Sunday, June 04, 2017

Mary Chan Siew Eng (Bukit Brown)

An interesting discovery of a marble tomb with a clear picture of a young lady who passed away at the young age of 20 was posted recently by Raymond Goh. What is more interesting is her link to a circus troupe where she plays the role of tiger trainer. Her name in the burial registrar is: Mary Chan Siew Eng.

Mary Chan Siew Eng 


Tiger Trainer of the Chinese Sports Circus



"See Miss CHAN SIEW ENG showing her prowess in her performance with the three fierce Tigers !
AND YET SHE  IS ONLY 16 YEARS OLD "

was the advertisement article by the Chinese Sports Circus on 6 April 1936 , when they performed at the Great World and even extended their performance beyond 1 week due to popularity. What is for sure, the Chan Siew Eng here matches closely with Mary Chan Siew Eng's age as well in 1936.

source: NewspaperSG

Another interesting aspect of this tomb 故妣  is the discussion on the name of the children that is engraved on her tomb (小 佩  Siao Pei and  大佩  Ta Pei). Raymond Goh provides a reasoning that the reverse children sequence order, the animate nature of the names 小 佩 , 大佩 and because Chan Siew Eng age matches with the Chan Siew Eng who is the tiger trainer from the Chinese Sport Circus; the name Siao Pei and Ta Pei might be the tigers she trained and indicated as her children in her tomb. There is of course no 100% proof of this yet, but this is done with the available sources and inference was made. If there is anyone with more information and evidence, do email me. Mary Chan Siew Eng / Chan Siew Eng passed away at the age of 20 on 25th February 1941. She is buried in Block 4 Section A plot 1329.

There are two other tombs with circus linkage and both are in the same Hill and Section as Mary Chan Siew Eng. They are: Sun Si Ting (Tai Thean Khew Circus) and Madam Cheng Kao Shin (Cheng Chang Fu Circus).
Burial registrar record of Mary Chan Siew Eng 

Tomb of Mary Chan Siew Eng at Bukit Brown
Tomb of Mary Chan Siew Eng 

There are two other tombs with circus linkage and both are in the same Hill and Section as Mary Chan Siew Eng. They are: Sun Si Ting (Tai Thean Khew Circus) and Madam Cheng Kao Shin (Cheng Chang Fu Circus).


References 
Advertisement. (1936, April 6). The Straits Times, page 5

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