Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chia Keng Tye and family (Bukit Brown)


Mr and Mrs Chia Keng Tye and son Chia Chin Tong
(photo courtesy of Chia Chan Chai)
Chia Keng Tye is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Chia Hood Team. He was a Campradore of Merchantile Bank (just like his father before him) and served in the Bank for 34 years starting from 1907. He was also multi-talented and was a musician, violinist, sports man and a professional tennis player.

Chia Keng Tye the Sportsman 
Chia Keng Tye was an avid sportsman and was a professional tennis player and played all the way to the ripe age of 70.
The Sportsman (source: NewspaperSG)
The Sportsman (source: NewspaperSG)

Chia Keng Tye Orchestra and the famous conductor Tay Lian Teck
In the 1920's, Straits Chinese pioneers such as Chia Keng Tye , Tay Lian Teck, Lim Hock San, Tan Hock San and Choo Beng Lim led the way in western classical music. A self-taught musician, Chia Keng Tye formed and financed Chia Keng Tye Orchestra ( CKT Orchestra ) and from humble beginnings of only 4 members and attracted by a desire to play Malay pantuns with his violin, he and his friends played at his house in Killiney road. The group slowly grew and one of it earliest performance was in 1916 in a variety concert by the Straits Chinese British Association in aid of the Red Cross. From then, it played for many causes (e.g. Swatow Relief 1922, Singapore Chinese Girl School Building Fund 1925) all the way to 1928.

His conductor for the orchestra, Tay Lian Teck, J.P, was an excellent violinist and was also the conductor. He went on to be the first Asian to play in an all-Caucasian group, the Singapore Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a director of the Ho Hong Group, Municipal Commissioner, legislative council member and as known as the "father of Chinese football").
Tay Lian Teck
(source: NewspaperSG)
In an interview in 1939, Chia Keng Tye told that he has spent over $12,00 of his own personal money in the period of 30 years to buy music for the orchestra and refreshments during rehearsal.

Mr and Mrs Chia Keng Tye in Bukit Brown
Chia Keng Tye passed away at the age of 77 on June 8, 1961.
Mr and Mrs Chia Keng Tye 
Mr and Mrs Chia Keng Tye's tomb in Bukit Brown
Mrs Chia Keng Tye (nee Lim Tuan Neo) passed away on April 11, 1948 after a long illness and is survived by her husband. 2 sons (Dr Chia Chin Tiong, Chia Chin Siang), 3 daughters (Elsie, Maggie, Daisy).

Funeral of Chia Keng Tye
Funeral of Chia Keng Tye
(photo courtesy of Chia Chan Chai and Noreen Chan

Funeral of Chia Keng Tye
Funeral of Chia Keng Tye
(photo courtesy of Chia Chan Chai and Noreen Chan)

Their graves are at Hill 5 C plot 261 and 262.

Family
Son: Dr Chia Chin Tiong
Dr Chia Chin Tiong passed away on December 16, 1994. He is survived by his wife (Madam Lim Siew Boey), 2 sons and 1 daughter.

Son: Chia Chin Siang 
Mr Chia Chin Siang (second son) married the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Tan Soon Keng in November 1941. The bridesmaid in the ceremony were 2 daughters of Mr and Mrs Lim Chong Pang.
Mr Chia Chin Siang and Miss Irene Tan 

Daughter: Elsie Chia
Miss Elsie Chia, second daughter of Mr Chia Keng Tye married Mr. Tan Jin Hoe, the only son of Mr. Tan Chong Lek, J.P. , M.C. Comprador of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Malacca. Mr Tan Jin Hoe was a cashier in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and a popular member of the Malacca Literary Club.

Daughter: Maggie Chia
Miss Maggie Chia married to Mr Chua Boon Kim on Dec 31, 1941. She was granted a decree nessi in 1953 on the grounds of desertion and adultery. Miss Maggie Chia Sian Neo passed away at the age of 71, on April 13, 1992. She is survived by her son, Douglas Chua.

A Legacy to Remember
In 1967, Mr Chia Keng Tye's two son's Dr Chia Chin Tiong and Mr. Chia Chin Siang donated 253 items of orchestral music belonging to their father, the late Mr. Chia Keng Tye to the National Library as a legacy for all music lovers to enjoy.

References
Untitled. (1933, September 11). The Singapore Free Press
Untitled. (1936, July 15). The Straits Times
Untitled. (1936, December 24). The Straits Times
Untitled. (1941, November 16). The Straits Time
Deaths. (1948, April 12). The Straits Times
Four gets decrees nisi. (1953, August 11). The Straits Times
Veteran dies. (1961, June 10). The Straits Times
Music Gift to S'pore by Chia family.(1967, March 8). The Straits Times
Deaths. (1992, April 15). The Straits Times
Desendants of Chia Leong Chuan. [website].Chia family tree

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