Saturday, June 06, 2020

Tan Chong Chew and family (Bukit Brown)

Tan Chong Chew (1894-1969) was one of the sons of Tan Kheam Hock. Tan Chong Chew studied in Raffles Institution before completing his studies in England where he completed his studies with third class honors. He returned to Singapore where he was first attached to the Wharf Accounts Department under Mr. W.S. Barett and afterwards to the Tonnage Department under Mr. H.B. Leicester where he gained valuable insight into the wharf work. Up to 1940, Tan Chong Chew has served under 3 Chairman, Sir John Nicholson, then Mr. S.A. Lane and Mr. G.W.A. Trimmer. Tan Chong Chew was the manager of the Eastern Mining and Rubber Company and Head of the Tanjong Pagar Labour Company, which is a contractor to the Singapore Harbour Board, that manages 2,000 men to move 10,000 tons of coal and cargo a day (his father, Tan Kheam Hock, originally secured the labour contract for Tanjong Pagar Docks). He was appointed Justice of Peace in 1939. Tan Chong Chew was a recipient of a certificate by the Japanese occupiers during the Tentyo Setsu celebrations in April 1942. Post war years, Tan Chong Chew appeared in the papers once for an offence he committed and found guilty during the Japanese occupation, but subsequently on more regular basis for his hobbies rather than work life. I am unable to find his obituary notice, but Tan Chong Chew passed away on 23 March 1969 at the age of 76. He is buried in Bukit Brown, Hill 1 Division A, plot 356.
Tan Chong Chew
Tan Chong Chew (source: National Archives)

Angler, pedigree dog breeder and avid horse owner
An avid horse owner with horses such as King Cole, Spangle, Penang Griffin No 2 and Pam. Tan Chong Chew was a pedigree dog breeder who participated in many competitions and at one time the President of the Alsatian Club. President of the Angler's Club. Tan Chong Chew and Ong Peck Hock were fishing buddies, and there was even a report of Ong Peck Hock inviting Tan Chong Chew to spend 4 days in his bungalow, "Wine House" in Pulau Damar Laut (1952) and spent time in fishing in his 21ft half-cabin cruiser. In the 1950's, Tan Chong Chew contributed many articles to the Singapore Standard and Sunday Standard sharing his knowledge and observations on the recreational fishing scene in Singapore. 
Tan Chong Chew and Ong Peck Hock

Tan Chong Chew with "Dunsraven", the champion fox terrier

6 months for Tan Chong Chew and son; bailed refused
Tan Chong Chew, J.P. and his son, Adam Tan were found guilty after a trial that lasted 5 days on charges of abetting a Japanese military police (Kempeitai) in causing hurt to Tan Cheng Siang and of criminal intimidation, during the Japanese occupation on 11 November 1943. According to the prosecution, Adam Tan received on trust, a diamond ring for sale from Tan Cheng Siang and after losing it was unable to reach settlement. Subsequently after Tan Cheng Siang had laid a complaint about the matter before a police magistrate, Tan Chong Chew called in a Kempei-tai man who was friendly to him and the Japanese Military Police took Tan Cheng Siang to a Kempei-tai station in Smith Street and beat him up and later took him to the Central Police Station where Tan Cheng Siang agreed to a settlement against his own wishes for a sum of $1,500. The 1 1/2 carat diamond ring was stated to have been worth $4,250. Mr.  Kenneth M. Byrne of the third district court sentenced Tan Chong Chew and his son, Adam to 6 months on each of the 2 charges, the sentences to run concurrently. 
Note: Tan Cheng Siang in this case, i believe is the grandson of Tan Kim Tian (as it was mentioned that Tan Cheng Siang came from a prominent Singapore Chinese family and when the Kempeitai when to get him, they went to his house in Neil Road

Wife: Madam Foo Gim Yong
Tan Chong Chew married Miss Foo Gim Yong (daughter of Mr and Mrs Foo Boon Sean) in 1915 and many guest where invited for a grand celebration held at Enggor Street that was reported in the papers. Madam Foo Gim Yong (daughter of Mr and Mrs. Foo Boon Sean of Penang) passed away at the age of 90 on 30th April 1986. She is survived by her son, Charlie Tan, daughters, Lily Tan and Tan Seow Keng, daughter-in-law; Phyllis, grandchildren, grandchildren-in-law and great grandchildren. The cortege left from 33 Ettrick Terrace. 
Madam Foo Gim Yong with other prominent guest (1937)

Son: Tan Huck Wan 
Mr.Tan Huck Wan (1916-1944) is the the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Chew. He studied in Anglo Chinese School and was gifted in sports. He played cricket, hockey and football for the SCRC and YMCA during 1935-1941. Mr Tan Huck Wan married Miss Lim Chin Choo (third daughter of Mrs Lim Mah Seang from Penang) in 17 Sept 1939 in a very traditional but grand affair. During the wedding procession, they were escorted by police guards as the bride was wearing $100,000 worth of jewelry with the bridal clothing specially imported from Penang. Tan Huck Wan was a Corporal with the service number 38243 of the Singapore Voluntary Field Ambulance, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. He passed away on 31st May 1944 and was buried in Bukit Brown next to her infant daughter, Ruby Tan who died on the 26th Oct 1944. She was only 6 months old. Both tombs were affected by the 8 lane highway and were exhumed by their descendants. 
Tan Huck Wan and Lim Chin Choo

Daughter: Lily Tan
Lily Tan (only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Chong Chew) married Richard Chua Hock Seng (eldest son of Mr.and Mrs. Chua Guan Chui) on December 1942. Prominent Japanese officers attended the marriage and the marriage certificate was witness and signed by Capt. Noda, Director Romu Kamri Kaisha, Mr. Hoshino of the Information Bureau, Dr. A.C. Jap and Lim Chong Ming. The bridesmaid was Miss Ruby Ong and bestman, Ong Chong Bee. 

Son:Tan Huck Hean
Tan Huck Hean (third son), born October 30, 1919 - died November 18, 1928, age 9 years old. He is buried in Bukit Brown. 

Daughter: Daisy Tan 
Daisy Tan ( second daughter), born October 28, 1933 - died December 26, 1933, age 1 month old. She is buried in Bukit Brown, close by to her brother, Tan Huck Hean. 
Grave of Tan Huck Hean and Daisy Tan
Block 2 Division F 
Penang Cot, 317 River Valley 
"Penang Cot" was the family home of Tan Kheam Hock and eventually Tan Chong Chew up to the war years. Post war, it seems that Tan Chong Chew residence seems to be at 72 St. Patrick Road. "Penang Cot" has seen many events including births, weddings, socialite gatherings and parties and also deaths. From what little pictures, i can find, the house was a grand place and inside you can see beautiful decorative and floor tiles as well. 
Penang Cot , River Valley
Penang Cot, River Valley

Beautiful interior of Penang Cot 

Tan Chong Chew mark on his commissioned crockery

Tan Chong Chew commissioned crockery

Celebration for Sir George Skimmer held at Penang Cot 

Tan Chong Chew's tomb in Bukit Brown
Tomb of Tan Chong Chew in Bukit Brown

[research on-going] 

Chinese Wedding. Tan Chong Chew marries Miss Foo Gim Yong.(1915, July 19). The Straits Times, page 10
Hints for Dog Lovers in Malaya. (1934, December 16). Sunday Tribune, page 16
Mr. Tan Chong Chew. Head of the Tanjong Pagar Labour Co. (1937, April 6). Malaya Tribune, page 11
Chinese Dinner for Singapore's New Knights. (1937, July 1). The Straits Times, page 20
Sir George Trimmer feted at "Penang Cot". (1937, July 1). Malayan Tribune, page 18
Careers of New Justices of the Peace. (1939, June 10). The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Daughter of Well-known Chinese Weds. (1942, December 28). Syonan Shimbun, page 2
Jap MP's were called to settle lost ring dispute. (1946, April 7). The Straits Times, page 3
6 months for Tan Chong Chew, Son: Bailed Refused. (1946, April 9). Malaya Tribune, page 4
Death.(1986, May 1). The Straits Times, page 28

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