Saturday, October 05, 2013

Ong Chwee Tow (Seh Ong )

Ong Chwee Tow (王水斗) came to Singapore when he was 15 years of age. He held various jobs and climbed up the social ladder. He worked as Tan Kah Kee's rickshaw rider, then as a hawker and later on in the pineapple line. His fortune came when the pineapple factory owner fell sick and died and he took over the management of the factory. The rest is history. As for the Tou Mou Gung and why he contributed to it, here is an interesting story about Tou Mou Gung and Ong Chwee Tow.

Tou Mu Kung, also called Hougang Dou Mu temple (后港斗母宫), is a Taoist temple situated at 779A Upper Serangoon Road. Completed in 1921, it is the oldest temple dedicated to the worship of Jiu Huang Ye (九皇爷) in Singapore and was gazetted as a national monument on 14 January 2005.

As one of the worshippers, Hokkien pineapple tycoon Ong Chwee Tow, decided to donate a plot of land around the 5½ milestone Upper Serangoon Road for the construction of a temple. On one of the two stone tablets listing the temple’s benefactors, Ong Chwee Tow’s name appears first. The inscription on this tablet also states that the land for Tou Mu Kung was acquired in 1919 and that the temple was completed in 1921.


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