Tan Geok Lim (Bukit Brown)

Tan Geok Lim was an employee of the Raffles Hotel. He passed away at the age of 46 on 5th October 1937 at his residence in 41 Onan Road, leaving behind his beloved mother, wife and 5 children. Listed on Tan Geok Lim's tomb are the name of the 5 children; sons: Tan Eng Khoon, Tan Eng Chuan, Tan Eng Swee ; daughters; Tan Kim Neo and Tan Chwee Neo. Tan Geok Lim is buried in Hill 4 Section B, plot 282.

Raffles Hotel Staff

This is a first finding, well at least for me , of a person buried in Bukit Brown who was a staff of the Raffles Hotel and this is further confirmed in a 1921 newspaper article, where it list the donors by the Raffles Hotel staff for Princess Mary Wedding. On the list of Raffles staff list is not only Tan Geok Lim, but also Arshak Sarkies (1868- 9 January 1931), the proprietor of Raffles Hotel at that time. The Sarkies brothers ( Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak) were well known hoteliers that owned and ran many hotels,  including the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang and Seaview Hotel and Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

Arshak Sarkies was for 40 years, a proprietor of hotels and he was 62 years old when he passed away in Penang on 9 January 1931 after a long spell of poor health. He is survived by a widow and 3 daughters. In the same year, Sarkies Brothers Company went into receivership and its hotel eventually sold.

1922 article (source: NewspaperSG) 

Raffles Hotel
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)

Raffles Hotel and dinning room view
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)

Sarkies Brothers - Arshak, Aviet and Tigran
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)

Arshak Sarkies (source: NewspaperSG)


Daughter: Tan Kim Neo
Tan Kim Neo (eldest daughter of Mrs Tan Geok Lim and the late Mr. Tan Geok Lim ) got engaged to Freddie Seow Poh Seng (eldest son of Mr & Mrs. Seow Soon Kee ) in October 1954.

Location of tomb

 Tan Geok Lim is buried in Hill 4 Section B, plot 282.


Princess Mary's Wedding. (1922, February 15).The Straits Times, page 9
Domestic Occurrences. (1937, October 6). Malaya Tribune, page 10
Advertisement. (1954, October 24). The Straits Times, page 24
Wright, Arnold, and Henry Adolphus Cartwright, eds. Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. Lloyd's Greater Britain publishing Company, limited, 1908. pages 941-942



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