See Tiong Wah / See Teong Wah ( 薛中华 ) (1886-1940) was the eldest son of Mr See Ewe Boon. He received his early education in St. Joseph's Institution and joined his father's bank has an assistant in 1901 and eventually succeeded him as the Camprodore of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation in 1909.
He was also very active in public activities and eventually went on to become a Justice of Peace (J.P) and Senior Municipal Commissioner.
Tan Kheam Hock and See Tiong Wah were Municipal Commissioners at the time where demands for a Chinese public cemetery came about and after Tan Kheam Hock passed away in 1922, See Tiong Wah petitioned for the widening of Kheam Hock road. Essentially, both were credited for the formation of the Bukit Brown cemetery.
|See Tiong Wah|
1909-1940: Campradore of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation
1920: elected Vice President for St.Joseph Old Boy
1919-1920, 1923-1924: Chairman of Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
1924 : Chinese Advisory Board, Secretary of Chinese Affairs -Hokkien (Hokkien huay kuan)
1926 : Chairman, The Eastern United Assurance Corporation, Limited
He was the Commissioner from 1916 and served for many years before retiring at 1930.
During that time he was involved in a number of areas:
1920 - Municipal Committee President for Public Works and Conservancy
1922- Roads,etc and Finance and General Purposes
1924- Rating and Burials, Burial Grounds and Finance and General Purposes\
1929- Committee of Appeal
He was in a committee looking into controlling opium usage.
The President of China conferred him the third order of the Crop Chia Ho
He collected funds for the Red Cross Fund, "Great War", Union Jack Club, Y.W.C.A Lunch and Rest room fund, Geylang Fire Relief Fund, Junior Library, "Our day fund, 1918", British Red Cross Fund ( Treasurer for the Chinese Community organising assistance), St. Andrew's Medical Mission and more.
Interesting events from the papers
In 1917, a Chinese hawker age 15 was killed by a car owned by See Tiong Wah, but when the accident happened, only the driver was present. The car then collided with a tree and overturned in a drain,
In 1923, some secret society members went to See Tiong Wah's house in Balmoral Road at night and removed the brass plate ouside the gates in which his name was inscribed.
See Tiong Wah's grandfather is Mr See Eng Wat ,who born in Melaka and was from an old established family that came from China 300 years ago and founded the house of Gim Hin. See Eng Wat was one of the earliest Chinese British subject merchants in Amoy. He married Ong Joo Ee (neo) and had two sons, of which i will focus on, See Ewe Boon and See Ewe Lay.
See Ewe Boon in 1890 became the Comprador of Hong Kong Shanghai Bank and held this position till his death at 1909, age 50. He did however groom his successor- his son, See Tiong Wah to take over.
See Ewe Lay was also a well known personality, being the founder and proprietor of the first Chinese Daily called Lat Pau, founded in Dec 1881 and lasted until March 31, 1932. He married one of the daughters of Mr Chia Ann Siang. He died in 1906, age 55.
See Tiong Wah passed away in May 2, 1940 in his residence in 10/23 Balmoral Road at the age of 55. He left behind his wife- Khoo Heng Neo, son, See Bong Him, Mary See, Helen See and Lucy See.
|See Tiong Wah|
See Tiong Wah's family
|Mrs See Ewe Lay and Mrs See Ewe Boon|
Son: See Bong Him
See Bong Him married Miss Lim Kheng Geck, daughter of Mr & Mrs Lim Nee Soon.
Son: See Boon Leong
See Boon Leong (died 1937) at the age of 32. His eldest son, See Boon Leong was not mentioned in his obituaries as he died much earlier at age 32 in 1937. He was the managing director of Lat Pau. He married in May 1927 Miss Sng Eng Neo, the only daughter of the late Mr Sng Teong Geok (Compradore of P&O Banking Corporation).
|See Boon Leong and wife Sng Eng Neo|
|Mr and Mrs Sng Teok Geok|
(parents of Sng Eng Neo)
See Boon Kee, second son, died on April 14, 1914 at the age of 4 years old, .
Son: See Bong Lin
See Bong Lin, third son, (died on February, 1921)
See Bong Lin died from pneumonia.
Daughter: Mary See Chye Geok
Mary See Chye Geok, eldest daughter (died on January 5, 1924) at the age of 20.
Mary See Chye Geok married Mr Gan Khek Keng. She died at the early age of 20 on January 5, 1924 from eclampsia at No 26 Oxley Road. On the day she died, she gave birth to a son, Gan Cheow How. She is buried in Bukit Brown. Affected by the road her tomb's peg no is 1924.
|Mary See Chye Geok and|
son, Gan Cheow How
|Gan Khek Keng|
Daughter: Helen See
Helen See married Mr Gan Khek Keng after her sister Mary passed away.
Daughter: Lucy See Chye Hong
Miss See Chye Hong alias Lucy See married Mr Chen Su, the eldest son of a one time Provincial Governor of Shantung (General Chen Tiao Yuen). Lucy See /Lucy Chen was the third Chinese lady from Malaya to qualify as a Barrister-at-law.
|Lucy See and Chen Su|
See Tiong Wah's sister, See Siew Lan was married to Chew Swee Lin (third son of Mr Chew Jim Him of Chop Ghee Teck) in 1925. See Tiong Wah's younger brother, See Teong Quee died of septicemia in May,1922 at a young age of 23, leaving behind a widow, a son and 2 daughters.
See Tiong Lok ( 薛中禄), brother - peg number 1541
|See Tiong Lok|
|See Tiong Teow|
Uncle: See Ewe Wan / Seet Yew Wan
Passed away at the age of 55 on 1927.
|See Ewe Wan (peg 1932)|
Sons: See Tiong Geok, See Tiong Heng, See Tiong Hoe
Daughters: See Ming Guat Neo, See Ming Suet Neo, See Ming Keng Neo, See Ming Choo Neo
Untitled. (1917, September 13). The Straits Times, page 6
St.Joseph's Old Boys. (1920, June 15). The Straits Times, page 10
Untitled. (1923, February 14). The Straits Times, page 8
Untitled. (1923, December 12). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Deaths. (1924, January 7). The Straits Times, page 8
Advertisements.(1924,January 7).The Straits Times, page 8
The use of opium in Malaya. (1924, November 22). The Straits Times, page 9
Untitled. (1924, December 31). The Straits Times,page 10
Domestic occurances.(1927, May 13). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Untitled. (1929, January 7). The Straits Times, page 8
Lady Barrister. (1930, February 15). The Straits Times, page 17
Untitled. (1930, August 9). Malayan Saturday Post, page 16
Mr See Tiong Wah. (1940, May 3). The Straits Times, page 10
Death.(1940, May 3).The Straits Times, page 10
Tribute to former Commissioner. (1940, June 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 2
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press.
中华今代名人传 = Biographies of prominent Chinese / prepared under the editorial supervision of A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow. Burt, A.R. Powell, John Benjamin, 1888-1947. Crow, Carl, 1883-1945.
Shanghai : Biographical Pub. Co., [1925?]
Khoo Cheng Tiong[website]. from Singapore Infopedia.
Lat Pau [website]. from NUS Library.