Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ang Choon Seng and family (Bukit Brown)

Ang Choon Seng  (1805- 1852) was born in Malacca and came to Singapore at an early age. He started business as a commission agent and provisional goods merchant under the company name of chop Chin Seng at Phillip Street. He also owned two schooners, (Patah Salam and Kong Kek) that ploy the Saigon (now Ho Chin Minh) and Bangkok route mostly dealing with the trading of rice. He also expanded to become a nutmeg plantation owner and also owning properties in Moulmein Road.

In 1831, 36 Chinese merchants and traders formed themselves into a Family Benefit Society also named as Keng Teck Whay. It was a society of "sworn brothers" and membership is only for the descendants of the 36 founders of different surnames. Some of the founders include See Boon Tiong, Chee Teang Why, Chee Kim Guan, So Guan Chuan, Neo Chan Guan, Yeo Kim Swee and Ang Choon Seng. The members each contributed 100 Spanish dollars, as seed fund to invest in property which will provide steady income and financial assistance for poor widows and families of the society.
The 36 Brethren - Founders of Keng Teck Whay
Keng Teck Whay (source: PictureSG)

Death
Ang Choon Seng died in February 2, 1852 and was buried in a private cemetery in Moulmein Road. He was re interred to Bukit Brown in 1932.

His business was taken over by Ang Kim Cheak and joined later by his other son, Ang Kim Tee. After the death of Ang Kim Cheak in 1870, Ang Kim Tee continued as sole proprietor until he eventually died himself on December 14, 1901. The company ceased to operate with the death of Ang Kim Tee.

Family

Son: Ang Kim Cheak (born 1827 - died 1870)
Both Ang Kim Cheak and Ang Kim Tee held successive post has Treasurer in the Kim Seng Free School for chinese boys in Amoy Street.

Son: Ang Kim Tee (born 1839 - died 1901)
Ang Kim Cheak married the daughter of Mr Lim Kong Wan. A daughter married Mr Lim Teck Wee of the Straits Office. His son, Ang Hock Siew was the chief cashier of the Straits Steamship Co. Ltd.

3 of Ang Kim Tee's daughters married the Hon. Mr Tan Jiak Kim successively. In 1878, a marriage with Ang Geok Hoe was arranged for Tan Jiak Kim when he was 19 years old. Unfortunately, Ang Geok Hoe died. Tan Jiak Kim remarried - first to Ang Geok Hean, who passed away in 1911, and then to Ang Geok Lan.


References
Song, Ong Siang. One hundred years' history of the Chinese in Singapore. Ed. Edwin Lee. Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1984.

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