Sunday, June 07, 2020

Joseph William Cashin and family (Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery)

Joseph William Cashin / J.W. Cashin (1842-1907) was born in Singapore and is the second son of the late Mr. Cashin, a Maltese Inspector of Police. The Cashin family originally from Ireland, came down to Singapore many years ago. Joseph William Cashin was educated at the Christian Brother's Schoo and became a lawyer's clerk after going into work at the legal firm of Mr. F.E. Pereira, followed by Mr. Edwin Koek and finally Mr. J.P. Joaquim. Joseph William Cashin also joined the Opium and Liquor Farms of Singapore, rising the ranks to Managing Director before passing away. With the money, he invested and also made a fortune in land speculation and at one time own many properties, including about 400 shophouses. Joseph William Cashin passed away on 7th August 1907 at his country house at Pongol (Punggol) and the body was brought to his town residence at  No 3 Gaylang (Geylang) at the end of the tramway terminus. He is survived by his widow, 3 daughters and an only son. Probate of his will went to his son, Alexander William Cashin.

tomb of Joseph William Cashin and Alexander William Cashin
Tomb of Joseph William Cashin at Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery

Son: Alexander William Cashin / A.W. Cashin
Alexander William Cashin continued in his father's legacy as a veteran land and estate owner. A.W. Cashin owned land in Lim Chu Kang area and in 1914 invited Neo Tiew (梁宙) to manage and develop the land which he managed so well that it was known as the kingdom of Neo Tiew. During the Japanese occupation, A.W. Cashin spent over 3 years in internment at Sime Road and Changi Gaol. A.W. Cashin passed away on 6th October 1947 at his residence in No. 79 Grange Road. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Sarah Cashin and 4 children (Joseph Cashin, Howard Cashin, Carmen Cashin (Mrs. R. Burghart), Dagmar Cashin (Mrs. J.L. Marr). A.W. Cashin was buried in Bukit Timah Cemetery. With the development of Bukit Timah Cemtery, the descendants must have moved them to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.

Daughter: Agnes Cashin
The wedding took place at the Church of St. Joseph, Victoria Street on October 1913, of Mr. William Martin Allen (son of Mr. Charles Allen) to Miss Agnes Cashin (daughter of the late Mr. Joseph William Cashin). Owning to the ill health of the bride's mother, the wedding was a quiet affair. 

Grand-daughter: Miss Edna Cashin
Miss Edna Cashin (daughter of A.W. Cashin and grand-daughter of J.W. Cashin) died when she lost control of the motor car she was driving and crashed and overturn at Farrer Road on 27 July 1939. Also killed was her Boyanese driver, Mastuki bin Abdullah who was sitting beside her. Miss Edna Cashin was 17 years old. She is now buried together with her father and grandfather at Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery.

Butterfly House 
23 Amber Road's Butterfly was designed by Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan & Maclaren (he was the architect of Raffles Hotel, Victoria Memorial Hall and Goodword Park Hotel). Built in 1912, it was commissioned by Alexander William Cashin (A.W. Cashin) for his brother-in-law, Mr. D. Kitovitz. Butterfly House was a neo-renaissance / Victorian styled bungalow and was in a unique crescent-shaped facing the sea so that the view and sea breeze will be maximised.  That unique part was unfortunately demolished in 2007, replaced by a 54 unit, 18-storey building. Only the entrance porch portion of the house along Amber Road was maintained. 

Butterfly House by the sea
Butterfly House (before the land reclamation and after)


Butterfly House c1970
Butterfly House c1970 (source: PictureSG)


Matilda House
The Punggol seaside bungalow, built around 1921-1922 by Alexandra Cashin as a present for his wife. It was called Matilda House, as it was named after her paternal mother, Josephine Matilda Cashin. The Cashin used to owned about 350 hectares of land in the area on which there were also rubber and coconut plantations. 

Matilda House (source: NewspaperSG)

[research on-going]

References
Death of Mr. J.W. Cashin. (1907, August 8). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Social and Personal. (1913, October 22). The Straits Times, page 8
Death of A.W. Cashin. (1947, October 7). The Straits Times, page 7
His old house...soon Punggol's new landmark. (2002, October 20). The New Paper, page 8
Butterfly House: General view [1]. (website). PictureSG. Last accessed 6 June 2020
Matilda House. (website). State of Buildings. Last accessed 6 June 2020

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