Friday, December 21, 2018

Cheah Kuan Oon (Kopi Sua)

Cheah Kuan Oon (謝寬溫) / Chia Kuan Oon is buried in the Hokkien Cemetery complex at Whitley Road colloquially known as Kopi Sua. From the tomb, you can see his name and the date of death, 6th July 1962 and the names of his children, sons; Cheah Soon Seng, Cheah Poh Chwee and daughters; Cheah Cheng Siew, Cheah Siew Bee, Cheah Siew ? . The obituary notice from newspaper archives (7th July 1962) list his age has 53 and the cortege left from 58 Jalan Chengkek and that he is survived by his wife, 2 sons, 3 daughters and 1 brother. However the very same obituary notice also states that Mr. Cheah Kuan Oon was originally supposed to be buried in Bulim Cemetery. This was not the first instance where the papers state the deceased in one cemetery while in fact the actual tomb was not located there.

Cheah Kuan Oon tomb at Kopi Sua

Syonan Police Force and Japanese Collaborator 

From the engagement notice of Mr. Cheah Kuan Cheang to Miss Chew Lian Neo published in 21 November 1944 in Syonan Shimbun a couple of important nuggets can be gathered, which helped to established who and what role Cheah Kuan Oon played when he was alive.


  1. Cheah Kuan Cheang is the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Cheah Soo Tuan and brother of Cheah Kuan Oon. In that article, Cheah Kuan Oon was mentioned to be a Keibu in the Syonan Police Force  (Keibu probably equates rank of an Inspector )
  2. Miss Chew Lian Neo is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chew Hock San and grand daughter of the late Mr and Mrs. Chew Boon Lay
Cheah Kuan Oon (Chia Kuan Oon / Chia Kuan Onn ) as a Keibu (Inspector) in the Syonan Police Force was reported to have collaborated with the Japanese Occupiers and committed crimes of torture and criminal intimidation. A Post War Crimes Court found Cheah Kuan Oon guilty and sentenced him to a total of 2 years and 6 months. In his defence, Cheah Kuan Oon testified that he admitted to have tortured, stripped a woman by the name of Goh Piak Keng who was accused of being a Communist but said that he carried out the orders for fear of repercussions from the Japanese masters.

source: NewspaperSG

It was also during this trials, i read about how at the early stages of occupation, Japanese officers took 20 police detectives to the East Wharf (Tanjong Pagar Docks) and machine gunned them. Some tried to escape by jumping into the water and of the 20, 17 were murdered by the hail of bullets.

War Crimes Murder Inquiry

Post Japanese occupation, there was a War Crimes Court murder enquiry trial that charged and eventually gave the death by hanging verdict for Sgt. Major Aikichi Toyoda (a member of the Kempeitai attached to the Central Police Station) who ill-treated and tortured many local civilians and was charged to have caused the death to some of those held captive. Among those who have died were Wahab, Arumugam and Wee Cheng Woo. Many well known residents of Singapore such as Mr. Tan Thoon Lip, Mr. T.W. Ong, Mr. Tan Cheng Chuan, Mr. Wee Sin Choe, Lim  were among the people that were named to be have subject to torture by Toyoda. The ill treatments took place from February 20 - December 31, 1942. Ibrahim bin Omar (former Inspector of Police and head of the Malay Section of the Special Branch at the Central Police Station) was charged for abetment of murder. Wahab  (a member of the Straits Settlement Volunteer Force) died in the lock up of the Central Police Station due to the repeated beatings in the early period of the Japanese Occupation. During this beatings, Wahab eventually lead his captors to a spot in Lorong 35, Geylang where weapons and ammunition were buried ( 3 revolvers, 3 rifles, hundreds of pounds of ammunition, hand grenades, an a Lewis Gun). Among the many witness called was a lorry driver who gave witness that during his time of service with the Japanese Special Branch of Police, he had carried about 20 corpses from the Cells of the Central Police Station to the Cemetery in Tiong Bahru. (and he was not just the sole driver employed for the purpose). He gave witness that he was the lorry driver on the day that dead body of Wahab placed in sack was brought out from the cell which was accompanied by Ibrahim bin Omar and a Japanese officer of the department.

source: NewspaperSG

Toyoda was sentenced to death on 8th July 1946 and the hanging took placed on 16th August 1946. The sentence was carried out at Changi Prison.

[research on-going]

Death. (1962, July 7). The Straits Times, page 10
Advertisement. (1944, November 21). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Corpses removed from police cell. (1946, May 17). The Straits Times, page 3
Toyoda, "The Brute" Charged. (1946, July 4). Indian Daily Mail, page 4
Toyoda Sentenced to Death. (1946, July 9). The Straits Times, page 5
Inspector Denies he beat Wahab. (1946, July 12). The Straits Times, page 5
Detective tells Court how he survived Jap firing squad. (1946, August 28). The Straits Times, page 5
2 1/2 years gaol for ex-Inspector. (1946, August 29). Malayan Tribune, page 3
Legal Tool Database. Reference from
Cheah Kuan Oon (謝寬溫). Reference from

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Chia Seng Quee (Bukit Brown)

While exploring Hill 4 Division A, i came across a tomb that was covered with creepers. Clearing it i uncovered the tomb of Chia Seng Quee who died on 24th November 1936 at the age of 37. The headlines of the papers reads "Man dashed to death in Singapore Street fall from high building".Chia Senq Quee was Straits-born Chinese and a senior clerk with the Great Eastern Life Insurance Co. for more than 14 years. He was earning $175 a month and was witness to have reach work on the 24th November at 8:30 am and left his personal belongings and a letter behind. Chia Seng Quee died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in the fall from the Bank of China Building in Cecil Street. Witness reporting hearing a loud thud and saw the body of Chia Seng Quee, who was dressed in a white tunic suit in a mutilated condition with his head smashed.

Madam Chua Kim Neo (widow of Chia Seng Quee) who was dressed in black and with tears in her eyes gave her evidence in English during the courts inquiry in December. She said her husband was 36 years old and they lived in Still Road, Katong and have been married for 8 years. Her husband left the house at 7:45 am on the morning of November 24 after having recovered from Malaria a few days ago. She went on to describe that there was no financial problems nor did they quarrel. The Singapore Coroner, Mr. W. McQuarrie eventually returned a verdict of suicide.

Chia Seng Quee's tomb at Hill 4 Division A, plot 700

Chia Seng Quee's tomb (before clearing)

From the tomb of Chia Seng Quee, i can make out the name of 1 son (Chia Cheng Poh) and 3 daughters ( Chia Poh Neo, Chia Cheng Neo, Chia Hiah (?) Neo). Another interesting bit of nugget that was shared with me was Mrs. Chia Seng Quee nee Chua Kim Neo who passed away in 8th August 1980 is likely the daughter of Chua Kim Teng. (father of Chua Jim Neo and maternal grandfather of Lee Kuan Yew).

High Building (Bank of China / Great Eastern Life Insurance Co.)

Reading the tragic story on how Chia Seng Quee ended his life. A couple of questions came to my mind. (1) What did the content of the letter read? (That remains a mystery to me for now) and (2)  Where was this high building in Cecil Street located and how did it look like and how tall was it actually?  One thing for sure, the Bank of China that is located in Battery Road was not the high building that comes to mind as it was constructed only in 1954. Bank of China was established in 1936 and had its office leased in the ground and mezzanine floor within the premise of the Great Eastern Life Building in Cecil Street at No. 12 Cecil Street, the very place that Chia Seng Quee works.

source: NewspaperSG

Great Eastern  / Bank of China at No 12 Cecil Street

(source: PictureSG)

[research on-going]

Malaya's own life assurance co. (1935, October 8). The Straits Times, page 15
Untitled. (1936, June 16). Morning Tribune, page 2
Man dashed to death in Singapore Street fall from high building. (1936, November 24). Malayan Tribune, page 11
Death Fall from Window of City Office. (1936, December 12). Morning Tribune, page 23
Widow's Tears at Inquest. (1936, December 12). Malaya Tribune, page 14
Suicide Verdict. (1936, December 16). Malaya Tribune, page 8
$715,000 land deal. (1937, May 10). The Straits Times, page 12

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tan Chian and family (Kopi Sua)

The tomb of Tan Chian (alias Tan Kwee Chian) was identified by Raymond Goh while we were exploring an area of the Hokkien Cemetery near Mount Pleasant colloquially known as Kopi Sua. While searching through the newspapers archives, we can slowly piece together the story of Tan Chian (1876-1944) and his family. Tan Chian (alias Tan Kwee Chian) passed away at his residence at No. 19 Scotts Road at the age of 68 on November 3, 2604 (the Japanese koki calender for 1944). He is survived by 7 sons, ( Messrs. Tan Beng Kee, Tan Beng Thong, Tan Beng Wah, Tan Beng Teck, Tan Beng Guan, Tan Beng Ghee and Tan Beng Hui), 4 daughters, 1 son-in-law and 14 grandchildren.

Tan Kwee Chian 

Tan Chian alias Tan Kwee Chian 

Tan Chiam alias Tan Kwee Chian 

Tan Chian  (alias Tan Kwee Chian) was a timber merchant and sawmill propertier with company under the name of Chop Chye Hin, Beach Road. He was also a shareholder in the Chinese Commercial Bank. Mr. Tan Chian was granted a certificate of naturalization by the British Colonial Government in 1919. This means he was granted naturalization at the age of 43. From the article, this could also mean he came from China at the age of 19. Tan Chian was also mentioned in a 1936 article to be one of 3 well-known Straits Chinese (the other being Mr. Teo Soo Piah and Mr. Ong Hock Thye).  who went on a world tour, starting on a ship called President Adams for Europe, and from there tour Europe for 40 days before crossing to New York on the Queen Mary. After a tour of Canada and US, they will set sail from San Francisco to China. 

When Tan Kah Kee fled Singapore from the advancing Japanese invasion (he was targeted man for being the Nanyang leader responsible for the China Relief Fund ), he and many other anti-Japan activist fled Singapore to first Sumatra on motor launches that belong to Tan Kwee Chian.

19 Scotts Road "Lochaber"

Tan Chian's residence was in No 19 Scotts Road and the name of its house, "Lochaber" which is likely named after an area in the Scottish Highlands. Why was it named so and how the house looked like on picture would have been interesting. Other properties purchase that i could make out includes a 99 years old leasehold land and house at 91 Upper Nankin-Street, 1,120 square feet for $10,500 in 1920. He bought land and a business premise, 2,365 sq feet at 215 South Bridge Road for $49,000 in 1922
source: National Archives


Son: Tan Beng Kee
Tan Beng Kee (eldest son Mr and Mrs Tan Chian of 36 Cairn hill Road) engaged Miss Chua Bee Neo (youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chua Hong Ing) of No.96 Owen Road. The marriage took place on December 2, 1924. 

Son: Tan Beng Thong
The marriage of Tan Beng Thong (second son of Mr and Mrs Tan Chian) to Miss Cheok Sye Huay (second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cheok Cheng Kee) took place on 16 June 1926 at "Lochaber", 19 Scotts Road. 

Grandson: Tan Hock Seng
Tan Hock Seng (eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Beng Kee and eldest grandson of the late Mr. Tan Chian and Mrs. Tan Chian of 19, Scotts Road) engaged Miss Happy Lim Keng Wah (second daughter of Mr. Lim Seow Eng and the late Madam Tay Keng Guan and grand daughter of the late Mr. Lim Peng Siang and Mrs. Lim Peng Siang of No. 10 Bukit Pasoh Road on 24th December 2604.

[research on-going]

Gazette Items. (1919, May 5). Malayan Tribune, page 7
Chinese Commercial Bank. (1923, December 28). The Singapore Free Press, page 12 
Births, Marriages, Deaths.(1924, November 29). Malayan Tribune, page 6
Domestic Occurrences. (1926, June 14). Malayan Tribune, page 8
Start of Opium Enquiry. (1929, October 23). The Straits Times, page 11
World Tour. (1936, July 26). Morning Tribune, page 2
Death. (1944, November 8). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Domestic Occurrences. (1944, December 25). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Tan Kah-kee: The Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend.By Ching Fatt Yong, Julio Antonio Gonzalo, Manuel Maria Carreira

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Sie Yok Swie (victim of 1954 airplane crash in Kallang Airport)

While exploring the Hokkien Cemetery at the fringe of Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery and the Toa Payoh Cemetery (in an area what i call Greater Bukit Brown), we came across the tomb of Mr. Sie Yok Swie, age 28, who died on 13th March 1954. His name and date of death matches one of the 33 victims of the airplane crash of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Lockheed L-749A Constellation that happened in Kallang airport (the first plane crash in Kallang airport). Mr Sie Yok Siew was listed as a Jakarta Businessman and in one of the Australian papers, his occupation was listed as an Indonesian cattle handler. However as i was browsing further the online newspaper archives i found out that Sie Yok Siew was actually the youngest brother of cattle millionaire, Sie Yok Kie, who owns one of the biggest cattle trading company in Singapore, the Bali Cattle Trading, Cecil Street. Mr Sie Yok Swie leaves behind a young wife and 2 children.
Sie Yok Swie (source: NewspaperSG)

Sie Yok Swie

Sie Yok Swie, died 13th March 1954, age 28

The Constellation Crash - First Air Crash in Kallang Airport 
A British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Lockheed L-749A Constellation carrying 40 crashed and caught fire as it attempted to land at Singapore-Kallang Airport on 13 March 1954 at 3:04 pm resulting in 33 fatalities (all 31 of its passengers died and 2 out of 9 of its crew members were killed). Details of how the airplane crashed and flipped over and the rescue attempts that took place and finally the public enquiry and investigation that took place can be found online at various sources, [Infopedia, Wikipedia], so i will not repeat them.

Headlines [source: NewspaperSG]
Mass funeral at Bidadari Christian Cemetery
On 15th March 1954, a mass funeral was held for 24 of the crash victims. Of the 24 crash victims, 14 of them were yet to be identified when the cortege left the mortuary. The cortege of 3 Royal Air Force (RAF) trailers with motorcycle escort proceeded to Bidadari cemetery along Outram Road, Kim Seng Road, Irwell Bank, Paterson Road, Scotts, Road, Newtown Circus, Moulmenin Road, Balestier Road and Serangoon Road.  I do not know for sure the names of all 24, but with access to the burial registrar of Bidadari, one might be able get the complete name list. Another way is of course derived the other 9 victims who were not buried in Bidadari. So far, i manage to identify 6 names, other than Sie Yok Swie, whose tomb was rediscovered, the other crash victims that were claimed by friends and relatives include the body of Mr. G.F Olson, an American whose remains were flown to his family at Fort Madison, Iowa. 3 other Indian victims were cremated (J.P Sen Gupta, Amir Chand Chandra and M.C.T.M Chidambaram Chettiar). R. Bintang Soedibbie remains were returned to his hometown in Semarang.

source: NewspaperSG
Stories of the other victims 
While researching on Sie Yok Swie, i uncovered and revisited some of the stories of the other victims. This article is still a work in progress but below are some of the stories i found.

Mrs. Lim Siang Hin (Madam Teo Siew Keng)
The other Chinese passenger onboard the plane, Madam Teo Siew Keng, 23 years old is the spouse of Mr. Lim Siang Hin of Singapore. Her father in law, Mr. Lim Choon Lay is the proprietor of Hiap Lee and Company, a Boat Quay import-export firm.

Mr. R. Bintang Soedbibbio 
The only Indonesian passenger, Mr. R. Bintang Soedibbie, millionaire and father of several daughters in Jakarta. He celebrated his 52nd birthday in Singapore on Feb 24 and flew back Jakarta on a business trip. Mr. Soedibbie had many firms bearing his name in Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya and Amsterdam. An Indonesia businessman from Semarang, his remains was flown back to his hometown in Semarang for burial. He was an importer of Opel cars.
Bintang Soedibbie

Mr. J.P Sen Gupta
Mr. Jagdis Prasanna Sen Gupta, Regional Manager of the United Commercial Bank Ltd (South-East Asia Branch), he was cremated at Bidadari Hindu Cemetery on 15th March 1954.
J.P. Sen Gupta
Michael Shathin
Michael Shathin was the Far East Supervisor of Warners Bro. Ltd.

Michael Shathin

Mr. Amir Chand Chandra
Mr. Amir Chand Chandra from Fiji was also cremated at Bidadari Hindu Cemetery on 15th March 1954.

Crash Bodies Mix-up

M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettair
Mr. Chettair was 46 years old when he died. A Millionaire, he was the founder and Chairman of Indian Overseas Bank Ltd, United India Life and has many other connections with industrial and commercial firms in South India. Mr. Chettair was cremated at the Bidadari Hindu Cemetery on 14th March 1954 and his ashes brought back by to India and scattered at the Ganges River. However this was not the end of the story, as during investigation,they found a mix-up whereby the body of Chidambaram Chettair was incorrectly unidentified as Mr. Eric Moller by the Singapore Coroner and ended up being buried at the Bidadari Christian Cemetery.

Eric Moller
Eric Moller Senior was a British Shipowner millionaire, who at the time of his retirement in 1940s. was one of the largest single shipowner in the world.

[research on-going]

32 are killed in Kallang air disaster. (1954, March 14). The Straits Times, page 1
Magnate loses brother. (1954, March 15). The Straits Times, page 1
No heir to fortune of millionaire. (1954, March 16). The Straits Times, page 5
Mass Funeral for Crash Victims. (1954, March 16). The Straits Times, page 7
Their's was silent grief. (1954, March 16).The Straits Times, page 7
Disaster at Singapore-Company issues list of dead. (1954, March 15). The Sydney Morning Herald, page 4

Monday, November 05, 2018

Loo Boon Kwee and family (Greater Bukit Brown)

Loo Boon Kwee passed away at the age of 53 on 17th June 1954 at 150-P, East Coast Road, Singapore, leaving behind 1 son, 2 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 3 grandchildren. From the tomb, we know that the name of his son is Loo Teck Hai and his 2 daughters are Nancy Loo and Lucy Loo. The tomb is located at the boundaries between Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery and Toa Payoh Cemetery. What is also an interesting insight is from a Singapore Free Press article dated 18th June 1954, the funeral of Loo Boon Kwee was to be held at the Buddhist Burial Ground, Bidadari. In short, from the discovery below, Loo Boon Kwee resting place was not at Bidadari as reported in the papers of that time. How the location was changed to the Hokkien Cemetery adjacent to Bukit Brown remains a mystery, but from the simple all English tomb of Loo Boon Kwee reveals an interesting story of a Straits Chinese pioneer who helped spread Theravada Buddhism among the Straits Chinese Community.
Loo Boon Kwee's tomb in Greater Bukit Brown 

Papers mention Buddhist Burial Ground, Bidadari
(source: NewspaperSG)

A Pioneer of Mangala Vihara (Theravada Buddhism)

It is from an article from the Peranakan Magazine, Issue 1, 2007 titled "Buddhist Legacy of a Grand Nyonya" by Cynthia Wee-Hoefer, i got to know that other than Madam Chew Quee Neo (benefactor of the temple of Mangala Vihara in Eunos),  Wee Tin Guan (father of the author of the article), Loo Boon Kwee and Tan Seng Chye (a Straits Chinese from Penang residing in Singapore) were mentioned to be the Straits Chinese pioneers in helping spread this form of Buddhism that started with the local Sinhalese Community under the spiritual guidance of Monk MM Mahaweera. This corresponds with newspaper articles in 1948, where Wee Tin Guan was instrumental in helping translate Sinhalese text into Malay and Loo Boon Kwee and Wee Tin Guan assisted in the Sunday Classes.
(source: NewspaperSG) 

(source: The Peranakan) 


Grandmother: Mrs. Loo Tian nee Cheong Pin Neo
Mrs. Loo Tian nee Cheong Pin Neo passed away at the age of 68 on 4th May 1936 at 150-P, East Coast Road. She is survived by her brother, Mr. Cheong Swee Teck and a grandson, Loo Boon Kwee. Mrs. Loo Tian is buried in Bukit Brown.(Block 3 Section C, plot 368)

Wife: Soh Wee Neo alias Nya Nya
Mrs. Loo Boon Kwee nee Soh Wee Neo (alias Nya Nya) passed away on 5th July 1941. She leaves behind her husband, 2 daughters, 1 son. Funeral from 150-P East Coast Road to Bukit Brown on July 6, 1941. In the burial registrar she was listed as 38 years of age and is buried in Block 5, Section A, plot 142

Son: Loo Teck Hai 
Loo Teck Hai (the only son of the late Mr and Mrs. Loo Boon Kwee) married Lucy Lee (the youngest daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Lee Eng Khoon on 1st January 1958.

Daughter: Lucy Loo
Lucy Loo (youngest daughter of Mr Loo Boon Kwee and the late Mrs Loo Boon Kwee) married Mr. Wee Choon Lim (youngest son of the late Mr and Mrs Wee Koon Poey). The marriage took place at 72 Emerald Hill Road on 15th September 1943.

[research on-going]

Domestic Occurrences. (1936, May 7). Malayan Tribune, page 12
Domestic Occurrences. (1941, July 5). Malayan Tribune, page 8
Advertisement. (1943, September 15). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
"Great Revival of Buddhism". (1948, March 24). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Advertisement. (1958, January 1). The Straits Times, page 6
The Peranakan. (April-June 2007. The Peranakan Association, article title: Buddhist Legacy of a Grand Nyonya, page 23

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Kwik Tiang Boon and family (Bukit Brown)

Kwik Tiang Boon (1897-1960) was the Compradore of Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij N.V. (Netherlands Trading Society). Born in Semarang, Indonesia, Kwik Tiang Boon was educated in St. Joseph's Institution, Singapore. He then join in 1927, the Netherlands Trading Society as a bank clerk and rose to the position of Compradore.  For Kwik Tiang Boon's outstanding years of service, he was awarded the decoration of Chevalier in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Juliana of Netherlands in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the Netherlands Trading Society in 1958.  He was a familiar figure in the Singapore Turf Club, having own many race horses and the owner of the Kwik Stables.  He served the Bank for over thirty years before he passed away in 16th March 1960 due to an heart attack at the General Hospital. He is survived by his widow,11 daughters and 6 sons. The article went on to mentioned that the eldest son was studying law in London, while 2 of his daughters were living in Australia. Kwik Tiang Boon is buried in Hill 4 Division A, 390 and 398.

Tomb of  Kwik Tiang Boon at Bukit Brown 

Obituary notice from Netherlands Trading Society

Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij N.V. (Netherlands Trading Society)

Netherlands Trading Society was founded by King William I by Royal Decree in 1824 to curb the decline of trading especially in the Far East after the East India Company cease to exist. The Singapore branch of Netherlands Trading Society was established in 1857. Initially more of a trading enterprise, it move to banking but the name somehow continue to be use as such. Netherlands Trading Society and Twentsche Bank merger was on October 3, 1964 and the new organisation began trading under the name of Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN Bank) of Amsterdam.

Netherlands Trading Society (1910-1929) , source: National Archives
I don't have much information for now about the building pre-1940's but post 1940's the five-storey bank building at the junction of Cecil Street and D'Almedia Street took 18 months to build and cost $500,000. It was built by Messrs. Swan & McLaren.
Netherlands Trading Society Bank Building (1940s)
source: National Archives


I am not able to find much information on his sons, but the rest of the family members are listed below:

Mother-in-law: Madam Chia Buck Nee
Madam Chia Buck Nee passed away at the age of 81 at 62 Tras Street on 14th February 1955. She is survived by 1 son, Lim Kee Seng, 2 son-in-laws; Chua Choon Leong, Kwik Tiang Boon,  5 daughters, 10 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren.

Daughter: Kwik Poh Swan
Engagement notice was announced between Kwik Poh Swan (eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Kwik Tiang Boon) and Mr. Tan Hin Yam (third son of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Chin Wah) on 23 June 1941. In 1960, Kwik Poh Swan was granted a decree nisi by the Singapore Courts after she sued for divorce on grounds of cruelty.

Daughter: Kwik Poh Luan
Miss Kwik Poh Luan married Mr. Sim Jui Kim (son of Mr and Mrs. Sim Kwang Tow) in November 1957. Sim Jui Kim was with Ace Advertising and the wedding reception was held at Sea View Hotel. Sim Jui Kim passed away in 2008 at the age of 2008 at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife,
children, Leslie Sim Sian Poon, Leslie Sim Hong Lam, Lyn Sim Choon Li, Lisa Sim Hua-Li, their children spouses and granchildren.
Kwik Poh Luan and Sim Jui Kim (source: NewspaperSG)

Daughter: Kwik Poh Lian
Miss Kwik Poh Lian (third daughter) married Mr. Yong Nam Seng (son of Mr. Yong Yit Lin, J.P. former President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and contractor for many iconic buildings such as Clifford Pier, Changi Prison and Clifford Pier).  The wedding reception was suppose to be held at Cathay Restaurant on 26th May 1950 but was cancelled due to the brutal murder of  her father-in-law, Mr. Yong Yit Lin who was gunned down at his club. Madam Kwik Poh Lian passed away at the age of 67 on 31st July 1995. The obituary list that she is survived by her husband, Yong Nam Seng, sons (Yong Tiam Yoon, Yong Kon Yoon, Yong Khim Yoon) daughter (Yong Mei Hsien), son-in-law, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Obituary notice: Madam Kwik Poh Lian (source: NewspaperSG)

Singapore Newest Building. (1939, November 2). Malayan Tribune, page 3
Yong Yit Lin Killed at his Club. (1950, May 26). The Straits Times, page 1
Advertisement. (1955, February 15). The Singapore Free Press, page 16
AD man weds in colony. (1957, November 27). The Singapore Standard, page 4
Queen Juliana's Award for Local Bank Men. (1958, May 11). Sunday Standard, page 2
Advertisement. (1960, March 16). The Straits Times, page 10
Mr. Kwik,63 dies of a heart attack in hospital. (1960, March 18). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Obituaries. (1995, August 1). The Straits Times. page 36

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mrs. Chia Eng Wah (Bukit Brown)

Mrs Chia Eng Wah nee Tan Teck Neo passed away at the age of 39 on 15th December 1932. Her tomb lies at the top of the ridge of Hill . What is also unique of the tomb of Tan Teck Neo is its modern european style and featuring sunray in a style very similar to what i seen at Tan Boo Liat's tomb. No name of children was listed on the tomb. She is buried in Hill 3 Division C, plot 867.

Mrs Chia Eng Wah nee Tan Teck Neo

From a newspaper article, i know that Mrs. Chia Eng Wah nee Tan Teck Neo funeral cortege left from No. 28 Sandy Lane, Katong for Bukit Brown on 16th December 1932. I have no concrete information of Chia Eng Wah as of yet.

Sandy Lane off Katong Road (1931-1934 period) from Crown Survey map

28 Sandy Lane (close up )

Domestic Occurrences. (1932, December 16). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Singapore. Gelang Mukim (Geylang Mukim), and Kalang Mukim (Kallang Mukim).(1934).Maps and Building Plans.National Archives of Singapore.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bukit Brown highway opens on 28th October 2018

The day has finally arrived and the dual four lane road will be opened soon after several delays. If you have read the papers recently, the word dual four lane road was no longer used and instead most major local media (e.g. The Straits Times, Channel Newsasia) call it for what it was all along, a "HIGHWAY"(coined now as Lornie Highway). But wait a moment, people's memory may be short, but the press releases published by the authorities back in 2011 don't lie, as the road project back then downplayed the use of the word "highway" and avoided the use of it, instead called it a dual four lane road (in which most of the civic society that spoke against its construction and wanted to put a stop against what was essentially a highway that will leave a permanent scar on this valuable heritage park). As well know, the exhumation and the highway continued and if no further changes in mindset by the stakeholders and decision makers of heritage and nature of Singapore, Bukit Brown's future looks even more bleak as The Strait Times (18 October 2018) article highlighted and reinforced what was already mentioned in the past and i quote; "Lornie Highway is meant to cater to growth in future traffic demand arising from redevelopment of the Bukit Brown area".With the Toa Payoh extension development already underway and the Bukit Brown MRT infrastructure in place, the count down to the demise of a place that has potential to be a UNESCO World Heritage site is drawing closer.

The new Bukit Brown/ Lornie Highway 

Latest headlines calling it what we all knew it is was all along- a highway

The early years when it was labelled as a dual four lane road 

Bukit Brown / Lornie Highway 

Kheam Hock Road looking different


Bukit Brown road project hit by another delay. (2017, November 13) The Straits Times (online).
Completion of Lornie Highway postponed to early 2019. (2017. November 17). Channel Newasia (online)
1st phase of Lornie Highway opens on Oct 28. (2018, October 12) The Straits Times (online).

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Goh Sin Choon and family (Lao Sua)

Goh Sin Choon (1856-1914) died on 8th March 1914. He is survived by 2 sons; Goh Tiang Lee, Goh Tiang Keng, 2 daughters; Goh Sock Lim, Goh Sock Kim, 2 grandsons, Goh Sian Kay, Goh Sian Poh, granddaughters, Goh Chwee Bee, Goh Chwee Luan.

Goh Sin Choon 

Goh Sin Choon tomb in Lao Sua

Decorative tiles
The tomb is adorned with beautiful decorative tiles, an indication of wealth and along with the carvings in English, i wondered who was Goh Sin Choon. The first article i found was one in 1883 / 1884 where Goh Sin Choon and Tan Hood were listed as executors of the last will and testament of the late Khoo Boon Seng who died on 5th November 1883.
source: NewspaperSG

Son: Goh Tiang Lee (Goh Tiang Lie)
From a creditor who requested a court listing at the Supreme Court of Johore on 5th December 1935 ,i got to find out that the late Goh Tiang Lee was last listed as residing in Mensanak, Rhio (under Netherland East Indies). The article also requested the presence of Goh Sian Khay and and Goh Choon Chwee Bee (two persons who attained the age of 21 and have an interest in the estate).
[Note: Goh Sian Kay name was listed as grandson in the tomb of Goh Sin Choon providing a probable match on the relationship that Goh Tiang Lee mentioned in the article is the son of Goh Sin Choon)

Son: Goh Tiang Keng
A student of Raffles Institution, he went to study at Straits Medical School. I have no more information after that.

Advertisement. (1884, January 3). The Straits Times, page 2
Advertisement. (1935, December 5). Malayan Tribune, page 5