Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Goh Kee Hoon and family (Bukit Brown)

At hill 3, where the 8-lane highway will first cut through that hill, there lies an interesting pair of tombs of Mr and Mrs Goh Kee Hoon. The guardians used for the tombs are a pair birds and "door gods",which in itself are very unique in Bukit Brown. So far i have only encountered two tombs in Bukit Brown that has "door goods" (门神) used.
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Goh Kee Hoon 
I am unable to find anything on Mr Goh Kee Hoon yet, but Mrs Goh Kee Hoon nee Tan Suan Neo passed away on November 20, 1941 at the age of 57, at her residence at No 41 Emerald Hill Road. She leaves behind two sons: Goh Khiam Seng and Goh Tian Hock, two daughters, Goh Chit Neo and Goh Kim Neo, two son-in-laws, Chan Wah Swee and Cheong Chee Soon, three grandsons, Goh Tye Peng, Laurie Chan and Goh Charlie and one granddaughter, Alice Chan.
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Goh Kee Hoon re-remembered


Son: Goh Kheam Seng
Mr Goh Kheam Seng (listed in the engagement notice in May 1926 as only son to Mr and Mrs Goh Kee Hoon) was engaged to Miss Lim Sing Tin, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Lim Swee Seet of No 28 Craig Road.

Daughter: Goh Chit Neo 
Miss Goh Chit Neo married Mr Chan Wah Swee, eldest son of Mr and Mrs. Chan Kok Tong of No 55 Spottiswoode Park Road  in November 1924. In January 3, 1927, there was an announcement of a son born at 41 Emerald Hill to Mr and Mrs Chan Wah See.

Traditional Chinese wedding of Miss Goh Chit Neo and Mr Chan Wah Swee
(Source: NewspaperSG )

Door good

Door good

No 41 Emerald Hill
No 41 is one of a trio of unique 3 storey shophouse designed by G.A. Fernandez and Co. in 1905 for Mr Goh Kee Hoon. The original building plans itself was signed by Wan Mohamed Kassim. After the passing of Mr and Mrs Goh Kee Hoon, the house was probably bought by Mr Ang Poh Seck. When Ang Poh Seck died in May 21, 1949 at the age of 61, the house went over to his eldest son Ang Kim Chwee. Ang Kim Chwee was one the patrons of the Broadway Musical Party and a vice president of the Social Athletic Party. The house was used by the Broadway Musical Party in the late 1940's for its kronchong practice.

Architecture plans of 3 houses in Emerald Hill belonging to Goh Kee Hoon
Source: a2o 

When it was eventually acquired by Dr Geh Min and her husband Dr. M.C. Tong in 1989, they restored the dilapidated house restoring and conserving its intricate plaster works, original floor tiles, staircases, iron gates and railings. It is now known as the Tong House of 41 Emerald Hill. For those familiar, Dr Geh Min was the former President of Nature Society, Singapore and former Nominated Member of Parliament. She is also the granddaughter of Mr Lee Kong Chian.
41 Emerald Hill (source: NewspaperSG)

Untitled. (1924, November 29 ). The Straits Times, page 8
Advertisement. (1926, May 18). The Straits Times, page 7
Advertisement. (1927, January 4). The Straits Times, page 7
Domestic Occurrences. (1934, November 21). The Straits Times, page 10
Bringing a beauty back to life. (1994 April 9). The Straits Times, page 3
Singapore's best restored old houses.  (1993, December 4). The Straits Times, page 39
1994 URA Good efforts awards - No. 41 Emerald Hill Road. [website]. URA
Liu, Gretchen. (2001). Singapore-A Pictorial History 1819-2000. RoutledgeCurzon, pp 364-365


marufhosen said...

Nice article and great knowledge. Thanks for the share. I love this story and enjoy with your words!
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Rojak Librarian said...

Thank you for your kind words Maruf.