Sunday, January 28, 2018

Ong Hup Keng and family (Bukit Brown)

The twin tomb of Ong Hup Keng and Madam Yeo Seok Bee lies engulfed by a huge Banyan Tree. Its vines has totally engulfed the tomb of Mr. Ong Hup Keng. However fortunately for the tomb of Madam Yeo Seok Bee, her name is still visible underneath the altar table is still visible with date of death as August 1937 and age of death at 52.  The tomb is located at Block 1 Division B, plot 139 and 140 (the burial registry also helps confirm it).

A quick research confirms the date with the obituary notice of Madam Yeo Seok Bee, wife of Ong Hup Keng (of Yeo Bian Chuan Co.) who passed away at the age of 51 on 17th August 1937 at her residence in 155 Pasir Panjang Road. She is survived by her husband,one son; Ong Kiew Ann, one daughter-in-law, 5 daughters (Mrs. Yeo Cheng Hoe, Mrs. Tok Peng Leong, Mrs Felix Choo,  Miss Ong Geok Hin, Miss Ong Geok Hock) and several grandchildren to mourn her loss. Her husband, Ong Hup Keng (a Produce Broker and Partner at Yeo Bian Chuan) passed away on 27th January 1938. He leaves behind his son, Ong Kiew Ann, three son-in-laws (Mr. Yeo Cheng Hoe, Mr. Tok Peng Leong, Mr. Felix Choo), one daughter-in-law, and five daughters. The funeral took place on 29th January 1938 and cortege left from 155 Pasir Panjang to Bukit Brown.

Yeo Seok Bee is the daughter of Yeo Bian Chuan and her husband is the partner in her father's company. 155 Pasir Panjang Road was the famous house where Yeo Bian Chuan harboured during the Singapore Mutiny (15 February 1915), no less than 17 Europeans who sought refuge and safety away from the mutineers who were seeking to harm them. He kept them until daybreak when help arrived. For his heroic deeds, he was awarded the option of $5,000 or a commemorative gold medal. Yeo Bian Chuan chose the commemorative gold medal. Unfortunately, he was soon forgotten and the gold medal never arrived.

Tomb of Madam Yeo Seok Bee

The clue that help reveal the story

Ong Hup Keng tomb totally engulfed except for the Golden Boy 

Mr and Mrs Ong Hup Keng can be seen next to their daughter, Ms Madeline Ong nee Mrs Felix Choo


Parents (Yeo Bian Chuan and Chew Chye Luan)
Yeo Bian Chuan was born in Rhio (Riau island of Indonesia which was under Netherlands East Indies control). He came at a very young age to Singapore and was educated in Singapore. He was a produce broker and the senior partner of Messrs. Yeo Bian Chuan and Co, 22-A Change Alley. After residing in the Straits Settlement for the past 52 years ,he was naturalised as a British subject in 1921.
Yeo Bian Chuan (source: NewspaperSG)

Yeo Bian Chuan passed away on October 2, 1929 shortly after the death of his wife, at his residence in 155 Pasir Panjang Road. He leaves behind a son, Yeo Bong Soo and a daughter, Madam Yeo Seok Bee (Mrs On Hup Keng). On the 15th anniversary of the Sepoy Mutiny, Yeo Bian Chuan's memory was honoured by the people who were saved by his heroic deeds. Madam Chew Chye Luan (wife of Yeo Bian Chuan) died at the age of 69 on September 17, 1929

Son: Mr. Ong Kiew Ann
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Daughter: Miss Ong Geok Hee (Mrs Yeo Cheng Hoe)
Mrs Yeo Cheng Hoe (nee Ong Geok Hee) passed away at the age of 46 at her residence in 429 Race Course Road on 11 September 1954. She is survived by her husband, 1 son, five daughters and 1 prospective son-in-law, Kho Kok Hin. Yeo Cheng Hoe died a few days later in the same month and year. 

16 February 1927

Daughter: Miss Ong Geok Choon (Mrs. Tok Peng Leong)
Tok Peng Liong ( second son of Mr and Mrs Tok Hong Kian ) and Miss Ong Geok Choon ( second daughter of Mr and Mrs Ong Hup Keng) married in March 1931

Daughter: Miss Madeline Ong (Mrs Felix Choo)
Felix Choo (son of Mr and Mrs Choo Tian Lock) married Miss Madeline Ong at St. Andrew's Cathderal on 5th January 1936. Felix Choo is a teacher at the Rangoon Road School. 

Felix Choo and Madeline Ong

Daughter: Ong Geok Hin 
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Daughter: Ong Geok Hock
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Engagement. (1931, February 18).The Singapore Press, page 10
Chinese Wedding. (1936, January 5). Sunday Tribune, page 1)
Death. (1937, August 18). Malaya Tribune, page 12
Death. (1938, January 28). Malaya Tribune, page 10

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