Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee (Bukit Brown)

It is very heartening to see tombs restored and descendants visiting. While i was exploring in Block 3 yesterday, i encountered the recently restored tomb of Madam Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee. Madam Chew Yeat Tee passed away at the age of 32 at 17 Amber Road on 19 September 1928. She was the only daughter of Mr. and the late Mrs. Chew Koh Beng. She left behind a widow, Mr. Lim Bock Kee, 3 sons and 4 daughters. 

Mrs. Lim Bock Kee nee Madam Chew Yeat Tee
Madam Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee 

From her restored tomb, Madam Chew Yeat Tee is born on 30 Jan 1898 and passed away on 19 September 1928. The children listed on her tomb are as follows:
Sons: Lim Chin Hin, Lim Chin Seng, Lim Chin Guan
Daughters: Lim Hock Neo, Lim Cheng Neo, Lim Joo Neo, Lim Chee Neo
The name of her husband, Lim Bock Kee is also listed.

Reformed Style of Chinese Funeral

When Mrs. Lim Bock Kee, wife of the manager of the Ho Hong Bank passed away, it was reported in the papers that a well known member of the Straits Chinese community passed away and the ceremony followed a reformed style of chinese burial ceremony where no scrolls or "quantah" and the only music was provided by a band of students of the Chong Cheng School. The coffin was carried in a motor hearse which was covered by over 100 wreaths, and the funeral ceremonies were simple in comparison with the old style of Chinese funeral, and yet impressive. The mourners did not not wear sackcloth and sandals but ordinary black clothes and motor hearse travelled at a speed of about ten miles and hour. 


Husband: Lim Bock Kee , J.P. (born 22 August 1894 - died 4 January 1976)
Lim Bock Kee was the son of Lim Kim Seah and Wee Hian Neo. He was a banker and was associated with many of the early pioneering chinese banks including Ho Hong Bank, Overseas Chinese Bank and Compradore of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (see more stories on section under Banking connections and stories) and a leader among the chinese community and thus invited for many public gatherings by the colony government and Straits Settlements gatherings that were well reported in the newspapers.  

Lim Bock Kee contributed socially in many areas of society and was actively involved in many societies or associations (note that list below is not exhaustive)
  • Treasurer in 1925 for the Straits Chinese British Association
  • Members of the Executive Committee of E. Hoe Hean Club, Hon. 
  • Treasurer of the Po Leong Kek (an institution for the protection of woman and girls that is supported by public subscription and an annual donation from Government. It is under a Board which consists of the Chinese Community with the Secretary for Chinese Affairs, Straits Settlements, as its Chairman and Honorary Treasurer
  • Straits Chinese Reading Club 
  • Singapore After-Care Association (formerly The Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society)
  • Treasurer for Singapore's Boy Scouts Association
  • St. Andrew's Mission Hospital Board member 
Lim Bock Kee passed away at the age of 86 on 4 January 1976. He leaves behind:
3 sons: Lim Chin Hin, Lim Chin Seng, Lim Chin Guan (of Federal Iron Works Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya)
4 daughters: Helen, Catherine, Jessie, Carol
3 daughters-in-law: Peng Ngoh, Doris, Wah Kee
4 sons-in-law: Dr. Hsu Yu Mien, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Woo Kuan Yung, Ong Kim Kiay
26 grandchildren, 5 grandsons-in-law and 6 great grandchildren. 
Memorial service was at 7 Ramsgate before burial at Bulim Burial Ground.  

Lim Bock Kee's obituary notice 

Madam Goh Khoon Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee (8 September 1900 - 25 April 1967)
Madam Goh Khoon Tee was born in Penang and married Mr. Lim Bock Kee in January 1938. Mrs. Lim Bock Kee was the first Asian principal of The Fairfield Methodist Girls' School in Neil Road. She served as the school principal from 1945 - 1959 and after retirement continued to serve in the school management committee until her death. In her will, she bequeathed $3,00 for scholarship fund for poor and deserving pupils. In addition, her family donated $1,000 towards Mrs. Lim Bock Kee's medal fund for award annually to the top student of the school. Mrs. Lim Bock Kee, wife of well-known Singapore businessman passed away at her Ramsgate Road home on 25 April 1967. She was the mother-in-law of the Malaysian Finance Minister, Mr. Tan Siew Sin. 

Madam Goh Khoon Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee
(source: Fairfield Methodist Girls' School magazine, v. 4, no. 16 (1966/1967))

Son: Lim Chin Hin 
Lim Bock Kee's eldest son, Lim Chin Hin graduated from Raffles College in April 1938 (In 1934, Lim Chin Hin and Tan Cheng Lock's only son, Tan Siew Sin were the only 2 students when Raffles College had a Chair in Economics under the late Prof. Araki) and joined the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. In 1946, Mr. Lim Chin became the Manager of the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Ltd. Seremban. On 2 July 1949, when the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank opened its doors for business at MacDonald House, Mr. T.J.B Wearne (a well-known Singapore businessman) was its first customer. Mr. Lim Chin Hin was the compradore of this branch.  

Son: Lim Chin Seng / Robert Lim Chin Seng
Robert Lim Chin Seng passed away at the age of 71 on 13 April 1989. 

Son: Lim Chin Guan
Lim Chin Guan was the Managing Director of Federal Iron Works Sdn Bhd. His wife Madam Tay Wah Kee passed away at the age of 70 on 10 July 1995.

The Lim sisters went to Australia in 1940 and came back to Singapore post war as graduates in domestic science from the Emily McPherson College, Melbourne. A post war article mentions Catherine Lim Cheng Neo and Helen Lim Hock Neo cooking a meal for their proud father and invited guest at the Phoenix Club on 30 May 1946. 
The Lim sisters -students in Australia

Daughter: Lim Hock Neo / Helen Lim Hock Neo
Helen Lim Hock Neo studied 3 years domestic science and 1 year dietetics course in Australia and returned to be a dietitian at the Singapore General Hospital. Her husband, Dr. Hsu Yu Mien passed away at the age of 70 on 25 December 1985.

Daughter : Lim Cheng Neo / Catherine Lim Cheng Neo nee Mrs. Tan  Siew Sin
Mr. Tan Siew Sin (son of Mr. Tan Cheng Lock, C.B.E., and Mrs. Tan Cheng Lock) married Miss. Lim Cheng Neo (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lim Bock Kee) on 8 February 1947. The Governor-General, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald and Mrs. Donald were present . If you are familiar with Malaysian politics, both father and son (Mr. Tan Cheng Lock and Tan Siew Sin) went on to be pioneers of post-colonial Malaysia. Tun Tan Cheng Lock founded the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA) in 27 February 1949 and was its first President while Tun Tan Siew Sin was president from 1961 to 1974. Tun Tan Siew Sin went on to be the Minister of Finance (1959-1974). From their marriage, they had 3 children, Tan Siok Eng, Tan Siok Choo and Tan Siok Lee.

When his mother-in-law, Mrs. Lim Bock Kee passed away in May 1967 , a big community dinner planned for the Minister of Finance (Malaysia) in conjunction of Mr. Tan Siew Sin 51st Birthday,  was cancelled.  Madam Lim Cheng Neo passed away at the age of 95 on 10 May 2016. Tun Tan Siew Sin passed away on 17 March 1988.

Wedding of Tan Siew Sin and Catherine Lim Cheng Neo

Daughter: Lim Joo Neo  / Jessie Lim Joo Neo
Miss Jessie Lim Joo Neo (third daughter od Mr. and Mrs. Lim Bock Kee) married Mr. Herbert Woo Kuan Yung in December 1947. The wedding reception was held at the Victoria Memorial Hall and  t attended by the Sultan of Johore and Lady Ibrahim. Herbert Woo Kuan Yung passed away at the age of 85 on 16 March 1998. 
In picture from left to right: Mrs. Lim Bock Kee, HRH Sultan of Johore, Miss Lim Joo Neo,
Mr. Herbert Woo Kuan Yong, Lady Ibrahim) 

Johore Sultan at Chinese Wedding 

Daughter: Lim Chee Neo / Caroline Lim Chee Neo
Caroline Lim Chee Neo went to  Sydney, Australia and studied at Sydney Kindergarten College. (Beyond that i not able to find any information at the moment) 

Mother-in-law: Mrs. Lim Kim Seah 
Mrs. Lim Kim Seah passed away at the age of 73 at 72 Waterloo Street on 21 September 1921. She left a widower, four sons (Lim Bock Kee, Lim Bock Yin, Lim Bock Seng, Lim Bock Chye ), 2 daughters, 1 son-in-law and 7 grandchildren. 

Brother-in-law: Lim Bock Chye
Invitations have been issued by Mr. and Mrs. Ong Peng Hock for the marriage of their eldest daughter, Miss Ong Hong Neo with Mr. Lim Bock Chye (brother of Mr. Lim Bock Kee, J.P) in October 1933. Dinner was held at :Christmas Island Villa" 47 Marine Parade, Tanjong Katong.

Banking connections and stories

Government's Regret: Award of Compensation
While Lim Bock Kee was the manager of Ho Hong Bank in 1929, a warrant of arrest was issued under a misapprehension and as an indication of Government's regret (though not as an admission of any legal liability), the Colonial Treasure was instructed to pay to Mr. Lim Bock Kee the sum of $500 dollars. Mr. Lim Bock Kee  used the compensation donated the $100 to each of the following institutions:
  • Raffles College 
  • Prinsep Street Church Building Fund
  • Honan-Shensi- Kansu Relief Fund
  • Po Leong Kek
  • Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society  

Probate of Tan Ean Kiam  / Tan Eang Khiam will 
When Tan Ean Kiam passed away on 30 March 2603, probate of his will went to Tan Ean Teck, Tan Ean Long and Lim Bock Kee as executors of his will. 

Shinozaki makes a new re-entry bid -his sponsors: 12 prominent men 
12 prominent Malayan Chinese have asked the Singapore Government to allow the re-entry of Mr. Mamoru Shinozaki, the Japanese Municipal welfare chief during the Japanese occupation. He was jailed in Changi Prison before the war. Post war, Mr. Shinzaki attempted to return to Singapore but was rejected several times. In 1956, he has several Malayan Chinese leaders to intercede on his behalf. Agreeing to be his guarantors were Sir. Tan Cheng Lock , Dr. Lim Boon Keng, Mr. Yap Pheng Geck, Dr. S.Q. Wong, Mr. G.H. Kiat, Mr, Leong Yuen Hoe, Mr. Lim Bock Kee, Mr. S.F. Wong, Mr. Lee Choon Seng, Mr. Lee Leong Kee, Mr. Soh Ghee Soon and Mr. Lam Joon Chong.    

Lim Bock Kee Bursary (a lasting legacy)

Funded by donations from 15 grandchildren of Lim Bock Kee to commemorate their grandfather's long career in 3 banks - Ho Hong Bank, OCBC Bank and HSBC Bank. From this i got insight that Lim Bock Kee had the foresight to send all 4 of his daughters to Australia for their tertiary studies in Australia and transferred to Australia sufficient funds for their studies and living expenses for their entire period of studies and thus they were unaffected by the Japanese occupation in Singapore. Other than being a financially savvy, he bought 4 houses on Ramsgate Road and 2 on a parallel street, Margate Road to house his children so that everyone, including the grandchildren live nearby.  

Location of tomb

Madam Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs.Lim Bock Kee is buried in Block 3 Section A, plot 454 and 1/2 of 480. In the burial registrar her age was listed as 33. 
Madam Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee
Tomb of Madam Chew Yeat Tee nee Mrs. Lim Bock Kee 

[research on-going]


Deaths. (1921, September 23). The Singapore Free Press, page 6
Late Mrs. Lim Bock Kee. (1928, September 25). The Straits Times, page 7
Warrant for Bank Manager. Government's Regret: Award of Compensation. (1929, September 5). Malaya Tribune, page 8
Advertisement. (1943, June 14). Syonan Shimbun, page 2 
Chinese Wedding. (1947, December 8).Malaya Tribune, page 1
Governor-General at Wedding. (1947, February 9). The Straits Times, page 1
Untitled. (1947, December 12). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Bank Branch Manager. (1946, November 20). Indian Daily Mail, page 4 
Johore Sultan at Chinese Wedding. (1947, December 11). Indian Daily Mail, page 4
Shinozaki makes a new re-entry bid. (1956, September 14). The Straits Times, page 6  
Memorial Service for Mrs. Lim (1967, August 24) .The Straits Times, page 20
Advertisement. (1976, January 5). The Straits Times, page 15
Fairfield Methodist Girls' School magazine, v. 4, no. 16 (1966/1967). (BookSG) 
Lim Bock Kee Bursary. (website). Singapore Management University 



Show more