Friday, October 05, 2012

Lee Pek Hoon and family (Bukit Brown)

Lee Pek Hoon / Lee Peck Hoon (died 1934) was born in Singapore and educated in St. Joseph's Institution in both English and Chinese. He speaks several dialects as well as some Japanese. He first joined Messrs. Harris, Goodwin and Co before taking up in 1888, an appointment to act as an agent for Hong Kong, Amoy and Swatow for Llyods' Khw Tiong Po Bun Hin & Co. line of steam ships (founded by prominent shipping merchant, Khoo Tiong Poh) and for 10 years managed it from China before moving back to Singapore in 1898, becoming the Assistant Manager of the Straits Steamship Co.

Lee Pek Hoon also owned a theatre named "Lee Peck Soon Theatre" at 499 North Bridge Road which performed Malay and Indian theatre performances. He was a shareholder of Soon Keck, Ltd and Nyalas Rubber Estate.
Lee Pek Hoon

A member of the Straits Chinese British Association, Lee Pek Hoon has a wide range of interest throughout his life, ranging from rearing prized poultry (chickens), an avid orchid cultivator (his orchid's have won prizes) and finally a race horse owner. He was one of the principal member's of the "Chinese Riding Party", a group of avid horse riders which included Dr Lim Boon Keng, Tan Boo Liat, Tan Chew Kim, Tan Hup Leong and Phua Choon Hiang. He owned many racehorses under the name of P.H. Lee. He won the Penang Derby with his horse Pawnbroker. Lee Pek Hoon married a daughter of Mr Tan Kung Hoe.

His father is also a merchant by the name of Lee Cheng Tee. Another interesting fact is that Lee Pek Hoon's mother is Tan Hay Neo, one of Tan Tock Seng's daughters.

Lee Pek Hoon 
Recent photo of Lee Pek Hoon to capture names cleaerer

Contributions

Halifax Relief Fund (1918) "Our Day" (1917) Tientsin Relief Fund (1918)  China Famine Fund (1920), Swatow Relief Fund (1922) Singapore Chinese Girls School New Building Fund (1925)

Death

Lee Pek Hoon passed away on December 4, 1934 and is buried in Hill 3 Division D, plot 1002. His age of death listed in burial registrar is 68 years. Listed on his tomb are the name of 2 sons (however my chalking was not clear) and 3 daughters (Mary Lee, Polly Lee and Iris Lee). Will try to visit again to confirm the names. His residence in his early years was at Syed Ali Road and later on 40 Newton Road.

After re-chalking, you can see clearer:
In Loving Memory of Lee Pek Hoon,
born October 5th, 1868,  died December 4th 1934, age 66 years.
Sons: John Lee, Henry Lee
Daughters: Mary Lee, Polly Lee, Iris Lee
Son-in-law: Oh Jitt Siang
Daughter-in-law: Teo Ghek Khee
Grandson: Hugh Lee, Harry Lee, Harold Lee, Hubert Lee
                  Oh Joo Lian, Oh Cheng Lian, Oh Boon Lian
Grand-daughter: Ivy Oh, Mavis Oh, Vivien Oh

Family 

Father: Lee Cheng Tee
Lee Cheng Tee (once partner of Cheng-tee, Watt-Seng & Co, shipowners) was born in Malacca in 1833 and in his early years traded with Labuan and Brunei. Together with his partner, Wee Watt Seng, their company traded in Java ports for many years. He also owned a steamship called Telegraph which sailed to Malacca and Penang. He partnered with Mr. Tan Seng Poh and owned a gunpowder magazine at Tanah Merah Kechil. Retiring at an early age from business, Lee Cheng Tee built a large house at Victoria Street until it was acquired by Mr. A. Frankel  when he expanded his furniture business.

A tall and well built man, Mr. Lee Cheng Tee passed away at the age of 68 (he embraced Christianity in his twilight years) on March 12, 1901 and is buried in the Christian Cemetery in Bukit Timah Road.

Mother: Tan Hay Neo
Tan Hay Neo (daughter of Tan Tock Seng and Lee See Neo and younger sister of Tan Kim Cheng). Madam Tan Hay Neo passed away in August 1892 in her residence in Victoria Street and is buried in Bukit Timah Road, 5th mile.


Brothers: Lee Pek Swee and Lee Pek Hock, O.B.E.
Sister: Lee Hong Neo  

Brother: Lee Pek Hock 
Lee Pek Hock is married to Yeo Kim Neo (died January 26, 1927) and have 2 sons (Lee Boon Chuan and Lee Kim Poh) and 1 daughter (Lee Swe Har who married Chua Keh Hai) and resides in No 360 Orchard Road. A businessman, Lee Pek Hock's O.B.E ( Order of the British Empire) given to him on June 1923 was annulled and cancelled in 1929 after he faced civil conviction for his bankruptcies.
Lee Pek Hock
(source: NewspaperSG)

Son: Johnnie Lee
Lee Boon Kong, Johnnie married Miss Teo Geok Kee, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Teo Thiam Swee.

Daughter: Mary Lee
In November 1912, Miss. Mary Lee was engaged to Tjong Coon Whie, son of Tjong Eng Hean, Mayor of Bali and a well known millionaire in Deli. (Medan was also called Deli in the past). This makes me wonder whether there is any relation to Tjong A Fie / Tjong Yiauw Hian or his brother Tjong Yong Hian of Medan. Tjong A Fie was the Kapitan Cina of Medan in 1911 after his brother, Tjong Yong Hian passed away.

In another article dated 1913 (one year after Mary's engagement) it mentions a Mrs Tjong Coon Whie (i am assuming Mary Lee), but what is more interesting is that it mentions Mr Tjong Coon Whie father as deceased and with a different spelling variant (Tjong Yoong Hean) and was the former Mayor of Deli which makes me more suspicious about the Medan connection.

source: NewspaperSG


Stories from No 40 Newton Road 
Servants rout robbers (1928)
In 1928, there was an attempted robbery by 4 chinese armed with knives at Lee Pek Hoon's house at 40 Newton Road, but thanks to bravery of his 2 Javanese gardener, his chinese gardener and a driver, the attempted daylight robbery at 11:30 am was routed.  A police reward of $50 and letter of commendation was given to 3 of them.

Weightlifting Competition (1928)
Lee Pek Hoon allowed his residence to be used as a venue for a weightlifting competition. His son, Johnnie Lee was the organiser.

Rice Distribution Depot (1920)
Lee Pek Hoon's house was one of the 42 depots used for rice distribution in 1920, at the time when the British Crown Colony was trying to control prices of rice, prevent hoarding and fair distribution through a rice rationing exercise via household coupons. Lee Pek Hoon was one of the many notable chinese pioneers (others include Lim Nee Soon, Khoo Kay Hian, Ong Boon Tat, See Tiong Wah, Tan Boo Liat) offered their premises for free to be such depots.


Lost Dog
Lost of "Sweep", Lee Pek Hoon's retriever dog
(source: NewspaperSG)


References
Local and General. (1892, August 10). Daily Advertiser, page 3
Social and Personal. (1912, November 25). The Straits Times, page 8
Advertisement. (1916, November 15). The Malayan Tribune, page 5
Food for the Poor. (1920, January 7). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Rice Distribution. (1920, May 15). The Malayan Tribune, page 6
Untitled. (1927, June 6). The Straits Times, page 10
Deaths. (1927, January 28). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Servants rout robbers. (1928, August 25). The Straits Times, page 8
Weightlifting.(1928, March 26). The Straits Times, page 10
Social and Personal. (1929, September 30). The Straits Times, page 10
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press, pages 66, 154, 201,462,
Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (1989). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. Graham Brash, page 577

5 comments:

Benny Ou said...

Mary Lee was born in 1906 and cannot be the same one linked to the Kapitan China

Rojak Librarian said...

i made reference to this: http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19121125-1.2.42.aspx.

Can you provide more details about Lee Pek Hoon's children

Benny Ou said...

As there was a Lee Pek Hoon giving his daughter Mary Lee up for engagement in 1912, the only logical reasoning is that the name links are coincidental.
My links are with the family of Oh Jitt Siang and they are writ in stone.

Benny Ou said...

With the names of the Father, 3 sons and 3 daughters inscribed, this link is beyond coincidence

Benny Ou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.