Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oon Chin Soon and family (Bukit Brown)

Broken marble plaque of Mr Oon Chin Soon's tomb
Mr. Oon Chin Soon was the Chief Cashier of of Messrs. Katz Bros Ltd for 48 years. His son is Mr. Oon Beng Teck and son-in-law Ong Boon Tat. Mr. Ong Boon Tat married Mr and Mrs Oon Chin Soon's only daughter, Madam Oon Chim Neo.

Katz Bros Limited
The company was co-founded by Hermann Katz (a naturalised Englishman ) in 1864-1865. From being solely shopkeepers, the brothers expanded to include wholesale, commissioning agents and general imports. In 1872, a Dutch-Acheh war broke out and the firm profited from contracts providing supplies to the Dutch Army as well as its colonies in Sumatra. In 1878, his brother A.Katz retired and Hermann Katz became sole owner. The business continue to thrive in import/export and at one time it also cornered the local pepper supply. It opened a branch in Penang in 1888 and several ice factories in Singapore. It had also a concession  for distributing oil for one of the largest oil refineries in Asia, Maatschappij Tot Mjin en Bosch en Landbouw Exploitatie en Langkat. In 1896, an advancing in age Hermann Katz decided to convert it to a limited company with a capital of $1 million dollars, with him as Chairman.
Katz Brothers Limited
Boat Quay as viewed from Cavenagh Bridge, Singapore.
The ornate building on the left houses the offices of Katz Brothers Limited c1905.
(source: a20)
Goods sold in Katz Brothers Limited 
Death
Mr Oon Chin Soon passed away in March 21, 1929 at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife, son; Oon Beng Teck and son-in-law; Ong Boon Tat. He is buried in Hill 3 A plot 226 1/2.

Mrs Oon Chin Soon nee Lim Seok Neo (Tengah) passed away at the age of 79 at her residence in "Bukit Rose", 259 Bukit Timah Road on May 18, 2603 (1943). She is survived by her only son, Oon Beng Teck and adopted daughter, Wee Bee Neo and the following grandchildren: Ong Tiang Wee, Oon Tiang Hye, Oon Tiang Cheng, Ong Tiang Guan, Ong Tiang Swee, Ong Lim Neo, Ong Tiang Hin, adopted grandson, O. Young and great grandchildren; Theresa Lim Kiang Ong, Oon Nellie, Oon Soon Ein, Ong Eng Yeow, Oon Gladys, Oon Nancy. The funeral took place on May 22, 2603 (1943) from her residence in Bukit Rose to Bukit Brown. (If you recalled, Bukit Rose was the family home of Mr and Mrs Ong Sam Leong. In 1943, Ong Boon Tat has already passed away (in 1941). Ownership of the house would have been with either Ong Peng Hock or Ong Boon Tat's eldest son; Ong Tiang Wee)
Madam Lim Seok Neo (Tengah)
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Oon Chin Soon

Family 
Son: Oon Beng Teck 
When Mrs Lim Cheng Wee passed, away, Dr.S. K. Lim, Oon Beng Teck, Lim Roberts, Lim Soon Chin and sisters were mentioned. This implied that Mr. Oon Beng Teck's mother-in-law is Mrs. Lim Cheng Wee (nee Lee Kwan Neo). Mrs Lim Cheng Wee is buried in Bukit Brown.

In another article dated 1916, there was a mention of Mr Oon Beng Teck marrying a Miss Wee, daughter of late Mr Wee Sen Kang.
December, 25, 1923 (source: NewspaperSG) 
Daughter: Oon Chim Neo
Oon Chim Neo was one of the earlier batches of chinese ladies to receive western education and graduated top of her class from the Singapore Chinese Girls School. She married Ong Boon Tat (son of Mr and Mrs Ong Sam Leong). After Madam Oon Chim Neo passed away at the age of 31 on March 12, 1917 at her father's house in 6 Balmoral Road , a beautiful and large tomb was erected  by her son, Mr Ong Tiang Wee. Madam Oon Chim Neo's tomb is technically located in the Seh Ong cemetery which is across the gates of Bukit Brown, along Kheam Hock road. Her peg number is no 77 which means her tomb is affected by the 8 lane highway.
Oon Chim Neo 
Exhumation in Toa Payoh of Oon Chin Soon's parents
In a notice of exhumation dated June 23, 1967, i gained further insight into the family of Oon Chin Soon. The deceased exhumed was a Oon Mung Wee, See Kwan Liew Neo, (Madam Wee Kwan Liew Neo). Listed are son: Oon Chin Soon, Daughters: Oon Choo Kim Neo, Oon Choo Cheo Neo, Grandsons: Oon Beng Teck, Oon Beng Kong, Grand-daughter: Oon Chim Neo.
source: NewspaperSG

References
Local and Personal. (1916, July 3). The Straits Times
Domestic Occurrences. (1923, December 25). The Singapore Free Press
Untitled. (1929, April 5). The Straits Times, page 17
Death. (1943, May 11). The Syonan Times
Advertisement. (1967, June 23). The Straits Times
Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (1908). Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History. People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources, London: Lloyd's Greater Britain Publishing Company

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