Monday, March 02, 2020

Teo Guan Tye (Kopi Sua Cemetery)

Teo Guan Tye was mentioned in an article written by Tan Kah Kee for the Straits Times in 1932 about Malayan Chinese inventors and industrialist. In that article, the late Teo Guan Tye of Singapore was described as the first Chinese to go to London (about 21 years ago or around 1911) to patent his inventions and was successful in obtaining a number of Letter of Patents. His first invention was for "improvements in or relating to the extraction of gum copal from waste gum copal". He was also successful in obtaining a number of Letters of Patent for this invention in Great Britain, France, Germany, United States, Japan, Straits Settlements and other important countries. On 27 December 1912. Teo Guan Tye succeeded in getting 2 more patents. While he was London, he registered his designs in a book which contains several thousands of design drawn by him which he named "Cross-in-turn". The preface of his book suggest that this designs can be used for decorative purposes, such as tiles, mats, etc. Upon Teo Guan Tye's return to Singapore in 1916,  he came up with an patented invention for "improvements in or relating to the extraction of Para Rubber Crepe from Bark Crepe". He was granted exclusive privileges. In 1887, Teo Guan Tye carried on the business of fruit preserver, spirit manufacturer, etc at No 99 Telok Ayer Street under the chop Thye Seng Bee & Co. He sent to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, held in London, preserved pineapple, guava and plantain jellies, and many other kinds of sweets made of fruits, ornamental articles made of ivory and wood and was awarded a medal in bronze for some of the exhibits and also a certificate in commendation of the excellent quality of his sauce.

Teo Guan Tye passed away on 27th November 1919. The tomb itself is interesting as it as English words which state;  "In loving memory of the repose of Teo Guan Tye who died on 27th November 1911 corresponding the 6th day of the 10th Chinese Moon of the Bin Kok 9th Year.
Tomb of Teo Guan Tye in Whitley Road Cemetery (Kopi Sua)

Teo Guan Tye 

The children of Teo Guan Tye

Decorative Tiles on this tomb 


Father: Teo Kit
Teo Kit (died September 1872) came down from China and and established the firm, Teo Kit & Co
chop Tiang Guan in Market Street acting as commission agents and dealing in earthenware goods. Teo Kit was also a partner in the Opium and Spirit Farm during the period when Cheang Hong Lim, Tan Seng Poh and Tan Yeok Nee were the Farmers. Teo Kit also owned a fishing-stake at Tanjong Pagar. From the commission agent business, he became a shipowner (acquiring tongkangs and schooners) and merchant (bring in produce from Semarang, Surabaya and other Java ports and Chinese wares from China). Teo Kit married a sister of Tay Ho Swee. Teo Kit died on September 1872 and is buried at Bukit Timah (maybe Lao Sua ?). Teo Guan Tye was the eldest of his 4 sons continued his business for some years but had to wind it up owing to litigation with his brothers, who sued him as executor of the father's will.

Mrs. Teo Guan Tye
Mrs Teo Guan Tye passed away on 3rd May 1931 at the age of 67 at her residence at No. 6 Lorong 12 Geylang. She is survived by 4 sons; Teo Ewe Teong, Teo Leng Teong, Teo Cheng Teong, Teo Koeng Teong, 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law,  2 daughters-in-law, 11 grandchildren. She is buried in Bukit Brown.

Advertisement. (1872, March 30). The Straits Times, page 3
Domestic Occurrences. (1931, May 6). Malayan Tribune, page 8
Chinese Topics in Malaya. (1932, January 7). The Straits Times, page 6

1 comment:

Johno said...

two of his brothers could be Teo Guan Seng and Teo Guan Bee per below