Tan Cheng Kiat (Bukit Brown)

Tan Cheng Kiat ( 陳清吉) is the managing partner of Hoe Thong and Kim Lam Co. Ltd. The companies are importers & exporters of produce, rubber, marine products, general merchants and commission agents. He has also a Bricks and Tile Works at 632, Aljunied Road under the business of Kim Lam Co. Ltd. Kim Lam Co. Ltd in the late 50s and early 60s went into the property business and sold terrace houses in Quemoy Park (off Paya Lebar). You can read about his early years from here

Tan Cheng Kiat
Tan Cheng Kiat (source: 颖川公所 16th anniversary book )

Hoe Thong and Kim Lam Co. Ltd at 38 Telok Ayer Street
Fortunately with contributions from the descendants of Tan Cheng Kiat, you can see a picture of him in front of his office at 38 Telok Ayer Street with the Hoe Thong and Kim Lam Co. Ltd signboards, visible. 

Tan Cheng Kiat in front of his company signs (Hoe Thong) and (Kim Lam Co. Ltd)
at 38 Telok Ayer Street
(photo courtesy of Jason Tan)  

Hoe Thong 

Kim Lam
Kim Lam Co. Ltd in 1964

Social Contributions 
Tan Cheng Kiat was the Honorary Chairman of Eng Chuan Kong Soh (颖川公所). Tan Cheng Kiat found time to also officiate weddings and there was a nice article of him sitting in the middle taking a picture with 19 of the 27 married couples at a mass wedding held at the Hokkien Huay Kuan premises in September 1958.

Tan Cheng Kiat officiating a mass wedding 

When Tan Lark Sye the rubber millionaire was elected President of the Ee Hoe Hean Club in 1960, Tan Cheng Kiat was a committee member.

Tan Cheng Kiat passed away at the age of 78 on 12th August 1966. His wife Madam Chua Woo Neo passed away earlier at the age of 59 on 27th August 1955. I only have the picture of the funeral cortege of Mr. Tan Cheng Kiat to share and many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren can be seen in attendance. From the newspaper article, Tan Cheng Kiat was listed as 82 when he passed away on 12th August  1966 at 11:35 pm at his home at 341 Upper Paya Lebar Road. He leaves behind a wife, 6 sons; Tan Sek Kay, Tan Seck Khoon, Tan Seck Hock, Tan Seck Chuan, Tan Seck Poei and Tan Seck Thiam and 7 daughters-in-law, 5 daughters, 4 sons-in-law and many grand and great grandchildren. The funeral to Bukit Brown will take place on Sunday, 21st August at 1:30pm. 

Funeral entourage for Mr. Tan Cheng Kiat (photo courtesy of Jason Tan)

Funeral of the late Tan Cheng Kiat (photo courtesy of Jason Tan)

6 sons; Tan Sek Kay, Tan Seck Khoon, Tan Seck Hock, Tan Seck Chuan, Tan Seck Poei and Tan Seck Thiam and 7 daughters-in-law, 5 daughters, 4 sons-in-law and many grand and great grandchildren. On the exhumed tomb of Mr. Mrs. Tan Cheng Kiat, the names of their children and grandchildren are listed there. If you are able to translate them, do leave a comment below.

Tan Cheng Kiat and family (photo courtesy of Jason Tan)

Tan Seck Kay and Tan Seck Khoon in picture (photo courtesy of Jason Tan)

Names of children and grandchildren of Mr and Mrs Tan Cheng Kiat

Tan Cheng Kiat's mansion in Kinmen
Tan Cheng Kiat built a beautiful mansion in Kinmen (now part of Taiwan) in which exist till today.
(source: Tripadvisor)

Location of tomb
Mr and Mrs Tan Cheng Kiat tomb have already been exhumed, but we can still see sufficient materials to reflect on its heritage. The tomb is located in Block 3 Division C,  Plot numbers  126D, 148D, 137H. Their tomb is located slightly above the tomb of Mr. and Mrs. Ong Sam Leong (best go up from the earth deity side).You can also find a brick made from his factory, Kim Lam. Another interesting finding is a photo of the tomb of Mrs.Tan Cheng Kiat in Bukit Brown in the 1950's before the passing of Mr. Tan Cheng Kiat. If you look closer, you can see the picture of Madam Chua on the headstone, but the picture of the Mr. Tan Cheng Kiat side is empty. His name is still painted red.  

Finally you will notice how clear the Bukit Brown hill is in the 1950s.  
Tomb of Mrs.Tan Cheng Kiat 

Tomb of Mr and Mrs. Tan Cheng Kiat today 

Kim Lam brick


Wedding Bells for 21. (1958, September 29). The Sigapore Free Press, page 16
Tan Lark Sye is elected President. (1960, September 26).The Singapore Free Press, page 6
Obituary.(1966, August 15).  星洲日報, 15 August 1966, page 14. Accessed from NewspaperSG
Mass wedding. (1958, September 29). 南洋商报, page 6. Accessed from NewspaperSG
Advertisement. (1964, January 25). The Straits Times, page 19.Accessed from NewspaperSG
The 16th Anniversary Commemorative Issue of Eng Chuan Kong Soh (颖川公所), Singapore. Accessed from NUS Libraries Southeast Asia Chinese documents
Tan Cheng Kiat 陳清吉.(website).Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录
Chinqingji Building.Jinsha. Kinmen. (website). Trip Adviser


James Koh said…
I must say, Mr. Tan had led a really interesting life.
James Koh said…
My amateurish attempt:

Tan Saik Kui
Tan Saik Kun
Tan Saik Hock
Tan Saik Chuan
Tan Saik Puay
Tan Saik Thiam

Tan Loke Seng
Tan Loke Shong
Tan Loke Hin
Tan Loke Pin
Tan Loke Hian
Tan Loke Kheng
Tan Loke Sin
Tan Loke Siew
Tan Loke Teck
Tan Loke Hee
Tan Loke Meng
Tan Loke Hong
Tan Loke Hoe
Tan Loke Tean
Tan Loke Sai
Tan Loke Lim
Tan Loke Eng
Tan Loke Wee
Tan Loke Khim
Tan Loke Hee

Tan Sia Shik

Tan Geok Hong
Tan Geok Suan
Tan Geok Eng
Tan Geok Sue [sounds like swear]
Tan Geok Kuan
Tan Geok Puan

Sim Bee
Geok Lee
Sim Kee
Ah Wah
Ah Bee
Geok Leng
Puay Leng
Mui Leng

Lian Nah
Lian Sing
Lian Hoon
Lian Siew
Lian Soo
Lian Bui
Lian Hoon
Lian Suan
Lian Nah
Rojak Librarian said…
wow !! Thanks James !!!


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