Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dr. Lim Eng Hae (Mount Vernon Columbarium)

Dr. Lim Eng Hae, J.P. (November 11, 1899-December 12, 1939) is a well known eye specialist in Singapore. He is the second son of Mr. Lim Chean Hock (a prominent planter and merchant in Penang). Born in Penang and receiving his early education in St. Xavier's Institution, Lim Eng Hae went on to further his studies in Hong Kong University for medical studies and graduated in 1922. He obtained the Ho Fook scholarship and was in charge of ophthalmic work at Tung Wah Hospital.

Dr. Lim Eng Hae 

Lim Eng Hae studied in London at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital where he gained his D.O.M.S (R.C.P. & S., Eng) 1926. He did Post Graduate work at the Charite Hospital, Berlin and while he was in Brussels, he studied at St. Jean Hospital, At Paris, Lim Eng Hae worked under Prof. Lariboisiere. He also studied in the Punjab on eye operations under Rai Bahadur Mava Das. While taking the Rockefeller Foundation scholarship in 1924, he worked at Peiping Union Medical College under Professor A. Fuchs.

A Public Worker 

Dr. Lim started his Penang practice in 1927 and came over to Singapore in December 1929 and opened his practice at 9 Hill Street. He was appointed a Justice of Peace in 1935 and was for many years connected with both the Child Welfare Society and with the St. Andrew's Mission Hospital. He and his wife also contributed actively in aid of the China Relief Fund. He is a member of the committee of S.C.B.C.A ; Vice President Child Welfare Society; Vice President of the Rotary Club; President of the Community Service Guild

Discharged from Bankruptcy

Dr. Lim Eng Hae face a very difficult year in 1936-1937 and he was made a bankrupt on his own petition on August 21, 1936 , submitting s statement of his liabilities amounting to $16,489,76 that was due to 11 creditors. His residence was listed as 128 Sophie Road. The reason for his financial struggle stem from him standing surety for his mother ($12,000) and brother ($29,000). Because of the stigma on being a bankrupt, he reported in court to say that his monthly income of $1000 decline to $480. The article gives more insight of his lifestyle, which i will not write in detail here. Dr. Lim Eng Hae was discharged from bankruptcy and ordered to pay to the Official Assignee quarterly anything over $300 of his net income per month and also submitting his accounts quarterly.


Dr. Lim Eng Hae passed away at the age of 40 at the General Hospital on December 12, 1939. He was buried in Bidadari Cemetery. At some point in time when the Bidadari Christian Cemetery was reclaimed for development, the remains of  Dr. Lim was moved to Mount Vernon Columbarium Complex. With the impending development of Mount Vernon, he will have to move home again.

Dr. Lim Eng Hae


Wife: Helena Lauw 
Dr. Lim Eng Hae married Miss Helena Lauw, eldest daughter of Lauw Tjeng Kit,(a well known tea and rubber merchant in Java. Helena Lauw was herself educated in Holland and America.

They had 6 children, 4 sons (Lim Ewe Cheang, Lim Ewe Huat, Lim Ewe Hin, Lim Ewe Yang) and 2 daughters (Lim Keow Sian, Lim Keow Cheng). First born in London, Second in Java and 3rd in Penang. The rest were born in Singapore. Mrs Lim Eng Hae nee Helena Lauw has also been active in social work.  Vice President Child Welfare Society, President of the Chinese section of the Y.M.C.A. and a member of the Po Leung Kuk.

Mrs Helen Lim Eng Hae passed away on Oct. 31st 1978. She leaves behind her daughters: Elsie Quahe and Cynthia Tchou, sons: Lim Ewe Cheang, Lim Ewe Huat, Lim Ewe Hin, Lim Ewe Yang;  Son-In-Law: Beng Chuan and Peter, and Daughters-in-Law: Marilyn, Evelyn, Phee Hong and Lily, and grandson-in-law Graham and 11 grandchildren.


Domestic Occurrences. (1939, December 13). The Singapore Free Press
Death of Dr. Lim Eng Hae. (1939, December 13). Morning Tribune
Dr. Lim Eng Hae (1935, July 7). The Straits Times, page 13
Debts Due to Standing Surety for Mother. Dr. Lim Eng Hae Discharged. (1937, June 19). The Straits Times.
Deaths. (1978, November 1). The Straits Times, page 25

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