I wrote an article about See Boo Ih , a Chinese Banking Pioneer sometime back using his variant name, See Boh Ih. A recent visit to to his tomb revealed further stories and that his tomb is not a single tomb but a cluster of tombs together with 2 of his wives and the name carved on his tomb is See Boo Ih.
See Boo Ih (薛武院) 1872-1940 was born in Amoy in 1872 and came to Singapore at the age of 32. Associated with the Banking Industry, he was the Managing Director of the Chinese Commercial Bank, Ltd and a shareholder of Ho Hong Bank, Ltd. Publicly, he served as the Vice-President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (1925-1926) and was its President in 1928. Hand Member of the Chinese Advisory Board.
He contributed socially as well and among his deeds include; donation to the New Building Fund of the Singapore Chinese Girls' School (1925), Geylang Girls' School Building Fund (1927) and he played an important role in getting the Chinese towkays of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to contribute and support the Chinese High School (1929).
|See Boo Ih (portrait by a Malay Tribune artist)|
|See Boo Ih (ceramic portrait from tomb)|
The Chinese Commercial Bank, Limited.
See Boo Ih was the Managing Director of The Chinese Commercial Bank, Limited. In the same bank, many famous Chinese Pioneers played an important role. The Chairman was Mr. Lee Choon Guan, Vice-Chairman; Gaw Khek Khiam. The Board of Directors; Dr. Lim Boon Keng, O.B.E., Lim Nee Soon, Khoo Yang Tin, Chew Jim Him, Cheok Cheng Kee, See Boo Ih, The Hon. Mr. S. Q. Wong. The Manager of the Bank is Wee Theam Seng and the Asst. Manager and Secretary is Mr. Chew Hock Leong.
See Boo Ih passed away at the age of 68 on 22 February 1940. The names of his children listed on his tomb are as follows;
Sons: See Keng Guan, See Keng Whee, See Keng Liong, See Peng Lim, See Peng Yeow
Daughters: See Bee Hong, See Bee Guek. See Bee Keow,
Grandchildren: See Giong Sek, See Poh Seng, See Giong Ghee, See Sek Lin
Wife: Madam Yap Beng Neo
Madam Yap Beng Neo passed away at the age 82 on 15 November 1952. Her tomb is next to See Boo Ih. (Block 4 Division C, plot 1960)
|Madam Yap Beng Neo|
|Madam Yap Beng Neo tomb|
Wife: Madam Yap Poh Neo
Madam Yap Poh Neo passed away at the age of 62 on 11 March 1943.
The names of her children listed on her tomb are;
Sons: See Peng Lim, See Peng Yeow
Daughters: See Bee Hong, See Bee Guay, See Bee Keow
Grandsons: See See Hock, See See Guan
Granddaughters: See Sek Lin
|Madam Yap Poh Neo|
See Boo Ih also refers to See Boh Ih. In the burial registrar, his name is written as See Boo Yee
Location of tomb
See Boo Ih -Block 4 Section C, plot 1949
Madam Yap Beng Neo - Block 4 Division C, plot 1960
Madam Yap Poh Neo - Block 4 Section C, plot 1970
Malayan Personalities-51. (1929, April 30). Malaya Tribune, page 7
Merchants and High School. (1929, October 11). The Straits Times, page 12
薛武院与战前新加坡华人社会 = SEE BOO IH (XUE WUYUAN) AND THE SINGAPORE CHINESE COMMUNITY BEFORE THE SECOND WORLD WAR. (website). ScholarBank@NUS