Cheong Choon Kim and Cheong Choon Beng established Yap Whatt & Co, in d'Almeida Street in 1893, which was the first Straits born Chinese firm engaged in commission, import and export trade. The company became well known as an intermediary between Chinese dealers and shopkeepers and the European manufacturers. When Cheong Choon Kim passed away in 1905 due to apoplectic stroke, his brother Cheong Choon Beng took over.
Cheong Choon Kim was one of the founding members of the Straits Chinese British Association in 1900 during the time where it's President was Mr. Tan Jiak Kim, Vice-president Seah Liang Seah, Treasurer: Mr. Seah Peck Seah, Secretary: Song Ong Siang. Prominent Committee members included Dr. Lim Boon Keng, Wee Theam Tew, Tan Hap Seng, Tan Boo Liat, etc.
Cheong Choon Kim passed away at his residence in 92, Kampong Java on October 1904 and his remains were interned in Bukit Timah Cemetery. Madam Lim Chit Neo (Mrs Cheong Choon Kim) passed away 1926 and is buried in Bukit Brown Cemetery Hill 2, close to Boey Chuan Poh's tomb.
|Mrs Cheong Choon Kim's tomb in Hill 2|
|Children of Madam Lim Chit Neo (Mrs Cheong Choon Kim)|
|In loving memory of Mrs Cheong Choon Kim nee Lim Chit Neo|
Grandfather: Cheong Ann Jan
Cheong Ann Jan (1818-1881) came to Singapore in 1844 and worked for Hamilton, Padday & Co. (later Hamilton, Gray & Co. ) in Battery Road and rose up to the ranks to Storekeeper in which he served till his death in 1881. Of his fives sons, Cheong Swee Kiat was the Camprodore of Merchantile Bank until he passed away in 1891. His other son was Cheong Swee Whatt. Cheong Ann Jan's only daughter married Tan Hoon Soon and was the mother of Tan Gin Hock, managing partner of firm Hoon Keat & Co, general provision merchants in Raffles Place.
Father: Cheong Swee Whatt
Cheong Swee Whatt was the Camprodore of Banque de L'Indo-Chine until his death in 1907. His sons, Cheong Choon Kim and Cheong Choon Beng became propertiers of Yap Whatt & Co, which was established in 1893 as Commissioning Agents and Import and Export Merchants.
Brother: Cheong Choon Beng
Mr Cheong Choong Beng was one of the original members of the Singapore Voluntary Infantry (S.V.I.). In 1909, he was a N.C.O. Corporal. In 1902, he was one of the Singapore Contingent who went to England for the Coronation Ceremony. Cheong Choon Kim and Cheong Choon Beng established Yap Whatt & Co, in d'Almeida Street, which was the first Straits born Chinese firm engaged in commission, import and export trade. The company became well known as an intermediary between Chinese dealers and shopkeepers and the European manufacturers. When his brother, Cheong Choon Kim passed away in 1905 due to apoplectic stroke, Cheong Choon Beng took over.
Son: Cheong Chee Koon
Cheong Chee Koon studied in Raffles Institution and among his schoolmates were Lim Kim Seng and Chia Keng Tye. Cheong Chee Koon passed way in May 1917 while he was being mobilise and doing his duty as a Lance Corporal for the Singapore Voluntary Infantry. He was given a military funeral on May 18, 1917.
|Cheong Chee Koon memorial stone in Kranji|
Straits Chinese British Association. (1900, August 18). The Straits Times
Advertisement. (1904, October 22). The Straits Times
His Excellency on Local Education. (1905, December 22). Eastern Daily and Straits Morning Advertiser
Picture Shows. (1917, May 21). The Singapore Free Press
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press