Friday, November 09, 2012

Leong Seng Ngian and family (Bukit Brown)

What started as a research about the unique tomb of Mr Leong Seng Ngian (Leong Sen Ngian) and Madam Chia Kwee Chwee located at Hill 4 Section B, ended with me getting more details about their son-in-law, Mr Ng Seng Choy. The large square marble tomb, erected on April 3, 1938 has a beautiful eulogy dedicated to their parents by their 5 daughters. Leong Seng Ngian / Leong Sen Ngian passed away at his residence, No 53 Cantonment Road. He was at one time, a race horse owner and a proprietor of a large goldsmith business established by his late father.

Leong Seng Ngian was survived by his widow (Madam Chia Kim Chwee), five daughters, 4 son-in-laws
  • Leong Seng Nyong (Mrs. Ng Seng Choy)
  • Leong Swi Nyong ( Mrs. H.K. Chia)
  • Leong Toong Nyong (Mrs. Phang Khin Cheung )
  • Leong Pow Nyong ( Mrs. Wong Yew Loong )
  • Leong Tinn Nyong
Madam Chia Kim Chee passed away on December 11, 1970.
Tomb of Mr Leong Sen Ngian 
Family
Mr and Mrs Ng Seng Choy (Ng Sen Choy and Leong Seng Nyong)
Leong Seng Nyong, the eldest daughter, married Ng Seng Choy in January, 1910 at 142-8 Orchard Road.
Ng Seng Choy was born in Penang and studied in Penang Free School. He came over to Singapore in his early 20's to help in his father's (Ng Seak Foon) mining business. In Singapore, he founded Wing Loong Tailor, before becoming a Municipal Commissioner for 10 years and finally a banker (Chung Kiaw Bank).

Ng Seng Choy, J.P, M.C, O.B.E was appointed a Municipal Commissioner in 1932 and awarded the Certificate of Honour in 1938 by Sir Shenton Thomas and Order of the British Empire in 1951. He was also a member of the Chinese Advisory Board and sits in many Chinese organisations such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Po Leung Kuk (1933)
Ng Seng Choy getting an autograph from Tan Chin Tuan during
his Order of British Empire Ceremony in 1951. In the middle is Mrs T.W Ong
(source: Newspaper SG)
He played a pivotal role in the formation of the Island Country Club and is a well known host and socialite for various towkays, pioneers and Malaya leaders (e.g. Sultans) in his seaside home at Changi. (There was even a road named Wing Loong road in the east coast that existed before the East Coast land reclamation). He was the President of the Hoi Tin Association (located at Upper Nanking Street). Hoi Tin Dramatic Society was responsible for raising for thousand of dollars for the Children's Welfare Society, Central Floods Relief Fund and several schools especially Yang Ching /Yeong Ching School (Club Street) as well the Kwang Wai-siu Free Hospital.

In August 29, 1957, while on the way to Chung Kiaw Bank (he was the Vice-Chairman), Ng Seng Choy was kidnapped at gun point half a mile away from his home. His wife managed to escape and hurried home and called 999. What ensued was was a police chase, a fierce gun battle at Lorong Melayu. Policeman, Sgt. Ng Hong Hai and Cpl Idris bin Ibrahim  exchanged fire with Lee Ah Cheong alias Ah Lek until Ah Lek was finally hit in the chest and was wounded. After Sgt. Ng Hong Hai handcuffed the kidnapper, Ng Seng Choy was found in a sack in the car. He was unhurt.The kidnapper, Lee Ah Cheong alias Ah Lek was hanged for his crimes in February, 1959.
Sgt. Ng Hong Hai
(photo courtesy of Ng Wei Chern  [his grand daughter] )

Ng Seng Choy died at the age of 73 in 1960 at his residence in Win Loong Road, Changi after being ill for several months. He was cremated at Yio Chu Kang Crematorium after a service at the Bedok Methodist Church.

Mrs Ng Seng Choy (Leong Seng Nyong ) was in the women's committee for the Women and Girls' Protection ordinance and founder of the Chinese Ladies Association. At the age of 86, in July 1978, she had to testify in her wheelchair against his nephew, Morris Wong Chan Fah for cheating her of $15,000 when he bought a house in Siglap Plain on her behalf in 1976. He was sentenced to 15 months jail.

 Madam Leong Seng Nyong (Mrs Ng Seng Choy)
Madam Leong Pow Nyong (Mrs. Wong Yew Loong)
Leong Pow Nyong passed away on January 20, 1950. She is survived by 3 sons, Morris Wong, Sunny Wong, Raymond Wong and an adopted daughter, Daisy Leong.

Miss Leong Tinn Nyong 
Leong Tinn Nyong passed away at the age of 46 on August 18, 1953 at her residence in No 53 Cantonment Road. She is survived by her mother and 3 elder sisters. The religious ceremony was held at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and cremation at the Old Japanese Crematorium off Old Yio Chu Kang Road.

Not forgotten 
Sometime mid this year, descendant's of Mr Leong Seng Ngian restored the marble tombstone to it's former glory by cleaning away the years of dust and grime away from the beautiful marble.

Tomb of Leong Seng Ngian
Photo taken on 1st February 2012 

Tomb of Mr and Mrs Leong Seng Ngian
Photo taken in October 2012

Some day, Some time, Our eyes shall see,
The faces we love so well, 
Some day their hands will clasp in ours,
And never say farewell.


The tomb is located in Hill 4, Division B, in front of the quadruple tomb of Mr Tan Peck Jim.

[February 19, 2013- Sgt. Ng Hong Hai's grand daughter, Ng Wei Chern read this article and shared the photo of her grandfather in police uniform]

References
Chinese Marriage. (1910, January 11). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Hoi Tin Association's great charitable work.(1934, November 2). The Singapore Free Press, page 11
Ng Sen Choy. (1935, February 11). The Straits Times, page 12
Advertisements. (1937, May 11). The Straits Times, page 2
Acknowledgements. (1937, May 13). The Straits Times, page 2
Certificates of Honour for Nine Straits Settlements Residents. (1938, June 10). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Untitled. (1951, June 8). The Straits Times, page 1
In memoriam. (1951, January 20). The Straits Times, page 6
Advertisement. (1953, August 18). The Singapore Free Press, page 16
Battle for Ng Seng Choy. (1957, December 4). The Straits Times, page 4
Ng Seng Choy (man who escapes kidnap dies). (1960, May 21). The Straits Times, page 18
Cheating case: woman, 86 testifies against nephew. ( 1978, July 28). The Straits Times, page 9

No comments: