Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kiong Choon Guan (Bukit Brown)

Nestled in a quiet and peaceful corner of Block 5, Division D, plot no  244,  is the solitary tomb of Mr Kiong Choon Guan, a postal officer for the General Post Office. A Raffles Institution student, he was awarded the Ong Teck Lim scholarship in 1916.
Kiang Choon Guan 

He was also an avid tennis and badminton player in the Singapore Chinese Recreation club and a violinist. He was also an honoury auditor for the Goldenstar Friendly Society when it first formed in 1919 and committee member of the Post Office Club.

Mr Kiong Choon Guan's marriage with  his wife Madam Tan Chwee Neo was dissolved in an agreement dated December 10, 1929. Mr Kiong Choon Guan passed away on November 8, 1941 at the age of  41. He left behind a son, Kiong Kee Heng.

Raffles Institution. (1916, May 20). The Malayan Tribune, page 10
Untitled. (1919, August 27). The Straits Times, page 8
Children's Concert.(1922,October 9). The Straits Times, page 9
Advertisements.(1929, December 14). The Straits Times, page 4
Post Office Club. (1930, October 18). The Singapore Free Press, page 20
Annual Meeting of the Post Office Club. (1940, July 6). The Straits Times, page 15

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tay Cheng Kee (Bukit Brown)

Tay Cheng Kee was the Vice President of the Ee Hoe Hean Club in 1923 during the time where Mr Lim Chwee Chian was serving as the president. Ee Hoe Hean Club is one of the oldest millionaire's club in Singapore that not only was a focal point for business and social club, but it also supported the revolutionary moment to overthrow the Qing Dynasty (Tungmenghui) as well as anti-Japanese movement via the China Relief Fund Union. Other prominent Presidents of this club include Tan Kah Kee and Lim Nee Soon. The club was gazetted as a historic site in 1995.

Tay Cheng Kee was one the shareholders of the Tanjong Pagar Docks and also from research, a ship owner.  As the ship owner of a passenger ship called s.s. Meranti, he was was fined for carrying passengers in excess of license.

In my research, i found various court settlements that Tay Cheng Kee had to face during his career. One included an auction in 1905 of 291 acres of coconut plantation land in Tanah Merah Kechil and 5 shophouses in Pearl Hill that belonged to him. This could be because of money issues or actual bankruptcy. However, i am unable to confirm for sure.

(source: NewspaperSG)

Victoria Memorial Fund ( 1902) "Our Day" Fund (1917)

Tay Cheng Kee died at the age of 56 at his residence at 40 Chin Swee Road, July 26, 1927. He left behind a widow, one son (Tay Eng Choon) and two daughters (Mrs Lim Seow Kiew, Mrs Cheong Hock Chwee).
In the tomb however, the names of 3 daughters were listed.
Tomb of Mr Tay Cheng Kee

His tomb is located at Hill 2 Division D and is affected by the highway. The LTA peg number is 1856.
Buried beside him are two of his wives. One is Tan Geok Neo, passed away on October 27, 1948, age 71.
The other is Wee Siew Yong, passed away on March 28, 1965. age 85.

Tan Geok Neo 

Wee Siew Yong 

Tanjong Pagar Company. (1904, March 26). The Straits Times, page 5
Advertisements. (1905, December 5). The Straits Times, page 6
Untitled.(1910, August 19). The Singapore Free Press, page 6
Untitled.(1923, February 8). The Straits Times, page 11
Death. (1927, July 27). The Straits Times, page 8

Monday, September 24, 2012

Phang Hee Lye (Bukit Brown)

Located in Hill 2 Division D, is the grave of Phang Hee Lye (Mrs Lim Moi Kiah). What is interesting is when i researched about her, i found an amazing photo of her hearse and her children in mourning clothes featured in the newspapers. Unfortunately, this grave is also affected by the impending highway. The LTA peg no is 1877.

Madam Phang Hee Lye

Straits Times January 12, 1929 (source: NewspaperSG)
Mrs Lim Moi Kiah (nee Phang Hee Lye) died at the age of 60 on December 29, 1928 at her residence in No 25 Sit Wah Road. She is survived by 5 son's: Lim Yang Teck, Lim Yang Choo, Lim Peng Thiam, Lim Yang Poon, Lim Yang Chua,  two sons-in-laws, five daughters, eight daughters-in-law. At her tombstone, all the name of the sons mentioned earlier was listed however, only the names of 3 daughters were engraved  and they were Lim Noine Chee, Lim Noine Sim and Lim Gek Noine.

Peck Teck Chee and family (Bukit Brown)

Located in the beautiful Hill 2 Division B that is affected and eventually will be destroyed by the 8-lane highway are the tombs of Mr Peck Teck Chee (LTA peg no. 1875) and his mother, Madam Yap Woo Neo (LTA peg no 1876).

Peck Teck Chee worked as a shipping clerk at a company called Hooglandt & Co. Peck Teck Chee was also a committee member of the Amateur Sporting Association and the Eng Wah Kok Association.

Son and Mother

Peck Teck Chee
He died at the age of 33 on August 14, 1928 at his residence in No 81 Kampong Bahru Road , leaving behind his aged mother (Madam Yap Woo Neo), his widow (a daughter of Mr Hoe Eng Watt) , two children, his elder brothers, Peck Teck Chye and Peck Teck Kian.  His grave however list that he had 3 children, two son's (Peck Seng Giap and Peck Seng Khee) and a daughter (Peck Chwee Tee)

Mother: Madam Yap Woo Neo (Mrs Peck Chin Kiat)
Madam Yap Woo Neo (Mrs Peck Chin Kiat) passed away on October 1, 1935 at the age of 69 ( listed in the newspaper as 72 years old) at her residence in  No 167 Neil Road and is buried just behind him. Her grave is easily identifiable as it has two sikh guards guarding the tomb.  She is survived by 2 sons (Peck Teck Chye and Peck Teck Kian), 1 daughter (Peck Gim Siew), 2 daughters in law, 6 grandsons, 10 granddaughters.
Madam Yap Woo Neo 

Brother: Peck Teck Chye
Peck Teck Chye passed away on December 17, 1935 at the age of 54 at his residence in No 157 Neil Road and his survived by one son, Peck Hoe Seng and 4 daughters, Mrs Lee Hoon Siong (Peck Geok Hong), Mrs Tay Siong Beng, Peck Geok Cheok and Peck Geok Bee. He is buried in Bukit Brown.

Brother: Peck Teck Kian
Peck Teck Kian passed away on July 5, 1966 at the age of 79. The cortege left from his residence at No 56 Neil Road, also to Bukit Brown on July 9. He left behind is wife, two sons (Peck Leng Poh, Peck Leng Thong), 4 daughters. His wife, Madam Tan Siew Eng passed away on April, 27, 1971 at the age of 82 and also buried in Bukit Brown.

I hope to find the location of Peck Teck Chee's brothers as well in Bukit Brown. Unfortunately at this moment i have no information about his wife and his father.

Afternote [ Dec 10, 2013] 
Peck Teck Chee married a daughter of Mr and Mrs Hoe Eng Watt. Mrs Hoe Eng Watt is Madam Koh Keng Hay. Ms Koh Keng Hay and Mr Koh Hoon Teck are siblings, children of Mr Koh Lian Ghee and Madam Wan Chin Neo.

Deaths. (1928, August 16). The Straits Times, page 7
Death. (1935, October 3). The Straits Times, page 2
Deaths.(1935, December 17). The Straits Times, page 2
Deaths.(1966, July 6). The Straits Times, page 2

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A dutch child's tomb in Bukit Brown

Affected by the 8 lane highway is this simple looking tomb at Hill 4, Section C, with the Land Transport Authority marker number 2547. At first glance, it does not seem odd, but on closer inspection, the tomb inscription is in Dutch and the name of the person buried there is Wiesje De Haay, a baby girl that died 4 months after birth.
Wiesje De Haay

Hier rust
Here rest
Onze kleine lieveling
Our little darling 

Wiesje De Haay

diep betreurd door
Deeply mourned by
Haar Ouders
Her Parents
06 December 1937

It is one of two Dutch inscribed tombs that we seen in Bukit Brown and unfortunately both are affected by the road. What is different however is this one as a clear Dutch name.

Based on the burial registrar, not much leads other than stating that the plot no is 205 and that she was 4 months old when she died on 5th December 1937 and interned the following day on the 6th. The nationality is stated as "Chinese". A mystery indeed, waiting for someone out there to reveal and it has been slowly unwrap.

The name of the child in the burial record is listed as Wisa binte Hwa Haay or translated to English, Wisa daughter of Hwa Haay. A chinese family probably who lived in Dutch controlled Indonesia.

Reader contribution (27 September 2012)
A reader of this article by the name of Nienke Nauta, kindly shared with me that in her research, there was a man named Hendrik Wilem de Haay (born in 1902 in Salatiga, Indonesia) and married a local girl called Ama. They eventually went back to Netherlands and lived in a small city of Harlingen, north of Holland.
Are this the parents of this little girl?

The other dutch inscribed tomb was of Mr Tan Tang Hoaj, stake number 960.