
I love Queenstown ( Queenstown Public Library )
References
Archives Online. [website ] National Archives
NewspaperSG.[website]. National Library Board
My Queenstown Heritage Trail. [website].My Queenstown

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Volunteer Soldiers buried in Bukit Brown - a journey of rediscovery

It started with a simple mission for me: find some of the tombs of volunteer soldiers of World War II that died and buried in Bukit Brown. I already found two and wrote about them sometime ago. They were: Corporal Tan Huck Wan (exhumed as it was affected by highway) and 2nd Lietenant Chua Boon Hin .My intent of this article is to share my journey to rediscover some of the war veterans with a common anchor theme of volunteer soldiers that are buried or used to be buried in Bukit Brown. With the possibility of the rest of Bukit Brown eventually making way for development, documenting this would hopefully help save some of this soldiers from been disposed to sea if unclaimed by descendants. 
Lest We Forget - Remembrance Sunday, Kranji War Memorial
In memory of the Volunteer Soldiers
When Singapore capitulated in February 15, 1942, the Japanese military command ordered the British and Eurasian soldiers to group at Changi, the Australian soldiers to Selarang, Indian soldiers to Nee Soon Camp and Malay soldiers to Farrer Park. No orders were given to the Chinese volunteers of the 2nd Battalion, Straits Settlement Volunteer Force (S.S.V.F) and the Malayan Field Ambulance (also known as the Singapore Volunteer Field Ambulance) to surrender. Many of them dispersed by returning to their homes in civilian clothing.
Newspaper SG

From the accounts of Dr. C. J. Poh a Captain of Straits Settlement Voluntary Force, who was taken away to Siam (Thailand) as a Prisoner of War (P.O.W) and served as Medical Officer in the Siam- Burma Railway, many of this volunteers were killed and tortured by the Japanese. Unfortunately, the stand of the Japanese Occupation administration was that any Chinese volunteers caught were either treated as deserters or spies and usually executed. A number of this volunteers were killed during the Sook Ching massacre and bodies found among the rest of the civilian Chinese population rounded up and shot in Changi Beach. If they were allowed to surrender properly as POW and not order to disperse into civilian clothing, some of them would not have been murdered in cold blood, postulated Dr. C. J. Poh.

The Volunteer soldiers buried in Bukit Brown is not meant to be a comprehensive list but one which will continue to hopefully grow as i get insights or discover more stories of the soldiers who died and were buried in Bukit Brown. If you have information of family members who were soldiers, who died during the war years and are buried in Bukit Brown, do email me.
Chinese Volunteer Soldiers

Private Lee Cheng Poh (Service No: 7524429 )
Lee Cheng Poh was a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, 4 Malayan Field Ambulance. Lee Cheng Poh (son of Lee Cheak Kiat ) tomb is located at Blk 3 Division D P 12. According to his headstone, he died on April 20, 1944, but on the army records it was April 22, 1944. His name is mentioned on Panel Reference Column 6. Singapore (Unmaintainable Graves) Memorial.
Private Lee Cheng Poh (Bukit Brown)
Volunteers from Field Ambulance training
(source: NewspaperSG) 
Private Chua Cheng Tuan 
Chua Cheng Tuan was a Private with the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force 2nd (Singapore Volunteer Corps) Bn.  Chua Cheng Tuan , husband of Mary Poh is buried in Block 4, Section B , P82
Private Chua Cheng Tuan  (Bukit Brown)
On his headstone, the death date is listed as 30th June 1945, his age 31 and survived by one son: Chua Siew Hock. His army records listed the date of death has 29/06/1945. His name is mentioned on Panel Reference
Column 14. Singapore (Unmaintainable Graves) Memorial.

Lieutenant Chua Boon Hin
Chua Boon Hin was a Lieutenant of the 2nd Singapore Volunteer Corps Bn, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. Chua Boon Hin died in 20th January 1946 at the age of 36 at the Alexandra Military Hospital. He left behind his wife Madam Queenie Ho, 2 sons (Chua Kong Yen, Chua Kong Lim) and a daughter (Chua Kong Leng). He died likely of war wounds or his status as a soldier who fought the Japanese to warrant him to be the Alexandra Military Hospital, but i am unable to verify further. What is for sure, he is remembered in Kranji War Memorial. He is buried close to his parent's grave in Bukit Brown at Hill 3 Division D.  His name is mentioned on Panel Reference Column 14. Singapore (Unmaintainable Graves) Memorial.
Chua Boon Hin (Bukit Brown)

Mr and Mrs Chua Boon Hin 
Corporal Tan Huck Wan ( service number 38243 )
Tan Huck Wan was a Corporal with the Singapore Voluntary Field Ambulance, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. No details of how he eventually died, but he died on May 31, 1944 at the age of 28.
Former tomb of Tan Huck Wan and his daughter Ruby Tan in Bukit Brown
On his tomb, it was inscribed that he is survived by his young widow, two sons Allan Tan Cheng Eng, Duke Tan Cheng Yew and a baby girl, Ruby Tan Suan Bee. Ruby Tan died on the 26th Oct 1944 and is buried beside her father. She was only 6 months old. Both were exhumed as their graves are affected. Tan Huck Wan's name is mentioned on Panel Reference Column 14. Singapore (Unmaintainable Graves) Memorial. 
Tan Huck Wan and Ruby Tan's niche

Field Ambulance Corps
(source: NewspaperSG)

Aircraftman 2nd Class Lim Kim Ann ( Service No: 786099 )
Lim Kim San was a Aircraftman 2nd Class, Royal Air Force. Lim Kim Ann ,son of Teo Ah Wan,  died on December 19, 1943 an was buried in Block 3 Section B plot 165. A check with the grave registrar of Kranji War Cemetery indicates that there is a tombstone of Lim Kim Ann located at  Grave Reference 45. B. 2.
KRANJI WAR CEMETERY. One possibility was that he was originally buried in Bukit Brown before being reburied in Kranji post war. However i am not able to confirm this at the moment.

Lim Kim Ann at Kranji War Memorial

Private Wee Thiam Chye  ( Service No: A/8638 )
Wee Thiam Chye was a Private with the Royal Army Service Corps. Wee Thiam Chye  husband of Lim Micy, of Singapore died on May 22, 1945 at the age of 27 and was buried in Block 4 Section A Plot 116A. His gravestone is located at Grave Reference 45. B. 3. Kranji War Cemetery

Wee Thiam Chye 

Private Chiang Chye Loon ( Service No: A/690 )
Chiang Chye Loon was a Private with the Royal Army Service Corps. Chiang Chye Loon son of Chua Kuan Neo died at the age of 26 on December 7, 1941 and was buried Blk 4 Division 6 , 328. His gravestone is located Grave Reference 45. C. 1. Kranji War Cemetery

Chiang Chye Loon 

Dr C.J. Poh's link to Bukit Brown
Dr. C.J. Poh or Dr. Poh Chee Joey was a Municipal Commissioner and had the distinction of being the only Chinese Qualified Medical Officer to have served in the Siam-Burma Railway or Death Railway. He was the son of the late Mr Cheong Choon Peng but was adopted by Poh Cheng Tee (uncle) and took the Poh surname. (Mr Cheong Choon Peng was from a family that settled in Singapore for over a hundred years and in 1910, Mr Cheong was part of a Malayan Volunteer Contingent for the coronation of King George V. He received an inscribed gold watch from the London Chamber of Commerce for his work in developing British trade in Malaya).Dr Poh did his medical degree in Edinburgh and when he return to practice in 1930 was also the honorary secretary of the Chinese Recreation Club for 5 years and President of the Badminton Association. Dr. Poh Chee Joey served with the Singapore Volunteer Field Ambulance and was made a prisoner of war after the fall of Singapore. Survivors of the Death Railway, remembered Dr. Poh for his efforts in helping them. His adopted parents, Mr and Mrs Poh Cheng Tee and adopted grandmother are affected by the 8 lane highway and already exhumed.

Stories waiting to be retold
On the walls of the Kranji memorial and the tombs around it are the names of many people who gave their lives defending Singapore. Among these are many Singapore residents as well. I visited Kranji War memorial sometime ago and am now revisiting it again hoping to piece some of its stories from the angle of Bukit Brown. The Japanese military surrendered on 12 September 1945 at 11:10 am with a ceremony held at the Municipal Building of Singapore (formerly known as City Hall), ending an occupation that started on February 15, 1942. Many civilians and soldiers died during the Japanese military occupation period and the evidence can be heard if you listen hard enough to the voices that emanate from the hills of our heritage park, Bukit Brown.
A reflection of the multi-ethnic soldiers that died
Two members of the Straits Settlement Volunteer Force
While going through some of this photos i discovered a photo of the memorial headstone of Cheong Chee Koon. Cheong Chee Koon (the son of Mr and Mrs Cheong Choon Kim ) passed way in May 1917 while he was being mobilised and doing his duty as a Lance Corporal for the Singapore Voluntary Infantry. He was given a military funeral on May 18, 1917 and from the headstone below buried in Alexandra Road Cemetery. It seemed like after the development of Alexandra township, the tomb was forgotten and lost. He is only remembered in a empty tomb in Kranji.

Cheong Chee Koon 

Ho Siong Tiong
I also hope that by sharing this discoveries, our war heroes in Bukit Brown will not suffer the same fate of Mr. Cheong Chee Koon and Mr. Ho Siong Tong whose graves ended up being lost in Singapore's growing demand for land. 


References 
Busy day for Volunteers. (1935, July 25). The Straits Times
Volunteer Field Ambulance. (1941, February 24). The Straits Times
Volunteers who were not made POW. (1947, January 12). The Straits Times
BillionGraves [website]


[research on-going: last updated: 26 July 2014]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chionh Ke Hu (Bukit Brown)

Chionh Ke Hu /Chionh Kee Hu (蒋骥甫) was a rubber merchant of the Bin Seng Co. Ltd / Sin Seng Co. Ltd and director of United Chinese Bank.  Bin Seng Co. Ltd  /Bin Seng Rubber Works was listed to operate at No 1 South Canal Road and its partnership consist of Tan Ean Kiam, Ang Keng Orh and Chioh Ke Hu. Tan Chin Bee left the partnership on April 24, 1928.

In October 1, 1935, United Chinese Bank (UCB) opened its doors for business at the premises formerly occupied by Yokohama Specie Bank at the junction of Chulia and Bonham Street, facing Raffles Place. The chairman is Wee Kheng Chiang and Khoo Beng Cheang the deputy chairman of the board of directors. The directors include Chionh Ke Hu, Wee Cheng Watt, Pang Cheng Yean, Tan Boon Khah and Ong Piah Teng, managing director. The manager of UCB is Mr Chua Keh Hai. United Chinese Bank (UCB) in 1965 changed its named to United Overseas Bank (UOB).
Group Photograph of founding members of United Chinese Bank (UCB)
As of its opening in 1935, there were in total four Chinese banks operating in Singapore. There were the Overseas Chinese Bank, Sze Hai Tong Bank, Lee Wah Bank and finally United Chinese Bank.
Chua Keh Hai, Pang Cheng Yean and Chionh Kee Hu (together with many other bankers) are buried in Bukit Brown.

Death
Chionh Ke Hu passed away on May 15, 2604 (Syonan calender for 1944). His house was at 398 River Valley Road and the estate executors were Chionh Heok Chor, Teh Kong Yow and Chionh Kak Kiat.

His tomb is located in Hill 3 Division C, very close to Ong Sam Leong's tomb.
Chionh Ke Hu
Chionh Ke Hu's tomb 
An interesting revelation during research. Two badminton stars of Singapore married into the family of Mr Chionh Ke Hu.

Son:  Chiok Hiok Chor (eldest)
Chionh Hiok Chor / Chionh Hock Chor married Miss Wang Siew Eng (daughter of Mr. Ong Siok Tan ), captain of the badminton team in August 1935.


Son: Chionh Lee Chee (Chionh Doo Chee ) 2nd son
The following year, second son, Chionh Lee Chee (Chionh Doo Chee ) married Miss Chan Keng Boon (local state representative and women's junior single's champion)  and younger sister of Mr. Chan Joo Tiang on May 3, 1936 at 10 am at the Chinese Industrial and Commercial School, Outram Road.

Son: Chioh Kah Kiat
Chioh Kah Kiat married Susie Chia Kim. Ee , daughter of Mr and Mrs Chia Eng Say ( a well known contractor in Penang and Singapore) in 1941 t the Chinese Industrial and Commercial School, Outram Road. Over 900 guest were invited.

Legacy
While researching, i found an article mentioning an estate in River Valley named after Chionh Ke Hu based in River Valley Road. Further research suggest that this is the land around Jalan Mutiara, which during an auction sale of the estate of the late Chionh Kee Hu in 1964 suggest that large tracts of land owned by him were sold. The family home of 398 River Valley Road " Chionh Ke Hu Park" was also broken up and sold in 1958.
source: NewspaperSG
Source: NewspaperSG
source: NewspaperSG
In another hill i found another tomb, Madam Chionh Chun Neo. I wonder if she is related to Chionh Ke Hu.
Chionh Chun Neo (peg 2522)
References
Advertisement. (1928, May 11). TheStraits Times, page 3
Chinese Bank Opened Today. (1935, October 1). The Straits Times, page 12
Advertisement. (1936, April 28). The Straits Times, page 2
Advertisement. (1940, October 5). The Straits Times, page 2
900 Guest at Chinese Wedding. (1941, May 11). The Straits Times
Advertisement. (1944, June 28). Syonan Times
Advertisement. (1952, September 6). The Straits Times
Advertisement. (1958, August 25). The Singapore Standard
Advertisement. (1964, July 31). The Straits Times.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Aerial view of Bukit Brown in 1948 - Ong Sam Leong's tomb

The detailed aerial photograph of Bukit Brown taken in 1948 by the British Royal Air Force 81 Squadron sparked my interest to identify some of the structures seen from air with the old and new photographs taken from ground. In this article, i will focus on the aerial view of the largest tomb in Bukit Brown. Interestingly you can also spot a building close by the tomb (among the trees)which does not exist today. 

Ong Sam Leong (王三龙) (1857 -1918) was the owner of Sam Leong and Company that provided and supplied manpower (indentured laborers) for the mining of phosphate at Christmas Island. He was the owner of properties, rubber estates and even a brick works in Batam. Among the Chinese Community, he was influential as well, being once the head of the Ban Chye Hoe Club.

Ong Sam Leong's tomb 
Images of Mr and Mrs Ong Sam Leong 
Ong Sam Leong 
Ong Peng Hock, Mrs Ong Sam Leong, Ong Boon Tat
(source: NewspaperSG) 
Mr Ong Sam Leong's hearse (photo taken from exhibition)

Mrs Ong Sam Leong's funeral entourage in Bukit Rose
(source: NewspaperSG) 
Funeral Hearse of Mrs Ong Sam Leong
(source: NewspaperSG)
Aerial photo (photo taken at exhibition) 

Further Reading
Bukit Brown Exhibition: Documenting New Horizons of Knowledge, posted on July 20, 2014
Aerial view of Bukit Brown - roundabout, posted on July 20, 2011
Ong Sam Leong (Bukit Brown), posted on December 4, 2011
Ong Boon Tat, posted on February 24, 2013
Ong Peng Hock, posted on April 1, 2013
Oon Chim Neo (Seh Ong), posted on January 4, 2013
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