Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Mr. and Mrs. Lim Kwee Eng (Kopi Sua)

Lim Kwee Eng alias Lim Tiok Chye (1858-1928) (literary name, Lim Tong Kok) was born in Amoy, China in 1858. He is the son of Lim Boon Heng. Lim Kwee Eng came to Singapore at the age of 18 and worked as a book-keeper for chop Wan Seng, a firm owned by Cheang Hong Lim. He found favor in the eyes of his employer, Cheang Hong Lim who matched his eldest daughter, Cheang Cheow Lian Neo in marriage to Lim Kwee Eng in 1879. On 1880, Cheang Hong Lim appointed his son-in-law, Lim Kwee Eng as his attorney and lawful agent for all his business including signing on his behalf. For some years, Lim Kwee Eng became partner in the Opium and Spirit Farm. With his wealth, he also started a business as a pineapple preserver under the style of Choo Lam & Co, and it was profitable (at that time there were only 8 pineapple factories of both European and Chinese). But as competition grew, there were no less than 40 pineapple factories. Lim Kwee Eng eventually moved away from this business. Lim Kwee Eng was also active in the Chinese Chambers of Commerce (established in 1906). He was its Secretary from 1909-1918. In 1908, Lim Kwee Eng and Dr. Lim Boon Keng went to Shanghai to represent the Singapore Chinese Chamber at the convention of Chinese Chambers of Commerce throughout the world. Lim Kwee Eng was appointed the first superintendent of the Toh Lam (Hokkien) Chinese School (now Tao Nan School) of which Mr. Goh Siew Tin was one of its founders. This school started at "Siam House" former residence of the late Mr. Tan Kim Ching. It went on to the three-storied house in Armenian Street (the site was a gift of Mr. Oei Tiong Ham and buildings donation from Hokkien Chinese (that building today is the Peranakan Museum).

Lim Kwee Eng
Lim Kim Eng alias Lim Tiok Chye

Singapore and Straits Directory 1881

Lim Kwee Eng alias Lim Tiok Chye passed away at the age of 70 at No 9, Mohamed Sultan Road on 17th April 1928. He is survived by his widow, 3 sons, Lim Choo Kiat, Lim Choo Kong and Lim Choo Seng, 4 daughters-in-law, 4 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, Chew Eng Bor, Wee Peow Yong, Wee Beow Chwee and Cheang Thiam Leong, 32 grandchildren, 2 grandsons-in-law, and 1 great grandson. The article says that the burial is at Thomson Road Cemetery.  On an earlier book, Lim Kwee Eng was said to have a family of 3 sons and 6 daughters. The eldest son, Lim Choo Puan predeceased him. The second son, Lim Choo Kiat studied in Foochow and Amoy.

Wife: Madam Cheang Cheow Lian Neo nee Mrs. Lim Kwee Eng 
When Cheang Hong Lim passed away on 11 February 1893,  he left behind a large amount of property for distribution among his many children. Probate of his will was given to his eldest daughter, Cheang Cheow Lian Neo (Mrs. Lim Kwee Eng) to be trustee in executing his will. It was rare that a woman  during that time to be appointed trustee, especially for the Chinese. Mrs. Lim Kwee Eng nee Cheang Cheow Lian Neo passed away on 12 June 1934 at her residence, The "Anglers Retreat" 7 1/4 mile, Pasir Panjang. She leaves behind 1 son, Mr. Lim Choo Kiat, 3 daughters-in-law, Mrs. Lim Choo Puan, Mrs. Lim Choo Kiat and Mrs Lim Choo Seng, 4 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, Messrs. Wee Peow Yong, Wee Beow Chwee and Cheang Thiam Leong, 38 grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law and 11 great grandchildren. 

Mother: Lim Boon Heng 
Picture below is of Madam Lim Bon Heng when she was estimated 86 years of age.

Location of tomb 
Mr. Lim Kwee Eng and Madam Cheang Cheow Lian Neo are buried at Whitley Road Hokkien Cemetery, colloquially known as Kopi Sua. Access to this tomb is from Onreat Road off Mount Pleasant Road.

Tomb of Mr and Mrs Lim Kwee Eng
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Lim Kwee Eng

Variant Names
Lim Kwee Eng / Lim Tong Kok / Lim Teok Chye / Lim Tiok Chye

[research on-going]

Advertisement. (1880, November 8). Singapore Daily Times, page 3
Death. (1928, April 19). Malaya Tribune, page 8 
Death. (1934, June 13). The Straits Times, page 10
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press.
The Rise of Singapore's Great Opium Syndicate, 1840-86. Carl A. Trocki.Journal of Southeast Asian Studies , Vol. 18, No. 1 (Mar., 1987) , pp. 58-80
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of Department of History, National University of Singapore.Article Stable URL:
The Singapore and Straits directory for 1881, containing also directories of Sarawak, Labuan, Siam, Johore and the Protected Native States of the Malay Peninsula and an appendix. [website] BookSG
Mrs. Wee Chong Beng nee Tan Swee Neo(website).Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录
Wee Beow Chwee and Lim Seok See Neo(website).Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Khoo Eng Wah and family (Bukit Brown)

Khoo Eng Wah was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. Khoo Teng Hin. He was active in sports and was involved in many sporting clubs such as the Shanghai Badminton Club and the Amateur Sporting Association. Like his father, he also purchased property. There was an article in 1931, where he and his elder brother, Khoo Eng Teck purchase freehold land and houses, "Shanghai Hill" No 367 Pasir Panjang Road, "Glenholm" No 366 Pasir Panjang Road, 2 acres 18 poles for $24,000. 

In April 1931, it was announced that Khoo Eng Wah (third son of Mr and Mrs. Khoo Teng Hin of No. 5, Shanghai Road, ) was engaged to Miss. Wee Swee Neo (youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wee Boon Teng of No 5 and 7 Kim Yam Road). Khoo Eng Wah (the third son of the late Mr and Mrs Khoo Teng Hin) passed away at the age of 39 at his residence at No. 35 Koek Road, Syonan on May 27, 1945. He is survived by his wife Madam Wee Swee Neo, 2 sons ( Khoo Cheng Wee, Khoo Cheng Lim) , 4 daughters (Khoo Gek Choo, Khoo Gek Lin, Khoo Gek Kee, Khoo Gek Liew),  and several brothers. He is buried in Bukit Brown Hill 4 Division A. Madam Wee Swee Neo passed away at the age of 57 on 13th November 1966. She leaves behind 2 sons, 4 daughters, 1 daughter-in-law, 4 sons-in-law, 8 grandchildren to mourn her loss. The cortege leaves 13, Lorong Kembang to Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and burial at Bidadari. 

During the Japanese occupation, Khoo Eng Wah was likely to be employed by the Showa Tsusho Co. Ltd and was an Auxiliary Police volunteer (A.P. personnel of "E" Division). In the early months of Japanese occupation, Khoo Eng Wah of 35 Koek Road was among many other Straits born Chinese selected under the guise of the Overseas Chinese Association that were called to help register all those who have no means of livelihood at present, the aged, sick and poor who are incapable of working to support themselves. 

Khoo Eng Wah 

Obituary notice of Khoo Eng Wah

Son: Khoo Cheng Wee
An article in 1958 mentions a then 21 years old Singapore student who was in Australia to gain a degree in electrical engineering and a place in the University of Melbourne's swimming team. Kho of 35 Koek Road started his course at the University of Melbourne in 1957 at the end of 4 years, he hopes to complete the degree and return to work for the Singapore City Council. Khoo Cheng Wee is on a Singapore City Council scholarship whch has similar terms and conditions to the Colombo Plan scholarship. 
Khoo Cheng Wee

Son: Khoo Cheng Lim
Madam Wee Swee Neo admiring the gold medal that was received by his son, Khoo Cheng Lim for being the most brilliant engineering student in 1961 from the University of Malaya. He worked for some years in the Public Works Department before becoming a lecturer in 1969. Associate Professor Khoo Cheng Lim was a Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Architecture and Building before  becoming the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Chairman in 1987 at the age of 49. Dr. Khoo eventually step down as chairman when his term expires on 31 March 2001. 

Madam Wee  Swee Neo with Khoo Cheng Lim

Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Khoo Teng Hin 
Khoo Teng Hin was a property owner and dealer. He was also a committee member of the Tiang Ho Kok Association before becoming its Vice-President in 1932. Khoo Teng Hin passed away on September 11, 1938 at the age of 59. Madam Lim Chye Kim passed away on June 5, 1933 at the age of 52. On their tomb at Bukit Brown are the name of his sons (Khoo Eng Teck, Khoo Eng Wah, Khoo Eng Chye, Khoo Eng Watt, Khoo Eng Poh, Khoo Eng Tee, Khoo Eng Tin, Khoo Eng Cheng, Khoo Eng Hock, Khoo Eng Chuan, Khoo Eng Choon,Khoo Eng Tong, Khoo Eng Chiong, Khoo Eng Hong) , daughters (Khoo Wan Neo, Khoo Eng Neo, Khoo Seong Neo, Khoo Lee Neo, Khoo Sim Neo, Khoo Hye Neo) and grandchildren (Khoo Chin Beow, Khoo Cheng Wee, Khoo Cheng Lim, Khoo Cheng Lock, Khoo Cheng Soon and Khoo Cheng Bee). 

Mr and Mrs Khoo Teng Hin

Property Sale.(1931, February 16). Malayan Tribune, page 4
Domestic Occurrences. (1931, April 20). Malaya Tribune, page 8
Acknowledgements. (1945, May 30). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Two happy mothers. (1961, June 10). The Straits Times, page 5
Death. (1966, November 14). The Straits Times, page 20
NUS don appointed chairman of URA. (1987, April 25). The Straits Times, page 38
URA shuffles top management, new chairman picked. (2001, March 1).Business Times, page 11 
Khoo Teng Hin and Lim Chye Kim. (website). Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录

Friday, July 03, 2020

Wee Teow Cheng and family (Bukit Brown)

Wee Teow Cheng / Oei Tiau Tjing was the Kapitan of Rhio. He passed away at the age of 44 on 3rd August 1930. Listed at his tomb are his sons; Wee Tiang Siew, Wee Tiang Hoe and Wee Tiang Choon and daughter; Wee Bee Neo. Wee Teow Cheng is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Oei Bok Sien. He is buried in Hill 3 Division A, plot 230. Both tomb of  Wee Teow Cheng and Mr and Mrs Oei Bok Sien have been beautifully restored. 

Wee Teow Cheng
Tomb of Wee Teow Cheng

Wee Teow Cheng's tomb
Wee Teow Cheng's tomb restored

Burial entry of Oei Tiau Tjing /Wee Teow Cheng

Father: Oei Bok Sien
Mr. Oei Bok Sien passed away at the age of 66 on 5 September 1931 at 15 Choon Guan Street, off Anson Road, leaving behind a widow, 4 sons; Wee Teow Beng, Oei Tiau Soen, Oei Tiau Joe,  and Wee Teow Poh, 2 daughters (Mrs Chew Kiat Seng and Madam Wee Chwee Neo nee Mrs. Tan Soo Yok),  1 son-in-law (Mr. Chew Kiat Seng), 6 daughters-in-law; 15 grandsons, 11 grand-daughters, 1 grandson-in-law (Mr. Chiam Thiam Chin, 3 grand daughters-in-law, 2 great grandsons. 

When Oei Bok Sien passed away, 2 sons were not listed in his obituary notice,  Oei Tiau Tjing and Oei Tiau Yong. I suspect that Oei Tiau Tjing is no other than Wee Teow Cheng who passed away in 1930, 1 year earlier than his father. 

Mother: Oei Bok Sien nee Soh Nyia Chik 
Mrs. Oei Bok Sien nee Soh Nyia Chik passed away at the age of 62 on 14 October 1929 at 20, Choon Guan Street, off Anson Road. She leaves behind her husband, Mr. Oei Bok Sien, 6 sons (Oei Tiau Tjing, Wee Teow Beng, Oei Tiau Soen, Oei Tiau Joe, Oei Tiau Yong and Wee Teow Poh, 6 daughters-in-law; 2 daughters (Mrs Chew Kiat Seng and Madam Wee Chwee Neo nee Mrs. Tan Soo Yok) ; 1 son-in-law (Mr. Chew Kiat Seng); 14 grandsons, 10 grand-daughters . 

Son: Wee Tiang Hoe / Harry Wee Tiang Hoe 
The engagement is announced on June 1940 between Mr. Wee Tiang Hoe, Henry (second son of the late Mr. Wee Teow Cheng , Kapitan Rhio and Mrs. Wee Teow Cheng) to Miss Chang Seong Neo, May (only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chan Koon Leong). 

Son: Wee Tiang Choon / Willie Wee Tiang Choon
The engagement is announced in January 1942 between Mr. Willie Wee Tiang Choon (the youngest son of Mrs. Wee Teow Cheng and the late Mr. Wee Teow Cheng and grandson of the late Mr & Mrs Wee Bok Sien of Tanjong Pinang, Rhio) and Miss Alice Goh Hay Lye (youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Goh Wee Tong).

Daughter: Wee Bin Neo
Wee Bin Neo (eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Wee Teow Cheng,Rhio and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oei Bok Sien) got married to Mr. Tan Liang Seah (youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Sin Poey). The wedding took place on 12 September 1926.

Variant Names
Oei Bok Sien /Wee Bok Sien
Wee Teow Cheng / Oei Tiau Tjing

Advertisement. (1926, August 17). The Straits Times, page 7 
Advertisement. (1996, October 19). The Straits Times, page 4 
Advertisement. (1940, June 4). The Straits Times, page 2 
Advertisement. (1942, January 3). The Straits Times, page 2 

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Madam Lim Geok Hiok (Kopi Sua)

Madam Lim Geok Hiok nee Mrs. Lee Beng Chuan passed away at the age 22 on 23rd June 1948. On her tomb is listed 1 son, Lee Teck Huat. The rediscovery of Lim Geok Hiok started with a request by Theresa Lim, who gave a talk about finding her roots in National Library in December 2019. On the top of her quest list was to look for her aunt (her father's eldest sister who died at the young age of 22 in 1948 after giving birth to twins, of whom only one twin survived). She told us that her father used to visit the elder sister's grave many years ago including a time period when he could just walk from Kopi Sua (Whitley Road side) to Malcolm Road Side (in short before the Pan-Island Expressway was built). He was very adamant that her eldest sister tomb was not affected by the highway as he remembered a petrol kiosk nearby. I joined Raymond Goh in this quest to find, and we were very fortunate to able to locate it after spending 2 days looking for it. 

Madam Lim Geok Hiok
Madam Lim Geok Hiok nee Mrs Lee Beng Chuan

Madam Lim Geok Hiok
The tomb of Madam Lim Geok Hiok after we cleared it

Location of tomb 
Malcom Road /Whitley Road Cemetery is know "colloquially" as Kopi Sua, is a large cemetery system with parts of it cut of due to the construction of the Pan Island Expressway. The tomb of Madam Lim Geok Hiok nee Mrs Lee Beng Chuan is at the section of Kopi Sua area that was cut of by the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) (the entrance to this section of cemetery complex is via the long staircase just before St.Joseph Institution). Her plot number is 226. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Madam Mah Im Neo nee Mrs. Choo Eng Choon (Kopi Sua)

Madam Mah Im Neo was one of the wives of Mr. Choo Eng Choon, Madam Mah Im Neo passed away on 25th June 1949 at the age of 85. Listed at her tomb are the name of 3 daughters; Choo Kim Neo, Choo Tat Poh, Choo Ngian Kien and 1 grandson; Choo Ban Chee. In the obituary notice, Mah Im Neo passed away at her residence at No. 340 East Coast Road. She is survived by 3 daughters; Choo Kim Neo, Choo Tat Poh, Choo Ngan Kiew, 2 son-in-laws; Mr. Khoo Wee Tong and Mr. Tan Cheng San and several grandchildren to mourn her loss. 
Mah Im Neo
Madam Mah Im Neo

Towkay Saigon  / Orang Kaya Saigon and "The Six Widows' Case"
Choo Eng Choon (1848-1905) was a Head Cashier for the Saigon branch of Banque de I'Indo Chine for 20 years, a rice merchant was born in Singapore and was a British subject until he passed away in May 1905 at  his residence in Amoy Street. He passed away in Singapore intestate. During his lifetime, Choo Eng Choon, "contracted unions" with 7 women. One of the woman by the name of Tan Kit Neo, predeceased him in October 1896 (from their union they had 4 sons, only 1, the youngest, Choo Ang Chee survived him and eventually obtained administration of the estate. In what was known as the six widows' case, the remaining 6 widows all claim to be widows who are entitled to a share of the late Choo Eng Choon who was said to be valued at $1 million dollars in Saigon (a French colony then) and $500,000 in Singapore. Another important story from the court case was the number of people involved. It was well summarised in one article:
One dead man.
One live son.
Six live widows.
Seven other son live sons.
Seven live daughters.
There were no less than nine barristers involved for the plaintiff, Choo Ang Chee, widow Tan Siok Yang and her children, widow Neo Chan Choo and her children, widow Cheang Cheng Kim and her children, widow Lim Cheok Neo and her child, widow Mah Im Neo and her children, widow Neo Soo Neo and her child. 

Choo Eng Choon and son, Choo Ang Chee
Choo Eng Choon and his son Choo Ang Chee

The courts and eventually the appeal courts upheld the ruling decision that Tan Seok Neo to be the Principal wife and lawful wife and the others were labelled as "inferior wives"and were entitled to participate in one-third share of the estate. The English law of primogeniture thus did not apply in this case. The Chief Justice in his closing said, "The sympathy which i feel with the women and children whose interest are dealt with by this judgement and whose position is due to the supineness of Choo Eng Choon in not making a will. 

Madam Tan Siok Yang
On 3 January 1901, Cho Eng Choon married Miss Tan Siok Yang (daughter of Tan Keng Guan). Madam Tan Siok Yang passed away on 11 May 1926 at her residence, No 26 Lorong 25 Geylang Road at the age of 49. She is survived by an only son, Choo Ong Tee. Madam Tan Siok Yang is buried in Bukit Brown.

Madam Chiang Cheng Kim
Madam Chiang Cheng Kim (wife of the late Mr. Choo Eng Choon) and mother of Mr. Choo Ang Chuan and Choo Ang Tee passed away on 10th June 1935. The funeral took place on 30th June 1935 from her residence at No 35 Marshall Road, off East Coast Road for the burial ground in Buona Vista. 

Family Fortunes
From the various advertisement over the years, you can get a rough glimpse of some of the properties and valuables owned by the late Choo Eng Choon in Singapore. I am still unable to information on where Choo Eng Choon was buried and more information about his family will be updated when i find.

[research on-going]

Advertisement. (1949, June 27). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Domestic Occurrences Deaths. (1935, June 29). The Straits Times, page 10
Friday May 12 1905. (1905, May 18). The Singapore Free Press
Legal Field Day. (1908, September 10). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Choo Eng Choon's Estate. (1908, October 22). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Six Widows' Case. Chinese Marriage Laws (1909, July 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Mrs Choo Eng Choon nee Tan Siok Yang (website).Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Kiong Kong Tuan and family (Kopi Sua)

Kiong Kong Tuan (龚光传) (1790-1854) was a merchant from Penang and he came to established himself in Singapore. He married a daughter of Choa Chong Long, and from the marriage they had 1 son, Kiong Seok Wee and several daughters (one of whom became the wife of Wee Bin of the steamship firm Wee Bin & Co). In the 1840's, Kiong Kong Tuan planted about 50 acres of coffee near Jurong but that venture failed. He owned Opium Farm license but his business profits from it was low due to huge smuggling (which impacted opium prices) and his poor speculation of the movement of opium prices and the high rental he had to pay to acquire the opium license. Kiong Kong Tuan was also a Spirit Farmer whose factory was at Pearl's Hill. It was colloquially known for many years among the Chinese community as Chiu-long-san (spirit factory hill). Kiong Kong Tuan was one of the prominent Chinese leaders of the time and this is reflected in an article date 1851 to Colonel Butterworth, then Governor of Prince of Wales Island, Singapore and Malacca. Representing the Chinese community were Tan Kim Seng, Seah Eu Chin, Tan Kim Ching, Yeo Hoot Seng, Ang Choon Seng, Chee Teang Whye, Cheang Sam Teo and Kiong Kong Tuan in the article called Address from the Inhabitants.Kiong Kong Tuan died at the age of 64 on 16th January 1854.

Kiong Kong Tuan's tomb
Kiong Kong Tuan's tomb

In a public auction in the same year of his death, you can get a glimpse of his wealth and his other enterprise of nutmeg plantations in Sungai Jurong, Bukit Timah Road and nutmeg, pepper and gambier in Toa Payoh.
Plantations of Kiong Kong Tuan

Wife: Choa Liong Neo 
Choa Liong Neo was the daughter of Chao Chong Long. From Raymond's blog article, i found out Choa Liong Neo wrote a will in 1841 lunar 5th month 5th day. According to Choa Liong Neo's will, she said she was the eldest daughter and together with 3 younger sisters inherited Chong Long properties. As she was then ill and may die in the near future, she has named her husband executor of her estate.

Son: Kiong Seok Wee
Kiong Seok Wee went into business with his brother-in-law, Wee Bin but it was short-lived. He was also at one time, one of the proprietors of the Singapore Daily Free Press and Merchantile Advertiser. In 1865 along with Wee Leong Hin, the firm of Leong Hin, Seok Wee & Co, chop Aik Ho, ship-handlers, was established at Boat Quay and another under the chop Joo Chin & Co, as General Merchants. Aik Ho suffered a fire and as it was not covered by insurance, Kiong Seok Wee suffered loses. This loses further worsen with the failure of Joo Chin & Co. In 1869, his financial difficulties lead to his insolvency. Kiong Seok Wee died in 1888 at the age of 49, leaving behind 6 sons and 2 daughters. The elder daughter became a daughter-in-law of Mr. Tan Kim Ching. The youngest son, Mr. Kiong Chin Eng was a chief clerk and cashier at the General Hospital.

Father-in-law: Choa Chong Long
Choa Chong Long was born around 1788 in Malacca and his father was a Capitan China there during Dutch control Malacca.  In 1826, Choa Chong Long secured land title in Commercial Square (present Raffles Place) and built his house. He was famous among the local circles and often entertained British merchants. There was a hill near Tanjong Pagar that was known as Bukit Chong Long and a road called Chong Long Road but renamed as Canning Lane (after Earl Canning, Governor of India, in which a road, hill and rise were name after him).In 1836, Choa Cheng Long put up an article on the newspapers that he will be leaving for China and likely be there for a few years. He never did return for Choa Chong Long was murdered in Macao in 1838. 

There was a baba-malay pantun reminding people not to take advantage of his kindness:-
Tinggi-tinggi rumah Chek Long,  (Very high is Mr. Chong Long's house)
Di-bawahnya buat kedai kain        (Below it are the cloth shops)
Alang-nya bisa ular tedong           (When venom is in the strike of the cobra's hood)
Boleh-kah tangkap buat main        (Can you catch and play with it)

The executor of Choa Chong Long estate was William Spottiswoode (W. Spottiswoode). In 1869, Choa Choon Neo, a descendant of Chao Chong Long successfully contested the will of Choa Chong Long that allows reserving of properties in Malacca and Singapore in perpetuity for "Sinchew rites (ancestral worship of Choa Chong Long and his wifes) in favor for partible  inheritance.

Location of tomb 
Malcom Road /Whitley Road Cemetery is know "colloquially" as Kopi Sua, is a large cemetery system with parts of it cut of due to the construction of the Pan Island Expressway. The tomb of Kiong Kong Tuan is at the section of Kopi Sua area that was cut of by the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) (the entrance to this section of cemetery complex is via the long staircase just before St.Joseph Institution).

The state of Mr and Mrs Kiong Kong Tuan's tomb after cleaning up

Kiong Kong Tuan headstone was the only we managed to raise up

Advertisement. (1854, September 15). Singapore Free Press, page 1
Trocki, C. A. (1990). Opium and empire: Chinese society in Colonial Singapore, 1800-1910. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
Song, O. S. One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore.
Kiong Kong Tuan 龔光傳 and Choa Liong Neo 蔡良娘. (website).Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Joseph William Cashin and family (Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery)

Joseph William Cashin / J.W. Cashin (1842-1907) was born in Singapore and is the second son of the late Mr. Cashin, a Maltese Inspector of Police. The Cashin family originally from Ireland, came down to Singapore many years ago. Joseph William Cashin was educated at the Christian Brother's Schoo and became a lawyer's clerk after going into work at the legal firm of Mr. F.E. Pereira, followed by Mr. Edwin Koek and finally Mr. J.P. Joaquim. Joseph William Cashin also joined the Opium and Liquor Farms of Singapore, rising the ranks to Managing Director before passing away. With the money, he invested and also made a fortune in land speculation and at one time own many properties, including about 400 shophouses. Joseph William Cashin passed away on 7th August 1907 at his country house at Pongol (Punggol) and the body was brought to his town residence at  No 3 Gaylang (Geylang) at the end of the tramway terminus. He is survived by his widow, 3 daughters and an only son. Probate of his will went to his son, Alexander William Cashin.

tomb of Joseph William Cashin and Alexander William Cashin
Tomb of Joseph William Cashin at Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery

Son: Alexander William Cashin / A.W. Cashin
Alexander William Cashin continued in his father's legacy as a veteran land and estate owner. A.W. Cashin owned land in Lim Chu Kang area and in 1914 invited Neo Tiew (梁宙) to manage and develop the land which he managed so well that it was known as the kingdom of Neo Tiew. During the Japanese occupation, A.W. Cashin spent over 3 years in internment at Sime Road and Changi Gaol. A.W. Cashin passed away on 6th October 1947 at his residence in No. 79 Grange Road. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Sarah Cashin and 4 children (Joseph Cashin, Howard Cashin, Carmen Cashin (Mrs. R. Burghart), Dagmar Cashin (Mrs. J.L. Marr). A.W. Cashin was buried in Bukit Timah Cemetery. With the development of Bukit Timah Cemtery, the descendants must have moved them to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.

Daughter: Agnes Cashin
The wedding took place at the Church of St. Joseph, Victoria Street on October 1913, of Mr. William Martin Allen (son of Mr. Charles Allen) to Miss Agnes Cashin (daughter of the late Mr. Joseph William Cashin). Owning to the ill health of the bride's mother, the wedding was a quiet affair. 

Grand-daughter: Miss Edna Cashin
Miss Edna Cashin (daughter of A.W. Cashin and grand-daughter of J.W. Cashin) died when she lost control of the motor car she was driving and crashed and overturn at Farrer Road on 27 July 1939. Also killed was her Boyanese driver, Mastuki bin Abdullah who was sitting beside her. Miss Edna Cashin was 17 years old. She is now buried together with her father and grandfather at Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery.

Butterfly House 
23 Amber Road's Butterfly was designed by Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan & Maclaren (he was the architect of Raffles Hotel, Victoria Memorial Hall and Goodword Park Hotel). Built in 1912, it was commissioned by Alexander William Cashin (A.W. Cashin) for his brother-in-law, Mr. D. Kitovitz. Butterfly House was a neo-renaissance / Victorian styled bungalow and was in a unique crescent-shaped facing the sea so that the view and sea breeze will be maximised.  That unique part was unfortunately demolished in 2007, replaced by a 54 unit, 18-storey building. Only the entrance porch portion of the house along Amber Road was maintained. 

Butterfly House by the sea
Butterfly House (before the land reclamation and after)

Butterfly House c1970
Butterfly House c1970 (source: PictureSG)

Matilda House
The Punggol seaside bungalow, built around 1921-1922 by Alexandra Cashin as a present for his wife. It was called Matilda House, as it was named after her paternal mother, Josephine Matilda Cashin. The Cashin used to owned about 350 hectares of land in the area on which there were also rubber and coconut plantations. 

Matilda House (source: NewspaperSG)

[research on-going]

Death of Mr. J.W. Cashin. (1907, August 8). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Social and Personal. (1913, October 22). The Straits Times, page 8
Death of A.W. Cashin. (1947, October 7). The Straits Times, page 7
His old house...soon Punggol's new landmark. (2002, October 20). The New Paper, page 8
Butterfly House: General view [1]. (website). PictureSG. Last accessed 6 June 2020
Matilda House. (website). State of Buildings. Last accessed 6 June 2020

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Tan Chong Chew and family (Bukit Brown)

Tan Chong Chew (1894-1969) was one of the sons of Tan Kheam Hock. Tan Chong Chew studied in Raffles Institution before completing his studies in England where he completed his studies with third class honors. He returned to Singapore where he was first attached to the Wharf Accounts Department under Mr. W.S. Barett and afterwards to the Tonnage Department under Mr. H.B. Leicester where he gained valuable insight into the wharf work. Up to 1940, Tan Chong Chew has served under 3 Chairman, Sir John Nicholson, then Mr. S.A. Lane and Mr. G.W.A. Trimmer. Tan Chong Chew was the manager of the Eastern Mining and Rubber Company and Head of the Tanjong Pagar Labour Company, which is a contractor to the Singapore Harbour Board, that manages 2,000 men to move 10,000 tons of coal and cargo a day (his father, Tan Kheam Hock, originally secured the labour contract for Tanjong Pagar Docks). He was appointed Justice of Peace in 1939. Tan Chong Chew was a recipient of a certificate by the Japanese occupiers during the Tentyo Setsu celebrations in April 1942. Post war years, Tan Chong Chew appeared in the papers once for an offence he committed and found guilty during the Japanese occupation, but subsequently on more regular basis for his hobbies rather than work life. I am unable to find his obituary notice, but Tan Chong Chew passed away on 23 March 1969 at the age of 76. He is buried in Bukit Brown, Hill 1 Division A, plot 356.
Tan Chong Chew
Tan Chong Chew (source: National Archives)

Angler, pedigree dog breeder and avid horse owner
An avid horse owner with horses such as King Cole, Spangle, Penang Griffin No 2 and Pam. Tan Chong Chew was a pedigree dog breeder who participated in many competitions and at one time the President of the Alsatian Club. President of the Angler's Club. Tan Chong Chew and Ong Peck Hock were fishing buddies, and there was even a report of Ong Peck Hock inviting Tan Chong Chew to spend 4 days in his bungalow, "Wine House" in Pulau Damar Laut (1952) and spent time in fishing in his 21ft half-cabin cruiser. In the 1950's, Tan Chong Chew contributed many articles to the Singapore Standard and Sunday Standard sharing his knowledge and observations on the recreational fishing scene in Singapore. 
Tan Chong Chew and Ong Peck Hock

Tan Chong Chew with "Dunsraven", the champion fox terrier

6 months for Tan Chong Chew and son; bailed refused
Tan Chong Chew, J.P. and his son, Adam Tan were found guilty after a trial that lasted 5 days on charges of abetting a Japanese military police (Kempeitai) in causing hurt to Tan Cheng Siang and of criminal intimidation, during the Japanese occupation on 11 November 1943. According to the prosecution, Adam Tan received on trust, a diamond ring for sale from Tan Cheng Siang and after losing it was unable to reach settlement. Subsequently after Tan Cheng Siang had laid a complaint about the matter before a police magistrate, Tan Chong Chew called in a Kempei-tai man who was friendly to him and the Japanese Military Police took Tan Cheng Siang to a Kempei-tai station in Smith Street and beat him up and later took him to the Central Police Station where Tan Cheng Siang agreed to a settlement against his own wishes for a sum of $1,500. The 1 1/2 carat diamond ring was stated to have been worth $4,250. Mr.  Kenneth M. Byrne of the third district court sentenced Tan Chong Chew and his son, Adam to 6 months on each of the 2 charges, the sentences to run concurrently. 
Note: Tan Cheng Siang in this case, i believe is the grandson of Tan Kim Tian (as it was mentioned that Tan Cheng Siang came from a prominent Singapore Chinese family and when the Kempeitai when to get him, they went to his house in Neil Road

Wife: Madam Foo Gim Yong
Tan Chong Chew married Miss Foo Gim Yong (daughter of Mr and Mrs Foo Boon Sean) in 1915 and many guest where invited for a grand celebration held at Enggor Street that was reported in the papers. Madam Foo Gim Yong (daughter of Mr and Mrs. Foo Boon Sean of Penang) passed away at the age of 90 on 30th April 1986. She is survived by her son, Charlie Tan, daughters, Lily Tan and Tan Seow Keng, daughter-in-law; Phyllis, grandchildren, grandchildren-in-law and great grandchildren. The cortege left from 33 Ettrick Terrace. 
Madam Foo Gim Yong with other prominent guest (1937)

Son: Tan Huck Wan 
Mr.Tan Huck Wan (1916-1944) is the the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Chew. He studied in Anglo Chinese School and was gifted in sports. He played cricket, hockey and football for the SCRC and YMCA during 1935-1941. Mr Tan Huck Wan married Miss Lim Chin Choo (third daughter of Mrs Lim Mah Seang from Penang) in 17 Sept 1939 in a very traditional but grand affair. During the wedding procession, they were escorted by police guards as the bride was wearing $100,000 worth of jewelry with the bridal clothing specially imported from Penang. Tan Huck Wan was a Corporal with the service number 38243 of the Singapore Voluntary Field Ambulance, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. He passed away on 31st May 1944 and was buried in Bukit Brown next to her infant daughter, Ruby Tan who died on the 26th Oct 1944. She was only 6 months old. Both tombs were affected by the 8 lane highway and were exhumed by their descendants. 
Tan Huck Wan and Lim Chin Choo

Daughter: Lily Tan
Lily Tan (only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Chong Chew) married Richard Chua Hock Seng (eldest son of Mr.and Mrs. Chua Guan Chui) on December 1942. Prominent Japanese officers attended the marriage and the marriage certificate was witness and signed by Capt. Noda, Director Romu Kamri Kaisha, Mr. Hoshino of the Information Bureau, Dr. A.C. Jap and Lim Chong Ming. The bridesmaid was Miss Ruby Ong and bestman, Ong Chong Bee. 

Son:Tan Huck Hean
Tan Huck Hean (third son), born October 30, 1919 - died November 18, 1928, age 9 years old. He is buried in Bukit Brown. 

Daughter: Daisy Tan 
Daisy Tan ( second daughter), born October 28, 1933 - died December 26, 1933, age 1 month old. She is buried in Bukit Brown, close by to her brother, Tan Huck Hean. 
Grave of Tan Huck Hean and Daisy Tan
Block 2 Division F 
Penang Cot, 317 River Valley 
"Penang Cot" was the family home of Tan Kheam Hock and eventually Tan Chong Chew up to the war years. Post war, it seems that Tan Chong Chew residence seems to be at 72 St. Patrick Road. "Penang Cot" has seen many events including births, weddings, socialite gatherings and parties and also deaths. From what little pictures, i can find, the house was a grand place and inside you can see beautiful decorative and floor tiles as well. 
Penang Cot , River Valley
Penang Cot, River Valley

Beautiful interior of Penang Cot 

Tan Chong Chew mark on his commissioned crockery

Tan Chong Chew commissioned crockery

Celebration for Sir George Skimmer held at Penang Cot 

Tan Chong Chew's tomb in Bukit Brown
Tomb of Tan Chong Chew in Bukit Brown

[research on-going] 

Chinese Wedding. Tan Chong Chew marries Miss Foo Gim Yong.(1915, July 19). The Straits Times, page 10
Hints for Dog Lovers in Malaya. (1934, December 16). Sunday Tribune, page 16
Mr. Tan Chong Chew. Head of the Tanjong Pagar Labour Co. (1937, April 6). Malaya Tribune, page 11
Chinese Dinner for Singapore's New Knights. (1937, July 1). The Straits Times, page 20
Sir George Trimmer feted at "Penang Cot". (1937, July 1). Malayan Tribune, page 18
Careers of New Justices of the Peace. (1939, June 10). The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Daughter of Well-known Chinese Weds. (1942, December 28). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Jap MP's were called to settle lost ring dispute. (1946, April 7). The Straits Times, page 3
6 months for Tan Chong Chew, Son: Bailed Refused. (1946, April 9). Malaya Tribune, page 4
Death.(1986, May 1). The Straits Times, page 28

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Mrs Ang Swee Chiang nee Tan Cheng Neo (Bukit Brown)

Mrs. Ang Swee Chiang nee Tan Cheng Neo passed away at the age of 50 at her residence at No 59, East Coast Road, in front of Roxy Cinema on 14th September 1936 at 9:40 pm. She is survived by one son, Ang Kay Guan, 1 daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. From her tomb in Bukit Brown, we can gather that her daughter-in-law name is Annie Chia (daughter of Mr. Chia Cheng Hoe) and her 3 grandchildren are Alice Ang, Irene Ang and Diana Ang.
Mrs. Ang Swee Chiang nee Tan Cheng Neo tomb at Bukit Brown
Mrs. Ang Swee Chiang nee Tan Cheng Neo

Son: Ang Kay Guan
Ang Kay Guan is the son-in-law of Mr. Chia Cheng Hoe and he worked at Messrs. Evatt and Co. In 1931, it was reported that he passed Part 1 of the Final Examination of the Corporation of Accountant Glasgow.  Ang Kay Guan (nephew of Tan Cheng Watt) got engaged to Miss Annie Chia (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chia Cheng Hoe). The marriage took place on 28 March 1928. Ang Kay Guan passed away at the age of 39 at his residence at No. 6 Pulasan Road on 14 February 1946 and is buried in Bidadari. He is survived by his wife, 2 sons, 3 daughters.

Grand-daughter: Alice Ang Soh Chia
Alice Ang Soh Chia married Ng Sing Chong on 14th January 1956. Alice Ang is the eldest daughter of Mrs. Ang Kay Guan, while Ng Sing Chong is the son of Mr and Mrs. Ng Yoke Seng

Marriage of Alice Ang and Ng Sing Chong (source: NewspaperSG)

Domestic Occurrences Deaths. (1936, September 15). Malaya Tribune, page 10
Untitled. (1931, August 17). Malaya Tribune, page 8
Death. (1946, February 15). The Straits Times, page 2

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Ho Siu Choon (Peck San Theng Cemetery)

Ho Siu Choon / Ho Siew Choon is a merchant and the third son of Mr. Ho Siak Kuan. Ho Siew Choon / Ho Siu Choon (third son of Mr. Ho Siak Kuan, of the Chinese Protectorate) got married to Miss San Oi Leng (daughter of Mr. San A. Weng of Kuala Lumpur)on 16 January 1916  at No. 34 Neil Road. Ho Su Choon passed away on 21 December 1927 at No. 2 Blair Road. He leaves behind a widow and 5 children. He is buried in Peck San Teng Cemetery, Thomson Road.  Mrs. Ho Siew Choon nee San Oi Ling passed away on 15th September 1935 at 47 Tras Street. She is the daughter of Mr. San Ah Weng of Kuala Lumpur. The deceased is survived by 3 sons and 2 daughters. The burial is at Peck Shan Teng (Cantonese) Cemetery, Thomson Road.

Tomb cluster of Ho Siu Choon at Peck San Teng
(photo courtesy of Pauline Bertrand) 

From the family tree of Ho Siak Kuan, Ho Siu Choon is survived by:
Sons: Ho Yuen, Ho Chak, Ho Hong
Daughters: Ho Lai Kuen, Ho Lai Wan

Variant names: Ho Siu Choon /Ho Siew Choon

Advertisement. (1916, January 17). The Straits Times, page 8
Death. (1927, December 23). The Straits Times, page 7
Obituary. (1935, September 16). Malaya Tribune, page 10