Choa Siew Jin (Bukit Brown)

When i have time, i revisit the Bukit Brown Documentation Website which documents tombs which are affected by the highway and no longer exist and reminisce on who they were and what were their stories, knowing that many remain undocumented despite efforts and in this case, i may not have the photo of this tomb. One of the tombs i revisited was the tomb of Choa Siew Jin. 

Choa Siew Jin passed away at his residence No. 37 Killiney Road the age of 25 on 6 March 1940. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Choa Eng Wan, the grandson of the late Mr. Lee Choon Guan and Mrs, Lee Choon Guan. Choa Siew Jin leaves behind 1 wife and 1 son to mourn his loss. (Penang and Malacca papers please copy). The name of his son on his tomb is Choa Soon Seng. 

Choa Siew Jin tomb was next to his parents and hence all affected by the highway.

Choa Siew Jin (source: Bukit Brown Documentation Project) 


Parents: Choa Eng Ean and Madam Lee Poh Lian 

Choa Eng Wan (1887-1954) was the manager of  investment department of Lee Cheng Yan & Co , (Lee Cheng Yan is the father of Mr Lee Choon Guan) before eventually becoming a Director in various companies. This includes Directorship of Tiang Guan Brick and Tile company, Sungei Gau Tin mining company Ltd, Malaka Pinda Rubber Estate (seating for Mr Lee Choon Guan, his father-in-law), Central Engine Works Ltd. Choa Eng Wan served in the ranks of the Chinese Company, S.V.I (Singapore Volunteer Infantry) during the Great War. He was also an avid tennis player.

Choa Eng Wan married the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Lee Choon Guan in 1907 at the age of 17. Mr Lee Choon Guan and Choa Eng Wan's father, Mr. Choa Giang Tye were both retired Municipal Commissioners. The marriage took place at the "York House" at Scotts Road, the home of Mr Choa Giang Tye which was reported lighted with electricity. 

Choa Eng Wan passed away on 18 October 1941 at the age of 54. Madam Lee Poh Lian passed away on 31 May 1961 at the age of 72. Their son, Choa Siew Jin and daughter (Choa York Neo) passed away before them. The names of the children listed on their tomb are:
Daughter: Tan Yong Neo
Grandchildren: Choa Soon Seng, Lim Choa Chwee Secke  

Choa Eng Wan and Lee Poh Lian 

Sister: Choa York Neo 

Miss Choa York Neo (only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Choa Eng Wan) married Mr. Lim Choon Tee (Charlie), third son of the late Mr. Lim Mah Seang and Mrs. Lim Mah Seang in 9 February 1931. Madam Choa York Neo is the wife of Mr. Lim Choon Tee (Charlie Lim) , the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Choa Eng Wan, the 3rd daughter-in-law of the late Mr. Lim Mah Siang and Mrs. Lim Mah Siang, the grand daughter of the late Mr. Lee Choon Guan and Mrs. Lee Choon Guan

Choa York Neo passed away at her residence, No. 37 Killiney Road at the age of 30 on 21 September 1938. Listed on her tomb is the name of her daughter; Lim Choa Chwee Geck.

Grandfather: Choa Giang Thye

Mr. Choa Giang Thye was born in Malacca in 1865 and at age of 12 came to Singapore. He was educated privately in English and spoke fluently in it. He and his brother, Choa Giang Whee were commissioning agents for "Giang Bros". Mr Choa Giang Thye also ran a sawmill company called the Singapore Steam Saw Mill. He was a farmer with the Singapore Opium and Spirits Farm. He served as a Municipal Commissioner for eight years and was elected to be the successor of Mr Seah Liang Seah in the Municipal Board in 1897, introducing a new generation of Chinese men proficient in the English language and was in the Chinese Advisory Board and also the Po Leung Kuk (Society of Protection of Women and Girls). He was awarded the Justice of Peace in 1910.

Choa Giang Thye

Choa Giang Thye passed away in March 3, 1911 leaving behind his only son, Choa Eng Wan. His cortege left his house, the "York" at Scott's Road on March 12, 1911 for Alexandra Road Cemetery and was reported to be one of the longest procession seen headed by a large banner from the Weekly Entertainment Club.

Great Grandfather: Choa Chuan Ghiok

Mr. Choa Chuan Ghiok was born in Malacca and came to Singapore at an early age and work as clerk in Jose D'Almedia and Sons. Opportunity called and eventually he went to Rangoon, Burma to work for Leack, Chin Seng & Co and there he stayed for 40 years. After establishing himself as one of the leading chinese merchants in Rangoon, he came back a rich man and eventually died in Singapore in 1900. Choa Chuan Ghiok passed away at the age of 63 at his residence at 107 Amoy Street on 24th January 1900. He was buried in Alexandra Road Cemetery. 

From a court proceeding on the contested will of the late Choa Chuan Ghiok's $400,000 will, we get further insights about the extend of wealth and the family of Choa Chuan Ghiock. One of his wife was a Madam Chee Koo Yiang who passed away before the will of Choa Chuan Ghiock was written and from their union had a daughter and a son, Choa Giang Thye (who passed away in 1911). Choa Giang Wee (passed away in 1909) was the third son of Mr. Choa Chuan Ghiock by another wife (not mentioned in the court articles). Madam Choo Bin Lee was next mentioned and from their union, they had 2 daughters (one daughter died before and the other after 1900), 2 sons (who died in infancy) and Choa Giang Tee who was only 15years of age when Choa Chuan Ghiock passed away. 

Choa Chuan Ghiock




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