Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Teigh Soon Whatt and family (Bukit Brown)

A broken marble headstone caught my attention. After piecing the two broken piece together, and placing it at the altar platform table, i noticed the unique surname of the person buried there. The marble stone was carved all in English and the surname was Teigh. The marble headstone reads;
In loving memory of the late Mr. Teigh Soon Whatt 
age 58. 
Died on 7th September 1936
Wife: Madam Cheong Choo Neo
Teigh Heng Poon
Teigh Heng Kim
Teigh Leng Neo
Teigh Hock Neo
Oh Kwee Leong 

From the obituary notice, i managed to gather additional information: Teigh Soon Watt passed away at his residence, No 410A Yio Chu Kang Road on 6th Sept 1936 at the age of 58. He leaves behind his wife, a son-Teigh Heng Poon, one adopted son, Mr. Lim Hock Swee, 2 daughters and one son-in-law, Mr. Lim Chea Ding. Teigh Soon Whatt was the hon. assistant treasurer of the Bukit Sembawang Recreational Club in 1917. Teigh Soon Whatt was the hon. assistant treasurer of the Bukit Sembawang Recreational Club in 1917. He is buried in Block 4 Section A, plot 480.

Trying to trace further, the only possible lead i have is on the obituary notices of Teigh Heng Poon (passed away at the age of 84 on 7 April 2000) and his wife Madam Seah Mui Kiang (passed away at the age of 80 on 30 December 2008.

Son; Teigh Heng Poon Jr.  Daughter-in-law; Melenia A. Bisonaya
Daughter" Doreen Teigh Wha Eng, Son-in-law; Edmund Wong
Granddaughters: Dr. Petrina Wong, Jacinda Wong, Clarissa Wong, Carmella Teigh, Cassandra Teigh, Grandson: Ryan Teigh
Grandson-in-law: Dr. Keith Ho

Untitled. (1917, August 13). The Straits Times, page 8

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Chan Yen Pai and family (Bukit Brown)

Chan Yen Pai is better known as the son of Chan Kim Boon, a famous Baba Malay Translator and prolific publisher of many translated Chinese classics to Baba Malay. Chan Yen Pai, himself continued his father’s work and helped republish Sam Kok [The Romance of the Three Kingdom] in 1932 (volumes one to five) with Fang Heng Printing Press, and possibly Song Kang in 1934 with D. T. Lim, and Kou Chey Thian (1933) (volume one only). Chan Yen Pai (Chan Yen P'ai) passed away at the age of 87 on 18th June 1961 at 2:15pm at 166 Neil Road. In the obituary notice, he is survived by his wife, 1 daughter, Chan Gaik Thay and 2 sons; Chan Kee Kok and Chan Kee Hee, daughter-in-law; Sim Bee, 7 Grand-children and 6 Great Grandchildren.  Madam Lim Chuan Keat  (Mrs. Chan Yen Pai) passed away at the age of 61 on 12th November 1937 and is buried beside him. They are buried in Block 4 Section C, plot 114 and 107.
Chan Yen Pai and Madam Lim Chuan Keat
Chan Yen Pai, presumably continued his father’s work and helped republish Sam Kok [The Romance of the Three Kingdom] in 1932 (volumes one to five) with Fang Heng Printing Press, and Song Kang in 1934 with D. T. Lim, and Kou Chey Thian (1933) .

Unique Couplets

What is also unique about the tomb is the lion couplets say Power and Might !




Father: Chan Kim Boon 
Chan Kim Boon is the son of Chan Yong Chuan, a trader of Padang, Sumatra. Chan Kim Boon was born  in Penang in 1851 and educated at the Free School, Penang. He then went to China and studied at Foochow Naval School with specialisation in Military tactics. Due to his weak constitution, he declined a role as an army officer but instead became an assistant tutor in mathematics. Amongst his pupils was Admiral Sah, the late Admiral Yin and the late Sir Chin-chen Lo Feng-luh (once a Chinese Minister in London, whose elder daughter became the first wife of Lieutenant Tan Soo Bin.

Chan Kim Boon left China after a prediction by a fortune teller that he would live to see his 25th birthday and in January 1872, he returned to Penang to visit his widowed mother. In March 1872 he arrived Singapore and joined the legal firm of Aitken & Rodyk (subsequently Aitken & Co and now Donalidson & Burkinsaw as book-keeper and cashier.  He made good use of his knowledge of Chinese by translating into Romanised Malay during his free time the Sam-kok (History of the Three Kingdoms) and numerous Chinese stories. Chan's  publication of "Sam Kok" was important especially to the local Chinese community as well as for Malay literature as a whole, because it was a massive translation work of over 30 volumes. Chan was known by his pen-name Batu Gantong. The Baba Malay version of this classic was published in Singapore – making this accessible to the Straits-born Chinese community. He had the help of two other people, Chia Ann Siang and Tan Kheam Hock.
Chan Kim Boon

Sam Kok 
Chan Kim Boon passed away on 7 April 1920 at 11 pm due to acute broncho asthma at the age of 70. His remains were taken from his house at No 9 Stanley Road and shipped back to Penang in accordance to his wishes to be buried in Bukit Gantong Cemetery.

Brother: Chan Yen Soon
Chan Yen Soon was a cashier and bookkeeper for the legal firm Donaldson and Burkinshaw and has been in service in the company for 25 years.. Chan Yen Soon's late father, Chan Kim Boon was also a cashier and bookkeeper for Donaldson and Burkinshaw for 45 years and well know among the local Chinese Community for translation Chinese literature to Baba Malay.

Chan Yen Soon passed away at his residence at No. 101 Tras Street on 18th October 1930 at the age of 45 after being of ill health in which he took leave 2 months ago from work to recuperate but things took a turn for the worst. On the tomb, of Chan Yen Soon, the etching says it was erected by his loving wife, Kaw Kim Kee Neo and list the name of their sons; Chan Kah Siew, Chan Kah Hock, and daughter; Chan Gaik Tooi. He has a son-in-law by the name of William Lim. The tomb is located in Bukit Brown at Block 3 Division B, plot 302, 325.

Death/ (1961, June 19). The Straits Times, page 16
Chan Kim Boon. Infopedia Website https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1337_2008-10-07.html. Last Accessed 10/01/2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Filial Piety - He Fed His Parents with Doe's Milk (Stories from the Stones)

Tan Zi's elderly parents were losing their sense of sight and believed that doe's milk could cure them. Upon hearing that, Tan Zi covered himself with deer's skin and got close to a doe to obtain its milk. He repeated the process every day. Once, a hunter mistook him for a real deer and almost killed him, but Tan Zi revealed himself and explained the situation to the hunter.
From another source,

During China's Spring and Autumn Period, there was a filial son in the Tan family whose name has not been recorded. People simply referred to him as Young Master Tan, or Tanzi. While he was quite young, both his parents came down with an eye disease that the doctors said could only be cured by giving them deer's milk to drink. As the family was very poor, and milk was both rare and expensive, the young lad was upset and worried that he would be unable to provide the medicine that could cure his mother and father. Wandering out in the mountains, he pondered the situation, but couldn't come up with a solution. There in the meadow before him, a herd of deer grazed. The does stood patiently while the spring's crop of young fawns frolicked and ran, then returned to their mothers to nurse on milk.

'That's it!" exclaimed Master Tan. "I'll get my folks deer's milk!" The next morning, dressed in a deer's skin, with head, tail and fur, Tanzi set off for the mountain meadow, bucket in hand. When the young deer ran, Tanzi ran beside them. When they grazed, he stood and grazed. When they came to the does for milk, Tanzi nursed too, only the milk went into his bucket, not into his stomach.

When the day was over, Tanzi carefully walked back down the mountain, carrying a full bucket of milk, delighted with the success of his plan. His parents were overjoyed to have deer's milk to drink, and praised their clever, considerate, and resourceful boy. The next day, Young Master Tan returned to the meadow and again played with the fawns, and again returned home at sunset with a bucket of milk. So it continued for weeks, and his parents began to recover their sight, thanks to their filial son's dutiful sacrifice on the mountainside.

One day as Tanzi was playing amid the young deer, the herd leaders suddenly bleated, picked up their white tails, and ran for the trees. The herd followed in fear, leaving Tan Dz alone in the middle of the meadow. He looked towards the path and saw why the deer had fled. A fierce-looking hunter, bow in hand, stood in the shade, prepared to shoot some venison.

Arrows began to zip past Tanzi's ears, their deadly whistle much too close for comfort. The boy quickly stood up, threw back his deer-skin cloak and loudly shouted, "I'm a person, not a deer. Don't shoot !" The hunter was shocked. "Hey, Boy, what are you doing here in the woods! I nearly killed you! Why are you dressed up like that?"

Tanzi answered, "My parents are sick and need deer's milk to drink in order to recover. I come here to milk the does, disguised as a deer." Deeply impressed, the hunter said softly, "You are certainly a rare child, to go to so much trouble for your parents. But this is dangerous! If you had waited one minute longer to reveal your identity, I would have shot you down. Be more careful in the future!" After this warning, the hunter escorted Young Master Tan safely out of the forest and back home.

A verse in his honor says,

His parents needed milk, their eyes to cure,
He robed his body in a suit of fur.
If he had failed to shout aloud, "Don't shoot!"
The hunter would have killed him for a deer.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Filial Piety - He Cried at His Mother's Grave When He Hears Thunder (Stories from the tiles)

Wang Pu (Wang Weiyuan) was a filial son who lived during the Three Kingdoms Period. His mother dreaded the sound of thunder-claps. Every time the sky filled with dark clouds and rain was on the way, Wang Pu would run to his mother's side to comfort her and to calm her fears. Eventually her mother passed away but everytime a storm approached, and it appeared that lightning was coming, he would run to the graveside and kneel by his mother's tombstone with tears running down his cheeks. "Don't cry Mother, your son is nearby!", he would call, just as if his mother was alive.

A verse in his honor says:

His mother dreaded most the sound of thunder-claps;
He knelt beside the bed to calm her fears;
Still he hurries to her grave and circles 'round,
Each time a rumbling thunder-storm appears.

A tiled version of the Filial Piety Story- He Cried at His Mother's Grave When He Hears Thunder

Stone carving version of the  story: He Cried at His Mother's Grave When He Hears Thunder

The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars. Website: Wikipedia

Friday, January 10, 2020

Longevity Symbolism (Stories from the Stones)

Shou (壽) is represented as a old man with large and prominent forehead, white hair, long white eyebrows and beard. The presence of the crane and tall evergreen pine tree, all could mean as triple symbols of longevity.

Shou (壽)
Shou (壽)

This beautiful carving is found at the tomb of Chua Soon Leong.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Soh Chit Neo (Bukit Brown)

In loving memory of Soh Chit Neo, wife of Goh Cheo Kim , died 26th Day, 7th Chinese Moon , 11th  Year. From the burial records, Soh Chit Neo pass away at the age of 32 on 19th September 1922. Madam Soh Chit Neo is buried in Hill 1 Division A, plot 51. The beautiful tiled tomb caught my attention because other than its decorative tiles, it is all in English and below there is also an epitaph written in honor of her.
The epitaph below the altar table reads;

She is gone but not forgotten
She is not with us today
But the thought of her is something
that will not pass away

Tomb of Soh Chit Neo 

I have little concrete information of who Goh Cheo Kim is, but the nearest i could find was mentioned of a Goh Cheo Kim who was a Hon. Superintendent of the Child Welfare Society.
The patron of the Child Welfare Society was Lady Guillemard and the President was Mr. Tan Kah Kee. Other prominent Chinese leaders who were the Hon. Vice Presidents include: Lady Shaw, Mr. Eu Tong Seng, O.B.E, Mr. Liau Chia Heng, Mr. Teo Eng Hock, Mr. Aw Boon Haw, Mr. S.Q Wong, Mr. Seah Engetc.

Advertisement. (1925, April 2). Malaya Tribune, page 1
Child Welfare Society. (1925, March 21). Malaya Tribune, page 12

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Filial Piety-He Dressed Up to Amuse His Parents (Stories from the Stones)

Laolaizi (Old Master Lai) was known for being very filial to his parents. Even in middle age, he dressed up in the costume of a young child at the circus, or imitate the walk and manner of a mischievous boy at play. He would paint on comic opera make-up and carry a flower drum, horse-playing and cutting comic antics in front of his delighted parents' eyes.

To tickle their funny-bone he would take a toy in hand and mimic a child's nonsense prattle, singing and dancing, and falling in a heap. Sometimes he would carry a pole into the sitting room that balanced two full buckets of water. Singing a silly tune he would trip up on purpose, sending water showering over the floor and soaking his foolish-looking wig and face-powder. His ridiculous show never failed to send the old folks into gales of laughter. Even though he was not a youngster, Old Master Lai was able to dutifully care for the physical health and mental well-being of his elderly parents. (source: Wikipedia)

Carving found at Ong Sam Leong's tomb 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Khoo Boo Yeow and family (Bukit Brown)

Khoo Boo Yeow was the senior partner of Chop Guan Seng Hin of Beach Road and a partner of Messrs. Leong Chuan and Co. of Philip Street. Khoo Boo Yeow passed away on 29th September 1933 at the age of 50.  He is survived by his mother (Madam See Kah Chwee), a wife (Lee Lian Oay) and 6 sons (Khoo Teng Eng, Khoo Teng Whatt, Khoo Teng Boon, Khoo Teng Chwee, Khoo Teng Hoe, Khoo Teng Guan) and 2 daughters (Mary Khoo Paik Im, Lucy Khoo Paik Khim) and 2 nephews (Lee Thuan Khek and Lee Chwee Chin). Khoo Boo Yeow is buried in Hill 3 Division C, plot 406

Khoo Boo Yeow 

Khoo Boo Yeow (Bukit Brown)

Wife: Madam Lee Lian Oay
Mrs. Khoo Boo Yeow nee Madam Lee Lian Oay passed away at the age of 61 on 13 November 1949 at her residence 26A Lorong 34 Geylang. She is survived by and 5 sons (Khoo Teng Eng, Khoo Teng Boon, Khoo Teng Chwee, Khoo Teng Hoe, Khoo Teng Guan) and 2 daughters (Mary Khoo Paik Im, Lucy Khoo Paik Khim), 3 daughter-in-law's, 2 son-in-law's (Tan Swee Beng, Ooi Thean Seng) and 15 grandchildren. One of her son, Khoo Teng Whatt is no longer listed which probably means Khoo Teng Whatt passed away somewhere between 1936-1949. Mrs. Khoo Boo Yeow ia buried in Hill 3 Division C, plot 393.

Mrs Khoo Boo Yeow nee Madam Lee Lian Oay (Bukit Brown)

Mother: Mrs. Khoo Kay Yong nee Madam See Kah Chwee
Madam See Kah Chwee passed away at the age of 75 on 28th January 1936 at her residence, 380 Race Course Road (near the Buddha Temple). She is survived by her daughter-in-law (Mrs Khoo Boo Yeow), 6 grandsons (Khoo Teng Eng, Khoo Teng Whatt, Khoo Teng Boon, Khoo Teng Chwee, Khoo Teng Hoe, Khoo Teng Guan) and 2 granddaughters (Mary Khoo Paik Im, Lucy Khoo Paik Khim) and Lee Chwee Chin. Madam See Kah Chwee is buried in Hill 3 Division C, plot 406

Mrs. Khoo Kay Yong nee Madam See Kah Chwee (Bukit Brown)

Son: Khoo Teng Eng 
The marriage of Khoo Teng Eng of the Singapore Municipality (eldest son of the late Mr. Khoo Boo Yeow and Madam Lee Lian Oay) and Miss Chew Swee Neo nee Dorothy Khoo (eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chew Hock Lee) took place on 5th December 1937. Penang-born, Khoo Teng Eng was a clerk with the City Council and is a multi-talented person, a comedian, playright, entertainer, magician, ventriloquist. Over time, he became Singapore's best known all-round entertainer, having done many public and private functions both in out of Singapore. His family members also at different periods of their lives, entertainers in their own right. His children are Dennis Khoo, Angela Khoo, Vincent Khoo,Theresa Khoo, Michael Khoo, Francis Khoo, Lawrence Khoo, Victor Khoo,Sylvia Khoo, Christina Khoo, Bernard Khoo. One of his son, Victor Khoo built his career in the entertainment world and went on to be a famed Ventriloquist and entertainer.

Family of Khoo Teng Eng

Khoo Teng Eng and her daughter Teresa Khoo

Another picture of the Khoo family

[research on-going]

Domestic Occurrences. (1936, January 31). Malayan Tribune, page 12
Domestic Occurrences. (1937, December 14). The Straits Times, page 10
Death. (1949, November 14). The Straits Times, page 4
Mother of 11 does 6 jobs. (1959, February 21). The Singapore Free Press, page 1
A Memorable Day for the Littlest Khoo. ( 1961, September 28). The Singapore Free Press, page 9
The Magician Family Khoo. (1962, January 18). The Singapore Free Press, page 9