Monday, January 23, 2012

Dr. Lee Choo Neo (Bukit Brown)

Dr Lee Choo Neo
(this photo was the same one used for her tomb)
Dr Lee Choo Neo (1895-1947) is the daughter of Lee Hoon Leong. (Lee Hoon Leong is Mr Lee Kuan Yew's grandfather). Born in 1895, Dr. Lee Choo Neo received her education in Singapore Chinese Girls' School and later, 3 years in Raffles Girls School.

First Female Chinese Doctor and a Progressive Woman 

Lee Choo Neo was the first Straits Settlement woman to obtain the Senior Cambridge Certificate in 1911. She excelled in school and was also active in organising plays in aid of the Chinese Red Cross Society. She joined the King Edward VII Medical School despite criticism and discouragement from outside her family circle and in 1919 became the first Chinese woman to graduate in Medicine and was appointed Lady Assistant Surgeon at the General Hospital. She was a progressive woman and was one of the founders of the Chinese Ladies Association of Malaya, promoting physical and social education of Chinese woman including outdoor sports such as lawn tennis and badminton. She was involved and volunteers in the Child Welfare Society as well.

She married Teo Koon Lim (son of Teo Chye Hong) at 114 Emerald Hill on 21st September, 1922 and had 1 son (Teo Cheng Ann) and 2 daughters (Teo Cheng Sim and Teo Cheng Kim) .After several years in the government service, she resigned and followed her husband  to Kuala Lumpur who had business there.  She returned to open her own clinic at 74-3 Bras Basah Road.

Straits Times 1912. The tickets where available from
who's who in Singapore. 


Lee Choo Neo 

Robbery and Funeral

Dr Lee Choo Neo died on 7 September 1947, after a short illness. During a pre-funeral rites at her home in Bras Basah road on the 11th, a gang of seven dashed in at 4 am in the morning and robbed the 20 people present. One brandished a gun while the rest of the thugs took cash and jewellery amounting to $250.  She was buried on the day itself in Block 1 Division B, Bukit Brown. Her father, Lee Hoon Leong is also buried in Bukit Brown. Her mother, Madam Mak Hup Sin is buried nearby.

(source: NewspaperSG)

Tomb of Dr Lee Choo Neo 


References
Dr Lee Choo Neo. (1935,November 24). The Straits Times.
Death. (1947, September 9). The Straits Times
Song, O. S. (1984). One hundred years' history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press.
Gun man rob mourners. (1947,September 11). The Straits Times.

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