Homer Cheng Hui Ming (former Bidadari Cemetery)

 Homer Cheng Hui Ming, M.B.E (21 May 1906 -17 January 1954) was born in Foochow, China. He graduated from the Anglo-Chinese College at Foochow, China and came to Singapore in 1924 and entered Government service as a translator in the Chinese Secretariat before rising to being the Assistant Secretary for Chinese Affairs  (1948-1952). Mr. Homer Cheng Hui Ming was the first Chairman of Official Board of Foochow Methodist Church (卫理公会福灵堂设教) in 1940. He was a founder Member and Vice-President of China Society, Singapore (1949-1954), Assistant Registrar of Societies (1949); Secretary of Chinese Advisory Board and Board of Visitors for Social Welfare Homes (1952), Member of Singapore Anti-Tuberculosis Association (1953) and widely remembered for being the President of Chinese YMCA (1949-1954). 

Homer Cheng Hui Ming was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in 1952. In that year, Mr. Tay Koh Yat received his O.B.E -Honorary) and Yap Pheng Geck received his M.B.E. 

Homer Cheng Hui Ming
Homer Cheng Hui Ming 


Homer Cheng Hui Ming passed away due to heart attack on 17 January 1954. The cortege left on 19 January 1954 from his residence, No. 26, Shelford Road at 3 pm for the Foochow Methodist Church, 90 Race Course Road before heading for Bidadari Cemetery. The Governor of Singapore, Sir John Nicoll paid tribute to him when he laid the foundation stone for the YMCA new building and named the auditorium in the new building the "Homer Cheng Building".

Homer Cheng funeral at Bidadari Cemetery


Marked for Assassination

A shocking revelation on the newspapers on 18 February 1954 list Homer Cheng Hui Meng as no 2 in the list of people to be assassinated. No. 1 on the list was Mr. Guok Sin Inn, general manager of the Hock Lee Bus Company. He was shot dead by gunmen on New Year's Eve. No. 2 on the list was suppose to be Mr. Homer Cheng but he died of heart failure on January 17. He was to have been killed on or about Chinese New Year's Day on 3 February. Other names on the list include a young Chinese newspaper publisher, a well know Chinese private bus company owner, his son and some police officers.  The paper doesn't pinpoint who are this assassins though although suggestions were leading towards the Malayan Communist Party. 

Marked for Assassination !

Family 


Wife: Dora Hsu Hui Cheng / Dora Cheng 
Mrs. Dora Cheng passed away at the age of 91 on 9 April 1998. From her obituary notice, i can see the names of her sons, daughter-in-laws, daughters, son-in-laws and her grandchildren. The names of her grandchildren are as follows;
Wesley Cheng, Pamela Cheng, Dr. Christine Cheng, Sharon Cheng, Deborah Cheng, Melvin Cheng, Alvin Cheng, Dr. Yvonne Ling, David Ling, Carolyn Ling, Clarence Ling and 4 great grandchildren.

Mrs. Dora Cheng nee Dora Hsu Hui Cheng

Son: Billie Cheng Shao-Chi / Billy Cheng 
Billie Cheng studied in Raffles Institution and went on to be the President of the Foochow Methodist Youth Fellowship (1951), Board Member, YMCA (1969-1987). He was the Deputy Port Accountant of the Port of Singapore before going to Australia on a course on Ports and Harbour Administration under the Colombo Plan. He went on the be the Director (Finance) for PSA.  He married Jean Koh Jin Neo. Billie Cheng passed away at the age of 59 on 13 January 1990 in Vancouver, Canada leaving behinf a wife, a son and a daughter. 

Billie Cheng Shao Chi
Billie Cheng Shao Chi 


Son: Dr. Benny Cheng Shao Lin
Dr. Benny Cheng Shao Lin married Cheng Shiang (daughter of Chen Pi Tuan and sister of Chen Yang and Chen Hsee). 

Son: Bertie Cheng Shao Shiong
Bertie Cheng Shao Shiong joined the Postal Services Department in 1961. Mr Cheng became the bank's general manager and CEO in 1976, a role he held till his retirement in 1997. Bertie Cheng was the CEO of POSB for 23 years. Bertie Cheng Shao Shiong passed away at the age of 84 due to COVID-19 on 22 October 2021. He is survived by his wife, Polly Cheng Chee Hing
Sons: Melvin Cheng Wei Ming, Alvin Cheng Wei Chern
Daughters-in-law: Lau Eng Noy, Dolly Ho Chun Xia
Grandsons: Malcom Cheng Shao Loong, Malfred Cheng Jing Loong 

Bertie Cheng Shao Shiong
Bertie Cheng Shao Shiong



Daughter: Helen Cheng Shao-Pin
Helen Cheng Shao Pin married Dr. Ling Ngan Ngien of Tan Tock Seng Hospital on 20 November 1954 at the Foochow Methodist Church Singapore and the reception was held at the Cathay Restaurant and attended by 350 guests. 
Helen Cheng Shao Pin
Helen Cheng Shao Pin & Dr. Ling Ngan Ngien


Daughter: Louise Cheng Shao-Chang 
Studied at the Royal College of Music London and later graduating as music teacher in the Trinity College. She passed away at the age of 68 on 18 September 1996. 

22 year old Miss Louise Cheng Shao-Chang 



Daughter: Margaret Cheng Shao Yang 
She was the first Malayan to be awarded the Fellowship of the Trinity College of Music, London. She studied in Anglo-Chinese School and was also a former student of the Methodisy Grils' School before heading to study in Australia under the Colombo Plan scholarship to study arts and music. She became  a well known organist there. She has a Bachelor of Arts and also holds a diploma in education from Sydney University. Margaret Cheng passed away in January 1964. 

Margaret Cheng Shao Yong
receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts from  University of Sydney
(source: National Archives)




[research on-going] 

Location of tomb 


Homer Cheng Hui Ming memorial headstone can be found in the Bidadari Memorial Park. His ashes are now located at All Saints Memorial Chapel together with his wife, Dora Cheng and his 2 daughters, Margaret and Louise Cheng

In loving Memory of My Husband and our Father 
Homer Cheng Hui Ming - M.B.E. 
Born: Foochow, China 21 May 1906, Died: Singapore, 17 January 1954
By his wife: Dora Hsu Hui Cheng and children, Louise Cheng Shao-Chang, Helen Cheng Shao-Pin, Billie Cheng Shao-Chi, Benny Cheng Shao-Lin, Margaret Cheng Shao-Yong, Bertie Cheng Shao-Shiong
Till We Meet Again

Homer Cheng Hui Ming Memorial stone at Bidadari Memorial Park


Niches of Homer Cheng Hui Ming and Hsu Hui Cheng at All Saints Memorial
Niches of Homer Cheng Hui Ming and Hsu Hui Cheng at All Saints Memorial


Niche of Margaret Cheng Shao Yong and Louise Cheng Shao Chang at All Saints Memorial
Niche of Margaret Cheng Shao Yong and Louise Cheng Shao Chang at All Saints Memorial 



References 

Store Girl wins top music honour. (1962, February 17). The Singapore Free Press, page 1
Ten marked men of Singapore: 2 are dead. (1954, February 18). Straits Budget, page 10
Wedding Smiles. (1954, November 21). The Straits Times, page 1
Colombo Plan Music and Arts Student. (1955, April 5). The Straits Times, page 4 
Death. (1996, September 20). The Straits Times, page 56
https://agewelleveryday.org/2021/11/01/an-original-singapore-pioneer/




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