Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chia Ah Thia (Bukit Brown)

Chia Ah Thia (1862-1930) was a rich Chinese businessman who came from China at a young age. Around 1912- 1914, he owned rubber plantations and fish rearing ponds in the Bukit Panjang / Mandai area. He was also a property owner with land and houses in various places around Singapore.

Death 
Mr Chia Ah Thia died at the age of 68 on July 30, 1930 at his residence in 68 Buffalo Road. He left behind two sons and 2 daughters. His sons are Chia Yong Hoe and Chia Cheang Nam and daughters, Chia Guek Kiow and Chia Gek Cheng.
Teochew tomb of Mr Chia Ah Thia 
Family
Probate of the estate of the late Mr Chia was given to his eldest son, Chia Yong Hoe. In 1932, the properties formerly owned by his father were auction off, giving us a glimpse of the extend of his property ownership.
Auction Sale of Chia Ah Thia's property

On the occasion of Mr Chia Ah Thia's eldest son, Chia Yong Hoe marriage to Miss Louise Goh (daughter of the late Mr. Goh Eng Sit) in October 1923, over 100 guest were invited to a dinner at 100 Desker Road.
Chia Yong Hoe studied at St. Andrew's School and later went on to join the civil service first in 1919 as an inspector in the Food Controller's office. In 1921, he was an acting sub-inspector in the Straits Police Force and eventually promoted to Asiatic Inspector in 1925, the first Chinese to do so.

In 1926 he was appointed as Usher of the Criminal District Court, where he held this position for many years, Around 1939 he was appointed Assistant Food Supply Officer (at a time where most appointees were Europeans) to control and inspect food supplies for A Division which represents Central, Singapore. He in short, had a very distinguished civil service career.
Chia Yong Hoe 
Chia Cheang Nam's story is shared by her daughter (Anne Chia) in the blog post found in the references below.

Road named after Mr Chia
In a meeting in 1938, the Municipal Commissioners in charge of Singapore Rural Board, decided to name a road off Bukit Timah after the memory of  Chia Ah Thia. Lorong Ah Thia still exist today. The reason for this was also due to the fact Mr Chia owned about 7,590 sq ft of land and houses near this area.
http://g.co/maps/5kpdc
Lorong Ah Thia /Ah Thia Lane


References
Untitled. (1923, October 13). The Straits Times, page 7
Death. (1930, August 1). The Straits Times, page 6
60 Villages to be named. (1930, August 12).The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Advertisements. (1932, February 10).The Singapore Free Press, page 2
Assistant Food Supply Officers. (1939, September 10). The Straits Times, page 13
Mainly about Malayans. (1939, October 1). The Straits Times, page
Bukit Brown Cemetery Peranakan Trail.[website] from Joyloh.com
My Grandma the Nyonya.[website] from Bukit Brown Cemetery

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