Friday, January 11, 2013

Soon Cheng Liam (Bukit Brown)

This attractive tomb located at Hill 5 belongs to Mr and Mrs Soon Cheng Liam. They came to Singapore from Tong An District near the port of Amoy. He owned a Sundry goods shop, but eventually decided to bring his family of 7 including him and his wife to Singapore for better prospects and Soon Cheng Liam worked as a hawker while living in Weld Road. One of his son was a clerk in one of Tan Kah Kee's factory and the other 2 worked in sundary good shops. Eventually the brothers came together to form a timber trading business under the name of  Sim Lim.

Mr Soon Cheng Liam died at the age of 66 on  July 24, 1951 at his residence in No 3 Balmoral Crescent. He left behind three sons, Soon Hoe Chew, Soon Peng Leong and Soon Peng Yam, 2 daughters: Soon Ah Poo and Soon Bee Hwa, 2 daughters-in- law and 2 son-in-laws. Madam Ang Kim Kiok passed away at the age of 62 on April 5, 1948 at her residence in 844 Geylang Road.

One of their sons, Soon Peng Yam was an important Chinese pioneer.

Mr and Mrs Soon Cheng Liam 
Family

Son: Soon Peng Yam
Soon Peng Yam was a leading industrialist, a self-made Hokkien tycoon and a pioneer Chinese community leader during Singapore's formative years He started work at 14 years old as a $2-a month worker when he first arrived to join his parents with his two other brothers and 2 sisters from his village in Tung Ann, Fujian Province China in 1926 with only a few years of education from his village school. In 1932, at the age of 20, he went to be the sole proprietor of Sim Lim company, dealing in building materials at no 3, Jalan Besar and 839 Geylang.

The company went on to expand it wings to other companies in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Two of his companies under Sim Lim Group were listed in the Singapore Stock Exchange. He retired as Chairman of Sim Lian Group in 1988.

Soon Peng Yam was very active and influential in the Chinese community as well and for a number of years was the President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) and Singapore Swimming Club (President from 1963-2000). As President of SCCC, he was instrumental in many projects including committee chairman to fund the building of the Memorial for Civilian Victims of the Japanese Occupation (Civilian War Memorial). He was also the President of Ee Hoe Hean Club (the Millionaires club) and the Tung Ann District Guild. He was nicknamed "Mr Fund Raiser" for his ability to raise funds for the community.
Soon Peng Yam ( montage of him at various times)
He was a champion of Chinese culture and education. He passed away on April 30, 2002 at 23 Gilstead Road. He left behind his wife, Madam Chang Yoke Ling, 6 sons, 3 daughters. (i have only the name of one of his sons: Soon Choo Teck, who succeeded his father after he stepped down as Chairman of Sim Lim)

His wife, a Madam Poh Chew Pheng  died on July 2, 1997 at the age 75.

Son: Soon Hoe Chew
Soon Hoe Chew married Chua Poo Toh (died January 13, 1996 age 83). They had 3 sons (Soon Hong Teck, Soon Eng Teck, Soon Hong Teck) and 5 daughters (Soon Chua Tee, Soon Imm Tee, Soon Lay Tee, Soon Lay Kim, Soon Lay Moi).

Son: Soon Peng Leong
Soon Peng Leong (died December 1, 1995 age 88 ) married Lim Ah Poh. They had 3 sons (Soon Beng Teck, Chin Teck, Thiam Teck) and 5 daughters (Kang Tee, Lam Tee, Mui Tee, Wah Tee, Lay Khin)


References
Deaths. (948, April 10). The Straits Times, page 6
Deaths. (1951, July 26). The Straits Times, page 6
Memorial for war victims, plea for gifts. (May, 13, 1966). The Straits Times, page 6
Chairman of Sim Lian Group steps down. (1988, January 1). The Straits Times, page 23
Deaths. (1996, January 15). The Straits Times, page 37
Pioneer Community Leader Soon Peng Yam dies, age 90. (2002, May 2). The Straits Times, page 3

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