Friday, June 06, 2014

Cheong Choon Beng and family (Bukit Brown)

Mr Cheong Choong Beng (son of Cheong Swee Whatt) was one of the original members of the Singapore Voluntary Infantry (S.V.I.). In 1909, he was a N.C.O. Corporal. In 1902, he was one of the Singapore Contingent who went to England for the Coronation Ceremony. Cheong Choon Kim and Cheong Choon Beng established Yap Whatt & Co, in d'Almeida Street, which was the first Straits born Chinese firm engaged in commission, import and export trade. The company became well known as an intermediary between Chinese dealers and shopkeepers and the European manufacturers. When his brother, Cheong Choon Kim passed away in 1905 due to apoplectic stroke, Cheong Choon Beng took over.
Cheong Choon Beng
source: NewspaperSG
Cheong Choon Beng was a trustee of Anglo Chinese Free School, Cecil Street in 1912 ( together with Song Ong Siang, Dr. Lim Boon Keng, See Tiong Wah, Wee Swee Teow, Soh Kim Lian, Lim Sin Tat, etc).  He was also a committee member of the Straits Chinese British Association. Cheong Choon Beng was also a  key Straits Chinese member in many social gatherings and activities which involved the community leaders of various races and their colonial masters such as the Straits Coronation Dinner (1902) and the Straits Chinese Pagoda erection in conjunction with the Royal Visit (1901)

Death
Mr. Cheong Choon Beng passed away on March 25, 1913 at the age of 44, also due to apoplectic stroke. He was travelling with his eldest son, Cheong Chee Hai visiting rubber estates in Seremban and Kuala Lumpur and were returning to Singapore via a night mail train when he had a stroke around 6:45 pm and died. His remains left his residence in 8, Thomson Road for internment at Bukit Timah Cemetery on March 29, 1913.

Wife: Madam Song Boey Neo
Mrs Cheong Choon Beng nee Madam Song Boey Neo / Song Buay Neo,  passed away on December 11, 1935 at the age of 50 at 777 Grove Road. She is buried in Bukit Brown Hill 4 Division A.


Son: Dr.Cheong Chee Hai, Cheong Chee Tong, Cheong Chee Lim, Cheong Chee Joey, Cheong Chee Soon and Cheong Chee Hock
Daughter: Mrs. Wee Mah Cheow, Mrs Tan Soo Hai / Tan Soo Whye, Mrs. R. Lee Pang Chuan, Miss Cheong Swat Eng, Miss Cheong Swat Neo.

Family

Grandfather: Cheong Ann Jan
Cheong Ann Jan (1818-1881) came to Singapore in 1844 and worked for Hamilton, Padday & Co. (later Hamilton, Gray & Co. ) in Battery Road and rose up to the ranks to Storekeeper in which he served till his death in 1881. Of his fives sons, Cheong Swee Kiat was the Camprodore of Merchantile Bank until he passed away in 1891. His other son was Cheong Swee Whatt. Cheong Ann Jan's only daughter married Tan Hoon Soon and was the mother of Tan Gin Hock, managing partner of firm Hoon Keat & Co, general provision merchants in Raffles Place.

Father: Cheong Swee Whatt
Cheong Swee Whatt was the Camprodore of Banque de L'Indo-Chine until his death in 1907. His sons, Cheong Choon Kim and Cheong Choon Beng became propertiers of Yap Whatt & Co, which was established in 1893 as Commissioning Agents and Import and Export Merchants.

Son: Dr. Cheong Chee Hai
Dr. Cheong Chee Hai was born on May 29, 1893 and educated in Raffles Institution. A talented student, he was for 3 years running (1907-1909), a Cecil Smith scholar. He join the local medical school and later Hong Kong University and graduated in 1916 in M.B. , B.S. He returned to Singapore the same year and joined Dr Lim Boon Keng. He took over Dr. Lim Boon Keng's practice when Dr. Lim went to China to become the President of Amoy University. He is a member of the Straits Chinese British Association and President of the Straits Chinese Recreational Club. He was a Justice of Peace in 1924 and also a Municipal Commissioner in 1932. He holds the rank of Captain (retired) in S.V.C.
Dr Cheong Chee Hai 
Dr. Cheong Chee Hai is married to the eldest daughter of Mrs. Cheang Jim Chuan ( Alice Cheang Siok Cheow Neo). Mrs. Cheang Chee Hai nee Alice Cheang Siok Cheow Neo passed away on August 27, 1989 at the age of 93. Listed in her obituary are:
Sons: Cheong Eng Han (deceased) , Cheong Eng Leong.
Grandsons: Maj. Joseph Cheong , Lucky Cheong
Granddaughters: Margaret Cheong, Betsy Cheong, Kymmi Cheong

References
The Straits Coronation Dinner. (1902, July 17). The Singapore Free Press
S.V.C. Orders. (1909, March 3). The Straits Times
Anglo Chinese Free School. (1912, February 15). The Singapore Free Press
Death. (1913, March 26). The Straits Times
Towkay's sudden death. (1913, March 27). The Straits Times
Dr Cheong Chee Hai. (1935, October 6). The Straits Times
Domestic Occurrences Death. (December 14, 1935). The Singapore Free Press
Deaths. (1989, August 28). The Straits Times
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press

3 comments:

Aaron said...

Thank you very much for this!! Cheong Choon Beng is the grandfather of my paternal grandmother.

Best regards,
Aaron

Rojak Librarian said...

@Aaron, thank you for the kind words

Ka Ma said...

Thank you, This is amazing. Cheong Choon Beng was my Great Grandfather.

Regards

Karin Martinus