Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tan Hoon Phian (Bukit Brown)

Tan Hoon Phian (1906-1924) was the wife of Mr Yap Gim Teck. Tan Hoon Phian Neo, who is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Tan Piah Eng, unfortunately died at the age of 18 at on July 27, 1924. She is buried in Block 1 Section E, plot 151
Tomb of Madam Tan Hoon Phian, died at the age of 18

Her father, Mr Tan Piah Eng is the Assistant Manager of the Bukit Timah Rubber Estate and a member of the Singapore Voluntary Infantry. He was a rifle sharp shooter that together with fellow volunteers such as Tan Soo Bin, Sir Song Ong Siang and Tan Chow Kim won the Warren Shield.

During the outbreak of War, he served a 4 year term dividing his time between his work in the Bukit Timah Rubber Estate and his duties at the Drill Hall as the Quartermaster. Mr Tian Pah Eng who was by 1922, a Company Quartermaster Sergeant was awarded the Long Service Medal on the occasion of King George V birthday parade on June3, 1922

The tomb of Madam Tan Hoon Phian Neo is located along a jungle trail in Block 1E. Positive signs show that the tomb was cleared by her descendants recently.Unfortunately, i have no further insights about her. Her husband, Mr Yap Gim Teck remarried and i found a record of mentioning his son, Mr Yap Tiong Seng marrying to the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Ooi Thean Seok from Penang.

(source: NewspaperSG)

Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press
Deaths. (1924, July 29). The Straits Times, page 8
The Long Service Medal. (1922, May 19). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
The King's Birthday. (1922, June 5). The Singapore Free Press, page 6
Untitled. (1947, October 9). The Singapore Free Press, page 5

Friday, June 08, 2012

Pang Cheng Yean (Bukit Brown)

Pang Cheng Yean (1889-1951) was a director of United Chinese Bank Ltd and Batu Pahat Bank Ltd, Vice-President of the  Merrilads Musical Association, President of the Ngo Loo Club.

United Chinese Bank open its doors at Bonham Building, Chulia Street, with an authorised capital of 4 million on Oct 1, 1935 with its chairman Mr  Wee Keng Chian, deputy chairman Khoo Beng Cheang. With its opening, it brings the number of banks to 4. The others are Sze Hai Tong, Lee Wah and Overseas Chinese Bank.

The Merrilads Musical Association are a group of talented amateur Chinese that provide entertainment such as acting in "bangsawang" and "kronchong" singing, in aid of causes such as performances for the Anti-Opium Society of Singapore and China Relief Fund. Pang Cheang Yean even entertained the Sultan of Kelantan and The Crown Prince at at a tea dance event held at No 7 Buckley Road, the house of Mr Soh Beng Lim. Other prominent chinese present in this event  include Lee Kong Chian, Tan Ean Kiam, Ong Kia Peng, etc.
(source: NewspaperSG)

Feb 27, 1937 Straits Times (13th Anniversary of Merrilads Musical Association)
(source: NewspaperSG)

503 kg of opium seized
There was an incident that happened in 1949, where customs officer after an 8 hour stake out, arrested a group of opium smugglers and confiscated 1,109 lb (503 kg) of opium from Pang Cheang Yean's outhouse bungalow at Tanjong Rhu. The outhouse was occupied by one of the smugglers family (Kong Ah Fatt) just after the end of World War II and although Mr Pang did ask them to leave, the smuggler delayed moving out by giving excuses it was difficult to find a new place. It was a case of a kind act of Mr Pang being abused.

Tanjong Rhu Yong Guan School Fund (1926), Jubilee Fund (1935), China Relief Fund(1937) , The War Fund (1940)
Pang Cheang Yean
Pang Cheng Yean passed away at the age of 62 on January 8, 1951 at No1 Balmoral Road. He left behind his mother, Madam Koh Teo Neo, his wife, Pang Cheng Tee (elder brother), Pang Cheng Eng, Pang Cheng Siew (younger brothers), Madam Pang Poh Neo, Mrs Ho Cheow Hin (younger sisters), 3 sons, Leong Chwee, Leong San and Leong Sian, 1 daughter, Pang Gek Kim. His wife, Madam Choo Peck Lian died on September 21,1967, age 77.

Pang Cheng Yean's family
The eldest son, Pang Leong Chwee married Miss Tan Poey Quee (eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs Tan Chong Teck). The wedding took place on June 23, 1940 in his father's home at 1 Balmoral Road and officiated by the famous Dr Lim Boon Keng himself. After the wedding, they donated $2,00 to the War Fund..
(source: NewspaperSG)

Pang Leong Chwee and Tan Poey Quee
(source: NewspaperSG) 
 Mr.Tan Chong Teck is one of the son's of Mr Tan Kheam Hock.

Miss Pang Gek Kim married Mr Lim Kim San, a Raffles College graduate and son of Mr and Mrs Lim Choon Huat of 11, St Michael's Road. The wedding took place on Feb 24, 1940 at 1 Balmoral Road and again officiated by Dr Lim Boon Keng. The bridesmaid was Miss Tan Poey Quee (future sister-in law) and Ang Kim Lee while the best man was Mr Goh Keng Swee. (The bestman is Singapore's former Deputy Prime Minister that passed away at the age of 91 in 2010. Mr Goh Keng Swee was a Raffles College graduate in 1939 and was college mates with Lim Kim San).

Mr Lim Kim San went on to become the first Chairman of Housing Development Board and held many more Ministerial portfolios throughout is illustrious career. He was the first person to also be awarded the highest State honour- " The Order of Temasek".
Pang Gek Kim and Lim Kim San
(source: NewspaperSG)
Madam Pang Gek Kim passed away on August 31, 1994. Mr Lim Kim San passed away on July 20, 2006.

Parents of Mr and Mrs Pang Cheang Yean
Pang Cheang Yean's father is Mr Pang Teck Teng. His mother is Madam Koh Toh Neo. His mother who died on May 30, 1964 is buried on the right of his tomb. His brothers include Pang Cheng Tee, Pang Cheng Eng and Pang Cheng Siew. His sister's include Pang Poh Neo and Pang Chit Neo.

The tomb on the left belongs to Mrs Choo Chwee Hock (Madam Kang Cheong Neo). Mrs Choo Chwee Hock who died at the age of 78 on April 28, 1941 is the mother of Choo Peck Lian (wife of Pang Cheang Yean).

Untitled. (1929, August 19). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Around the clubs. (1934, February 25). The Strait Times, page 4
Chinese Bank opened today.(1935, October 1). The Straits Times, page 12
Sultan of Kelantan. (1936, October, 20). The Strait Times, page 13
Untitled. (1937, February, 26). The Strait Times, page 13
Advertisements. (1937, October 20). The Straits Times, page 5
Yesterday's wedding.(1940, February 25). The Straits Times, page 3
Gifts after wedding.(1940, June 24). The Straits Times, page 8
Advertisements. (1941, July 7). The Singapore Free Press, page 9
Custom's 8-hour watch on bungalow. (1949, May,4). The Strait Times, page 4
Deaths. (1951, January, 9). The Strait Times, page 6
Lim Kim San.[website]. from Infopedia
Untitled.(2000, August 31). The Straits Times, page 64
Untitled.(2006, July 22).The Straits Times, page 27

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Low Peng Soy (Bukit Brown)

Low Peng Soy (1886-1938) was a merchant, rubber plantation owner and eventually a property tycoon. His company, Low Peng Soy and Co was located at 57, Boat Quay. The company he shared with Poey Keng Seng was totally dissolved in 1918. A rubber factory (The Sungei Batoe Rubber Factory) that they jointly owned was sold back to his former partner. He leased out unfurnished bungalows at 494, 522 Pasir Panjang Road and bought land and houses. He was reported to have sold of his rubber estate for $300,000 in 1925.

Low Peng Soy was the Auditor and shareholder of Sze Hai Tong Bank. (during the time where Leow Chia Heng was managing director). He was also the proprietor of Roxy Theatre, Katong and the Amalgamated Theatres Ltd.  He was appointed member of Chinese Advisory Board in 1934 (after Lee Kim Soo died) and a pioneer of the Ngee Ann Kongsi.
Roxy Theatre
(source: a2o)
Our day fund (1916), China Famine Relief (1920), Provided free use of his theatres for over 3,000 children in a Christmas event organised by the Singapore Rotary Club(1932), Singapore Jubilee Fund (1935)

Low Peng Soy at various time, bought numerous properties.
Freehold land between Pasir Panjang and sea about 20 acres for $8,500
999 years leasehold land and house at No 15,16,17,18 Angus Street, No 32 Cummings Street, No 11, 12 Fischer Street (totalling 7,594 sq ft) for $30,000
999 years leasehold land and house at No 2 Arab Street (599 sq ft) for $6,300
99 year leasehold land and house at No 47 and 48 Merchant Road (892 and 843 sq ft) for $7,900
99 year leasehold land and house at No 33 North Canal Road (1,785 sq ft) for $2,600
99 year leasehold land and house at No 42 Hong Kong Street (1,732 sq ft) for $5,500
999 year leasehold vacant land at Lavender Street (1,600 sq ft and 1,547 sq ft) for $1,500
Freehold land and house at No 48 Dickson Road (4,634 sq ft) for $8,500

Low family story
Low Peng Soy parents are Mr and Mrs Low Koon Yee. Mr Low Cheang Yee was his paternal uncle and finally his grandfather is a Mr Low Ah Jit.

Let's start with Mr Low Ah Jit who came from China at the age of 30.Through hard work he was the founder of Low Ah Jit & Co. He was merchant of produce such as gutta percha (Isonandra gutta), rubber and general merchant. When he passed away in Swatow around May 16, 1884, he left it to his two sons, Low Cheang Yee and Low Koon Yee, who renamed it Low Ah Jit & Sons, chop Yong Hong. They went on to establish chops Yong Lee and Yong Hiap.

Low Cheang Yee was born in Singapore and educated in Raffles Institution at same time as Tan Kong Wee, Seow Cue Mee and Lim Thean Geow (Dr Lim Boon Keng's father). A prominent Teochew leader, Low Cheang Yee was in the Chinese Advisory Board (1897) and Po Leung Kuk. His respected business dealings with the Europeans made him to be selected as a committee member of the Straits Chinese British Association in 1900. Low Cheang Yee died at the age of 67 in Swatow China in 1915.

His third son, Low Peng Yam continued his business from 57, Boat Quay. Low Peng Yam is also a director in Sze Hai Tong Bank and is married to the daughter of General Fang of Kwantung (Pung Tai Jing). This means Low Peng Soy and Low Peng Yam are in fact cousins !
Low Ah Jit and Low Cheang Yee
Left- Low Ah Jit [grandfather]
Right- Low Cheang Yee[paternal uncle]

Low Peng Yam (cousin) 

Low Koon Yee, (died around 1936) was a committee member of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The partnership of Low Ah Jit and sons ( chops Yong Hong, Yong Ngiap and Yong Ngiap Yee Kee )was finally dissolved in 1920. Low Koon Yee took over as sole proprieter of the business that used to be under Low Ah Jit & Sons or Chop Yong Hong - 53 Boat Quay, 3,4,5,6 and 7 Lorong Telok, 24,25,26,27 Magazine Road.

The shops under Chops Yong Ngiap and Yong Ngiap Yee Kee -57 Boat Quay, 1 and 2 Lorong Telok, 19,20 and 21-1 Angus Street, 95,96,97, 98, 99 and 100 Robertson Quay were taken over Low Peng Yam, Low Peng Hong and Low Peng Kiah under the name of Low Peng Yam Brothers

Low and Seah Connection
One of Low Peng Soy's wife (Seah Hoh Ngoh) is the daughter of Mr and Mrs. Seah Peck Seah. Seah Peck Seah is the son of Seah Eu Chin. Seah Eu Chin was a prominent Teochew merchant who made his wealth from the cultivation of gambier and pepper, the "King of Pepper and Gambier".

The Seah family was a prominent Teochew family that had a monopoly on the leadership the Ngee Ann Kongsi for many years. This cause some resentment and another group of prominent Teochew's including Lim Nee Soon and Lee Wee Nam founded Teochew Poi Ip Huay Kwan to break the monopoly of influence. Leow Chia Heng and Low Peng Soy joined the Teochew Poi Ip Huay Kwan also after its formation.

Low Peng Soy died at the age of 52 on February 7, 1938 at his home in No. 73 Emerald Hill and was buried in Bukit Brown Hill 3 Division B plot no 263, on March 27, 1938. Low Peng Soy had 8 eight sons and 1 daughter. One of his sons, Low Kee Pow, a retired school Principal and a great sportsman in his time, it said to be still staying or occupying the house in Emerald Hill.
Tomb of Mr Low Peng Soy
Low Peng Soy, Leow Chia Heng and some of the Seah family are all buried nearby in a area with a number of beautiful Teochew tombs.
Low Peng Soy
Tomb and tomb mount of Mr Low Peng Soy

Property Sale. (1914, May 27).The Singapore Free Press, page 6
Advertisements. (1917, June 25). The Straits Times, page 16
Advertisements. (1918, January 12). The Straits Times, page 16
Advertisements. (1920, September 29). The Straits Times, page 12
Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce. (1921, March 5). The Straits Times, page 14
Local Property Auction. (1922, October 27).The Singapore Free Press, page 12
Matters Chinese. (1925, June 29).The Singapore Free Press, page 4
Acknowledgment. (1927, June 6). The Straits Times, page 8
Property Sale. (1932, January 9). The Straits Times, page 16
Free Cinema Shows for Kiddies. (1932, December 24). The Straits Times, page 17
Property Sale. (1933, July 6). The Singapore Free Press, page 2
Deaths. (1933, July 26). The Straits Times, page 10
From Day to Day. (1934, March 10). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Lee Kip Lin. (1984) Emerald Hill, The Story of a Street in Words and Pictures. National Museum, Singapore, page 19.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Ngeow Nian Chin (Bukit Brown)

Ngeow Nian Chin (1869-1952) was the general chief clerk at Charted Bank of India, Australia and China, a bank he worked in for 44 years till he finally retired at 64 years of age with a life pension. He joined as a junior clerk before moving up the ranks to finally the chief clerk of the whole bank. In a newspaper article celebrating his retirement, Ngeow Nian Chin shared that he was never sick once in his 44 years of service and when he started working and at that time he joined, the bank had a staff of 6 Europeans and 22 Natives. At the time of his retirement in 1937, Charted Bank had a total of 140 staff, of which 13 are Europeans. He was also the President of the Haw Par Chinese Buddhist Union (in which Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par were the patrons). He represented the Buddhist Union and spoke in a multi-religious event at the Victoria Memorial Hall arranged by the Ramakrishna Mission  in conjunction with the centenary celebration of Sri Ramakrishna. He was also the President of the Chartered Recreation Club in 1934, a club to promote and improve relations among staff.
Ngeow Nian Chian in 1934 [Left] and 1937 [Right]
(source: NewspaperSG)
Ngeow Nian Chin passed away at the age of 83 at his residence in No 775 North Bridge Road at 6.40 pm on December 21, 1952, leaving behind 2 sons ( Ngeow Ser Lim and Ngeow Ser Sin ), 2 daughters (Choo Neo, Ngim Neo) , 2 daughter-in-laws. Madam Wee Seok Neo, wife of Mr. Ngeow Nian Chin, at 620-4, Eng Keam Place (off East Coast Road) passed away on 20th November 1931, leaving behind her husband, 2 sons ( Ngeow Ser Lim and Ngeow Ser Sin ),  2 daughters, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law (Wee Cheng Woo) and a grandson to mourn her loss. She is buried in Bukit Brown.  
Chartered Bank at Battery Road 


Son: Ngeow Ser Sin
Ngeow Ser Sin (the younger son of Mr. Ngeow Nian Chin and the late Mr. Ngeow Nian Chin) married Miss Tan Seok Cheng (second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Tiang Siew) married in 1934.

Daughter: Ngeow Choo Neo
His eldest daughter, Ngeow Choo Neo in a peranakan dress is seen below married to a Mr Wee Cheng Woo (eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs Wee Peng Chwee) in 1929.
(source: NewspaperSG)

Location of tomb 
Ngeow Nian Chin's unkept and jungle enveloped tomb is located in Hill 3 Division B, close to the family tomb cluster of Mr Tan Hock Ann. This was discovered with the help of 2 friends from the Bukit Brown facebook community.
The jungle enveloping the tomb of Mr and Mrs Ngeow Nian Chin

Chinese Buddhist.(1932, August 9). The Straits Times, page 14
Wesak Day and its Meaning. (1933, May 12). The Straits Times, page 7
Sport improves Relations Among Employees.( 1934, November 30). The Singapore Free Press, page 11
44 years with local bank.(1937, March 14). The Straits Times, page 13
Less racial stress in Malaya. (1955, December 22). The Straits Times, page 9