Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Kapitan Tan Sin Kiat (Bukit Brown)

In Hill 4 Block C, the tomb of a Kapitan Cina of Singkep with Dutch and Chinese inscription was uncovered, This is good news especially after the destruction of the last two known dutch inscribed tomb (Tan Tang Hoaj and Wiseje De Haay ) as they were in the path of the highway. Singkep is an island in Indonesia which produces tin ore for export and majority of the Chinese community there would have likely been involved in tin mining.

Tan Sin Kiat tomb with inscription in Dutch
Tan Sin Kiat inscription in Dutch

Hier Rust Mijn Lieve Vader 
Tan Sin Kiat
Kapitein Der Chineezen Van Singkep
Geboren Te Semarang 25 October 1872
Overleed Te General Hospitaal (Singapore) 17 Februari 1938

Here Rest My Dear Father
Tan Sin Kiat
Kapitan Cina of Singkep
Born in Semarang 25 October 1872
Died in General Hospitaal (Singapore) 17 February 1938

Tan Sin Kiat and Madam Chew Siew Poh
Tomb with Chinese and Dutch inscription

Tan Sin Kiat was appointed as Lieutenant Cina for Singkep (luitenant der Chineezen op het eiland Singkep) and this was reported in the Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad on September 29, 1921. The titular rank of captain of the Chinese was awarded to: Kho Siang Ching, lieutenant of the Chinese to Demak. Tan Sin Kiat, Lieutenant of the Chinese to Dabo, Riau residence and dependencies. Jap Soen Hiang, lieutenant of the Chinese Pangkalan Brandan in 1931 and this was reported in the Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad on August 29, 1931.
source: Delpher Kranten

source: Delpher Kranten
Kapitan Tan Sin Kiat passed away at the age of 66 in February 17, 1938 at Hill 4 Block C plot 1256. His wife Madam Chew Siew Poh passed away at the age of age of 75 on July 14, 1953. She is buried beside her husband at Hill 4 Block C plot 1238.

Son (Zoon)
Tan Gek Song

Daughters (Dochters)
Tan Beng Nio 
Tan Kang Nio 

Grandsons (Kleinzonen)
Tan In Sien
The Khoen Goean
Tjoea Djim Sien
Tjoea Tjeng Kang 

Grand daughters (Kleindochters)  
Tan Boe Lat 
The Go Lie
Tjoea Jan Gwee

Epitaph and also information on his children and grandchildren 
Chew Siew Poh 
From, there was a record of the family tree which corresponds closely with Tan Sin Kiat, his son and one of his grandsons that are also mentioned in the gravestones. Tan Sin Kiat married Chew Siew Poh and had one son, Tan Gek Song

Tan Gek Song married Theresa Wee Swee Neo and has one son, Gerald Tan In Sin (born February 13, 1926). This three names are mentioned on the grave stone as well. The geni record is managed by an Agnes Tan Swee Tin, who is the daughter of Gerald Tan In Sin.  

An island off Sumatra, it was under the influence of the Sultan of Lingga and was producing tin even back in the 1860's. The tin rights was eventually managed by a private Dutch firm, the Singkep Tin Mining Company under the auspices of the Dutch East Indies government. Singkep Island was well known for its tin deposits but not at the same stature as tin deposits from places such as Billiton and Banka. The tin deposit  ore mined from Singkep were shipped on a regular basis to Singapore for smelting by the Straits Trading Company.  There was a report in the papers on production of minerals from the Dutch East Indies that tin production for the year 1901-1902 was mainly from Banka (171,133 piculs or 10,350 tonnes ), Billiton (79,244 piculs or 4,790 tonnes) and finally Singkep (7,977 or 482 tonnes).
Screenshot of Singkep Island from Google Maps
Chinese laborers working in Sinkep Tin Company having a meal
(source: Wikimedia Commons)
Singkep Tin Co. (1900, December 18). The Straits Times.
Netherlands India Minerals. (1903, August 22). The Straits Times
Micellaneous Column. (1941, March 17). The Singapore Free Press
Hillman, J. (2010). The international tin cartel. Routledge.
Chinese laborers working in Singkep Tin Company having a meal. Wikimedia Commons

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