Saturday, August 11, 2012

Singapore 47th National Day Celebration at Bukit Brown

Singapore celebrated its 47th year of nationhood and independence on August 9, 2012. A group of active volunteers of Bukit came together to also commemorate this important occasion, but with a slightly different twist, they celebrated it in Bukit Brown !

The NDP (Nation's Deceased Pioneers) celebration included an "NDP gift pack", a tour cum quiz, guest appearance of the popular horse named "Astro Boy" and its trainer, Melissa. To wrap it up there was a buffet spread of food as well !

I was later told that the buffet spread was sponsored in full by Raymond Goh, who could not join the occasion but nevertheless his uniting presence was gratefully felt. The celebration started at 4:00 pm and continued way into the night with a sing-a-long session.

The prizes for the quiz at the end of the tour included books on Bukit Brown written by two students of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, (see Bukit and OceanSkies79 ), framed Art Nouveau Majolic Tiles donated by Victor Lim and finally Birds in my Backyard, a coffee table book donated by Georgina Chin.

Pleasantly surprised by how well organised everything was
and there was also a table full of catered food for the guest who turned up 

Volunteer Claire leading a big group at Tay Koh Yat's tomb

A first for Bukit Brown - National Day Celebration
Just before sunset, with the jet planes flying pass over Bukit Brown, the group gathered together for a group photo and to say the pledge and sing the national anthem. I too bear witness to history in the making, Bukit Brown's first national day celebration, to remember and hopefully preserve this heritage park for future generations of Singaporeans to enjoy and remember the roots and  of the pioneers which helped in nation building.

The group who gathered to say the pledge and sing the National Anthem 

Waving the flag proudly 

Some stayed on to the night, singing and celebrating this great day, others adjourned to Adam Road Market for a cold drink and to continue our stories of this day that made history !

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Tan Swee Hoe (Bukit Brown)

Bukit Brown can be also considered the burial ground of Singapore bankers, forefathers of our finance industry. This is another prominent banker, Tan Swee Hoe.

Tan Swee Hoe came to Singapore as a young boy and worked his way up, eventually becoming one of founders of Ho Hong Bank, and later a director of Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)  after it merged with it. He was also for two terms, the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Batu Pahat, shareholder of Ho Aik Steamships. Tan Swee Hoe was a member of the Council of State, Johore and received a title S.M.J from the government of Johore in 1929 for his contributions. He owned several property in Singapore and Batu Pahat.

Tan Swee Hoe
(source: NewspaperSG)

Tan Swee Hoe and Boy Scouts of the Premier English School, Batu Pahat.
(source: NewspaperSG)
Towkay Tan Swee Hoe was one of the benefactors of the Premier English School which welcomed students from all racial backgrounds. The school survived the Japanese occupation reopening in 1947.
(source: NewspaperSG)
Clifford Fund (1929), St. Andrew's Mission Hospital (1932), Child Welfare Society (1935), Boy Scouts Fund(1939),

Tan Swee Hoe passed away at the age of 67 year old at 11:00 am on July 29, 1939 at No 759 Grove Road, Singapore and is buried on August 6, 1939 in Bukit Brown, Hill 4, Division C, plot 1684. He is survived by 2 widows ( Madam Lim Lai Hua and Madam Yap Ann Nim), 6 sons (Tan Suan Khiong, Tan Suan Chee, Tan Suan Chew, Tan Suan Chuan, Tan Suan Kok and Tan Suan Poh) and 6 daughters, 4 sons-in-law (Yap Leong Teck, Chiok Eng Khiam, Lim Bock Seng and Phay Chong Whatt), 3 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

source: NewspaperSG /Malaya Tribune

The name of the sons:
Tan Swan Khiong, Tan Suan Chee, Tan Suan Chew, Tan Suan Chuan, Tan Suan Kok and Tan Suan Poh

The name of the daughters:
Tan Kim Choo, Tan Kim Bee, Tan Kim Chee, Tan Kim Lian, Tan Kim Pai, Tan Kim Be

The name of the grand sons:
Tan Seow Kiew, Tan Khim Hoo, Tan Khim Khin,Tan Khim Cheow, Tan Khim Keng, Tan Khim Seg,
Tan Khim Liog, Tan Khim Soo, Tan Khim Beng, Tan Seow Thun, Tan Khim Kian

The name of the grand daughters:
Tan Chee Yen. Tan Chee Goh, Tan Siew Cheng, Tan Chee Suat, Tan Chee Lay, Tan Chee Chee, Tan Chee Loo, Tan Chee Ha, Tan Chee Kuan, Tan Chee Soh, Tan Chee Peng, Tan Chee Nah, Tan Chee Hoon,

For the name of the sons there are spelling variants as further research indicate the the middle name Suan is also spelled as Swan.
Tomb of Mr. Tan Swee Hoe and his 2 wives  
One of his wife, Madam Lim Lai Hua passed away in January 25, 1941 at 10:10 pm at the age of 46 at 759 Grove Road.

Son: Tan Swan Khian (or Tan Suan Khiong)
Tan Suan Khiong passed away at the age of 54 on March 27, 1948. He was the Chairman of Ho Hee Ltd, Batu Pahat;  chairman of Ho Guan Investment, Singapore and a director of Ho Aik Steamships, Singapore. He left behind a widow and 12 children.

Tan Suan Khiong ( Tan Swan Khian) sprawling tomb in Batu Pahat

Mr and Mrs Tan Suan Khiong

Mr and Mrs Tan Suan Khiong
Son: Tuan Suan Poh
Tuan Suan Poh was conferred the Dato Paduka Mahkota Johor (D.P.M.J.) in 1976 on the occasion of the 82nd Birthday of the Sultan of Johore. Tuan Suan Poh passed away on July 16, 1985 at the age of 56. Heis survived by his wife, Datin Ng Siew Ling, sons; David Tan Hock Yiam and Richard,Tan Hock Meng and daughters; Penny Tan Chee Peng, Lily Tan Chee Luan. The cortege left from 111, Jalan Kluang.

Death of Well-known Chinese Banker. (1939, August 2). The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Domestic Occurrences Death. (1939, August 2). The Malaya Tribune, page 5
Domestic Occurrences Death. (1939, August 3). The Singapore Free Press, page 10
Untitled. (1939, October 9). The Straits Times, page 26
Acknowledgments. (1941, February 20). The Straits Times, page 2
Death of Chinese Business Man. (1948,March 28). The Straits Times, page 3
Tan Swee Hoe.[website].富甲一方的陈瑞和