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

Monday, October 01, 2018

Lee Kim Chye and family (Bukit Brown)

Lee Kim Chye was the proprietor of the Straits Hiring Company and also a shareholder for the Sze Hai Tong Bank. Lee Kim Chye passed away at his residence at No. 101 Pasir Panjang Road on 8 May 1930 at the age of 58. He is survived by his widow, 4 sons; Lee Chuan Teck, Lee Chuan Chiang, Lee Chuan Heng, Lee Chuan Guan, 7 daughters (( from the tomb, Lee Thoon Neo, Lee Poh Neo, Lee Theen Neo, Lee Geck Neo, Lee Chwee Neo), 3 son-in-laws; Oh Chin Siew, Tan Peng Juay and Lim Tiang Chan and 6 grandchildren. 101 Pasir Panjang was known as "Chantek Villa".  There was a posting where Mr. Lee Kim Chye and Bros. thank their friends and staff of Messrs. Graham & Co. Ltd. who attended the funeral of their mother Madam Ngo Buay Neo in 1920. Lee Kim Chye is buried in Hill 3 Division A, plot 158.

Tomb of Lee Kim Chye

Madam Chan Siew Choo alias Chan Siew Neo passed away on 30th January 1944 at the age of 57. She is survived by 2 sons; Lee Chuan Chiang, Lim Kim Chwee, 2 daughters; Nyonya Lee, Alice and 1 grandson, Lim Giap Lip. It is interesting to note that the calender year reflected on the tomb is 2604 (following the Japanese Koki Calender ). There was an article in the Syonan Shimbun which list her last address as No. 41 Craig Road. Her tomb at Hill 3 Division A, plot 150 is next to Lee Kim Chye's tomb.

Tomb of Chan Siew Choo 

Beautiful decorated tiles of Madam Chan Siew Choo

Secondary wife challenged legality of will
From a court case in 1935 contesting the legality of Lee Kim Chye's will, we get some insight into his family story. Lee Kim Chye's death and will was called to question when his secondary wife, Koh Gek Tiang (plaintiff ) brought the motion to challenge the legality of that said will (executed on 15 March 1923) to the Colony Supreme Court. Defending the claim was Chan Siew Choo (wife of Lim Kim Chye) and executrix of will. The courts noted that Lee Kim Chye was a Straits born Chinese who lived in 101 Pasir Panjang Road who died on 30th May 1930 at his residence. He died with a number of movable and immovable property.  Lee Kim Chye was said to have took on Koh Gek Tiang as his secondary wife on 9 November 1925 at the Chinese Temple in Telok Ayer. From their union, they had 3 children (a boy; Lee Chuang Heng and 2 girls; Lee Mee See, Lee Jay See). The plaintiff contended that the will should be revoked by this marriage and probate should be revoked, set aside, recalled or cancelled. It is from the legal proceedings, we know that Koh Gek Tiang (daughter of Koh San Tee) who at the age of 18 first got married and from that union had a son. Her husband then passed on and her parents made arrangement for her to remarry. Koh Gek Tiang was 31 years old when she married Lee Kim Chye. The marriage was witness by her mother and Gan Kim Bee (her eldest sister-in-law.) Other evidence was mentioned in the well documented case included the points that Lee Kim Chye had another concubine by the name of Tan Sin Wah (since 1916) and finally that Koh Gek Tiang was present during the funeral ceremony and there was even a photograph of her and children present during the wake. To summarise the final verdict, the Supreme Court Judge, Mr. Justice Mills gave the following affirmative answer on the following 3 points:
1.  Kok Gek Tiang is the lawful widow of Lee Kim Chye (deceased)
2. Kok Gek Tiang was the lawful wife of the said Lee Kim Chye subsequent to the making of the will, dated March 15, 1923.
3. The said will dated March 13, 1923 was thereby revoked.

Some of the evidence given during court 

Chantek Villa, No 101 Pasir Panjang Road
The residence of Lee Kim Chye was at 101 Pasir Panjang Road was coined as "Chantek Villa" (Chantek means Pretty in Malay). The advertisement date 1931 below by the auctioneers Ching Keng Lee & Co. Ltd showed the extend of wealth that Lee Kim Chye had which included teak wood furniture and 2 cars, ( a four seater "Baby Austin" and a 5 seater "Standard Coventry"), plants, etc. The 99 years' leasehold residential  seaside land house of 26,953 sq ft house was eventually put on sale in 1931 and again in 1934.

Chantek Villa

Domestic Occurrences. (1930, May 13). Malayan Tribune, page 8
Advertisement. (1931, June 13). Malayan Tribune, page 14
Marriage Problem In Singapore Will Suit Interesting Point Of Law Raised. (1935, March 27). Malayan Tribune, page 12
Secondary Marriages by Chinese Man's former will made void. (1935, December 3). Malayan Tribune, page 15
Advertisement. (1944, September 8). Syonan Shimbun, page 2