An early pioneer of Singapore, Mr. Ho Siew Tian (何秀填) came down to Singapore in 1882 and started a firm in his 20's in Beach Road then known as Chop Ho Hock Ann dealing in hardware and building materials. In 1948 it became a limited company and he subsequently was the Chairman until he retired a few years later leaving his company to his children.
|Mr. and Mrs. Ho Siew Tian (何秀填)|
A dinner party was given on 21 March 1950 by Messrs. Ho Cheow Chan, Ho Cheow Hin, Ho Chew Hua, Ho Cheow Chye, Ho Cheow Cheng and Ho Cheow Hock in honour of their father, Mr. Ho Siew Tian for his 81st Birthday at their residence, 47 Lorong 29, Geylang. In fact his birthday parties were mentioned several times in the papers over the years and it was well attended by family and relatives.
|Ho Siew Tian and family on his 85th birthday|
Mrs. Ho Siew Tian (alias Madam Qwee Lip Neo) passed away at the age of 77 at her residence, 47 Lorong 29 Geylang on 30 July 1948 at 9 pm, leaving behind her husband, Ho Siew Tian,
6 sons, 7 daughters-in-law: Ho Cheow Chan, Ho Cheow Hin, Ho Cheow Huat, Ho Cheow Chye, Ho Cheow Cheng, Ho Cheow Hock, Ho Cheow Leng
4 daughters and 4 sons: Mr. & Mrs. Wee Boo Hee, Mr. and Mrs. Khoo Kim Guan, Mr. & Mrs. Lee Chin Poh, Mr. and Mrs. Choo Ah Kok
70 grandchildren, 2 grand daughters-in-law, 2 great grand children.
Mr. Ho Siew Tian passed away at the age of 96 on 3 September 1960, leaving behind 5 sons, 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 7 daughters-in-law, 81 grandchildren, 8 grand sons-in-law, 4 granddaughters-in-law and 37 great grandchildren. Ho Siew Tian was also a founder of the Ho Clan Association and its president for more than 10 years. Ho Siew Tian, was said in the newspaper report to be one of Singapore's oldest men and also had one of the biggest families on record in the state. He had 7 sons (2 deceased), 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 7 daughters-in-law, 81 grandchildren, 8 grandsons-in-law, 4 granddaughters-in-law and 37 great grandchildren.
No scrolls or wreaths
Hardware magnate Ho Siew Tian requested no wreaths or scrolls for his funeral. This was because when his wife passed away, he was appalled by the sight of his house being swamped by a pile of some 500 scrolls and 600 wreaths. This story was shared by his seventh son, Mr. Ho Cho Hock. On the subject of Mr. Ho Siew Tian's wife, if you look carefully at the feet of Mrs. Ho Siew Tian in the ceramic portrait, she has likely bound feet.
|Qwee Lip Neo / Gwee Lip Neo|
|Tomb of Mr. and Mrs. Ho Siew Tian|
Son: Ho Cheow Hin
Ho Cheow Hin was a director of the United Overseas Bank (UOB). Ho Cheow Hin passed away at the age of 75 on 5 July 1971. He leaves behind;
Wife: Madam Pang Chit Neo,
Sons: Ho Sim Guan, Ho Sim Hong, Ho Sim Keng, Ho Sim Teck, Ho Sim Lim,Ho Sim Moh
Daughter: Ho Poh Lim, Ho Poh Kim, Ho Poh Geok, Ho Poh Tin, Ho Poh Choo
Sons-in-law: Yap Giau Jin, Dr. Khoo Boo Yee, Soh Hwee Hua, William Tse
His wife was Madam Pang Chit Neo (sister of Mr. Pang Cheang Yean ). She passed away at the age of 95 on 31 March 1993. The wake was held at 54C Dalvey Road. One of their sons, Ho Sim Guan became a banking tycoon and one of Singapore's richest man before he passed away at the age of 84 in October 2011. He was a director at United Overseas Bank for over 30 years before stepping down in 2002. Other than banking, he has stakes in breweries, rubber estates and the Haw Par Group (controlled by tycoon Wee Cho Yaw). He also owned Tai Tak Estates ( a private investment firm) and the Tai Tak group of companies.
Son: Ho Cheow Chye
In 1960, Ho Cheow Chye (then 60 years), a rubber estate was kidnapped while visiting his estate (Tai Tak Estate) in Kota Tinggi. Fortunately he was released 12 days later after ransom of $60,000 was paid by his wife, Madam Chia Siok Hwee. His kidnapping was linked to the "Oh Kim Kee kidnap kongsi". Branded as Public Enemy No. 1, The 29 year old Oh Kim Hee who was eventually killed by the police in a hail of shots at a flat t 134-B Sims Avenue. In a touching article, i found out that Ho Cheow Chye passed away in 1992 while Madam Chia who had 7 children, 17 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren passed away at the age of 104 in 9 September 2006. Her story was shared by her second youngest, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre surgeon, Ho Soon Teck from his home in Fernhill Road where Madam Chia has been staying. Madam Chia was born in Fujian province of China in 1902 before moving to Serukam, Pontianak in Indonesia. Her father was a coconut plantation owner there. She moved to Singapore when she was 23 together with her mother and siblings and was matchmade with trader Ho Cheow Chye.
|Ho Cheow Chye and Chia Siok Hwee|
Sons: Dr. Ho Soon Lye, Dr. Ho Soon Teck, Ho Soon Jin
Daughters-in-law: Woo Chu Fang Angela, Dr. Chen May, Lauw Chu Ying Cecilia
Daughters: Ho Geuh Kheng, Ho Guay Hoon, Ho Guay Koon, Ho Guak Chin
Sons-in-law: Sng Quee Lim (deceased), Sng Bock Choo, Tan Sin Yam Tommy, Chng Hak Ping
(rest of names listed in her obituary notice)
Son: Ho Cheow Cheng
Ho Cheow Cheng was one the Chairman of Hock Tiong Ann Company (Pte) Limited at 261 Beach Road. It was put into voluntary liquidation in 1987. Ho Cheow Cheng passed away at the age of 93 on 27 October 2000. His wife, Madam Lim Poh Ann passed away the same year but earlier on 28 June 2000 at the age of 90.
Son: Ho Cheow Hock
Ho Cheow Hock, Managing Director of M/S. Ho Hock Ann Co. Ltd and wife, Kwek Chye Hong has a son on 15 May 1949, Peter Ho Sim Yam and their first baby girl, Irene Ho Aye Lian at D'Cotta Clinic on 5 June 1951. Madam Quek Chye Hong passed away at the age of 79 on 16 July1998. She is survived by her husband,
Sons: Ho Sin Beng, Johnny (deceased); Ho Sin Pang, Sunny (deceased); Ho Sin Bee, George ; HoSin Hui Philip, Ho Sin Yam, Peter
Daughters-in-law: Leow Siew Ching,Anny ; Poh Guat Meng, Wendy
Daughter: Ho Aye Lin, Irene
(rest of names listed in her obituary notice)
Ho Hock Ann Co. Ltd
In the 1950'sthere were many advertisement from Hock Ann Co. Ltd , 261- 265 Beach Road showcasing various Remington Shotguns.
Trustee of Soon Thian Keng Temple and Treasurer of Chung Cheng School (崇正学校)
Ho Siew Tian was one of the trustee of the Soon Thian Keng temple (In 1933, he was appointed trustee together with Tan Kim Guan). Other trustees include Seet Teong Wah (See Tiong Wah). The temple has made numerous donations to support education and help support the operations of Chung Cheng School which started out in various locations in Beach Road before moving to a permanent premises in 1938 at Aliwal Street. The school were funded by donations from their founders, trustees and philanthropists including the Aw Boon Haw Par. Ho Siew Tian was also mentioned in the school annual report in the 1950 as the Treasurer for the school. The building still exist today as a conserved building.
|Chung Cheng School at Aliwal Street|
Ho Siew Tian also refers to Ho Siew Tan / Ho Siew Tien
Location of tomb
Mr. and Mrs Ho Siew Tian tomb is located at Block 5 Section C Plot 263 and 264
Death. (1948, August 1948). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Dinner Party.(1950, March 22). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Man who came here 70 years ago and started a one-man firm. (1960, September 5). The Singapore Free Press, page 11
No scrolls or wreaths -S'pore pioneer's wish. (1960, September 6). The Straits Times ,page 4
Former UOB director dies, aged 84. (2011, October 28). Straits Times, page 14
Ho Cheow Hin. (website). Geni.com
An old trustee of the Soon Thian Keing. by Ang Yik Han (website). Bukit Brown.com
Former Chong Cheng School and Chong Pun Girls School. (website). Google Arts and Culture.
Chung Cheng School. Annual Report 1950. National University Singapore.