Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Taik Ho & Co. 得和公司

Toh Khay Beng 杜啟明, JP
One of the oldest and renowned general stores in Taiping, was the Taik Ho & Co. (得和公司), stationed at No 82, Main Road. Its head company was at Taiping, with a branch office at No 93, Belfield Street, Ipoh. The firm was commenced by Toh Khay Beng in 1889. 

Born in 1859, Toh Khay Beng was among the early batch of Chinese immigrants settled in Taiping during 1870s. Being a son of Tong'an, Fujian, he came from China and commenced his early business in Penang in 1883. And for nine years he had been actively engaged in tin mining in Perak and managed to establish himself into various businesses. For twelve years Toh Khay Beng had been a member of the Taiping Sanitary Board and was one of the local Visiting Justices.

Taik Ho & Co. was a well-known provision shop selling liquors, opium, various imported food stuffs and was a licensed arms dealer. His firm also arranged sedan chairs and coolies to transport the Europeans to the Larut Hills. Toh Khay Beng died in July 1923 after battling with a long illness since 1916 and his firm was left to his sons Toh Eng Swee and Toh Eng Hoe. In order to honour the early pioneer of Taiping, the Sanitary Board decided to name a road after him. In 1910, his son Toh Eng Hoe founded the Guan Ho Distillery (源和酒廠), which located next to Taik Ho & Co. Today the management of Taik Ho & Co. has been incorporated with its subsidiary the Guan Ho & Co. Ltd. (得和源和有限公司), which was established by Toh Eng Hoe. Under its new name, Taik Ho & Guan Ho Ltd, the managing directors are Toh Theam Chuan 杜添全 and Toh Teck Au.

Toh Kay Beng was also known as a generous philanthropist to several  Chinese temples and associations, as well as endowed financial support to educational institutions in Taiping. In order to honour this early pioneer, the Taiping Sanitary Board named a road after him in the town. 


Taik Ho & Co., No 82 Main Road, Taiping was demolished in 1977 

The interior view of Taik Ho & Co.

Dato' Dr Toh Eng Hoe 杜榮和, CBE, AMN, DPMP, PJK, JP
Born in Taiping, Toh Eng Hoe was educated at King Edward VII School, Taiping, where he was awarded Sir William Taylor’s prize for the best essay and a silver medal as the head boy of the school in 1915. He was matriculated at Penang and went to Hong Kong University on 1916. But in a year later, he had to discontinue further studies on account of his father’s illness. With a Master of Surgery (MCh), Toh Eng Hoe was a registered doctor and served the Taiping General Hospital for some years.

On the death of his father, Toh Khay Beng in 1923. Toh Eng Hoe became the sole proprietor of Taik Ho & Co, well-known provision shop, Chop Guan Ho and the Taiping Spirit Distillery. He was also a well-known planter and a racehorse owner and had established a motor-garage in Barrack Road (Taiping) in 1926.

Being a busy man, Toh Eng Hoe had always taken an active part in public matters and was the president of the Chinese Sporting Club (Taiping), Chin Woo Athletic Association (Taiping) and the Chinese Benevolent Society. He was also a senior unofficial member of the Sanitary Board of Larut & Matang, member of the Rubber Licensing Board, Small Holdings (Restriction of Sale) Committee, Public Gardens Committee, Visiting Justice to the Taiping Jail, Visitor to the Larut District and General Hospitals and the Decrepit Settlement. He was also a member of the Perak State Council (1948 – 1955).

Toh Eng Hoe also associated himself with all social activities and his name was a valuable asset to the Hokkien Association where he was the president and also the Taiping Literary Improvement Association, Chinese Advisory Board of Perak, the Cheng Luan Seah (Penang) and a trustee of the Toh Kongsi (Penang) and a director of Taiping Cinema Ltd.

Toh Eng Hoe was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1933 by the Sultan of Perak and made an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956. The contributions and services of Toh Eng Hoe to the people and government of Perak were credited as invaluable. He was decorated with Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) which carries the title Dato. In his later life, Toh Eng Hoe was made a Member of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (AMN) for his meritorious service to the country. And was conferred with a Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) by the Sultan of Perak.

Toh Eng Hoe's Children:
  1. Toh Theam Hock: Second son. A lawyer, called to the Malayan Bar in 1959. On 10 March 1962, he married Mona Lim, eldest daughter of Lim Buan Tee of Ipoh. Toh Theam Hock was a Member of Parliament for Kampar. He died in Taiping and had an adopted daughter, through Mona Lim. Mona Lim was a teacher at Convent Taiping. Toh Theam Hock was the President of Malaysia Food Processors Association, where he himself was the Chairman of the General Foods Processing Company (M) Bhd, Taiping. 
  2. Toh Guat Cheng: Second daughter. Married Dr Ng Khye Weng, second son of Ng Ah Tuck of Penang. The couple had since moved to live in the United States of America.
    Chinese Sporting Club, Barrack Road, Taiping. Its president Toh Eng Hoe seated next to the right shield.

    Monday, 11 July 2011

    Lam Looking 林六經

    Lam Looking

    His name is pronounced as ‘Lam Loke Ying.’ Born in Penang in 1863, Lam was a native of Xinhui, Guangdong. He received his early education in Penang, where his family was well-known and respected for many generations. At the age of 18, Lam proceeded to study at the Chinese Imperial Naval Arsenal at Fuzhou, majoring in sea navigation, and became a ship commander in the Franco-Chinese War. He retired his military service and was knighted with Mandarin of the Blue Button decorated with the Chinese Imperial official attire and a peacock feather headgear.

    From China, Lam retired to Kampar and ventured into tin mining business and had contributed in the development of Chinese welfare and educations. He was awarded with Order of Merit with a gold medal presented by the Governor of Guangdong. His eldest son, Lam Weng Yoon was the president of Wah Seong Kok, the Literary Association of Kampar. While his second son Lam Weng Chak married Cheng Shaw Moiey, second daughter of Cheng Oi Seng (Hong Kong). 

    Lam Weng Yoon's daughter Selena Lam was the first Asian woman to receive University of Queensland research grant. Selena completed her Bachelor of Science from University of Adelaide in 1959, and Master of Science in University of Queensland. She spent seven years in Australia for her studies and returned back to Malaya in 1963 posted as lecturer of bacteriology at University of Singapore. 

    In 1946, Lam Weng Chak was charged to the court for voluntarily caused hurt for the purpose of extorting confession. The offenses were committed in March 1942, when Malaya was under Japanese Occupation. 

    In 1919, Lam Looking bought Mess House of the Straits Trading Co. Ltd in Gopeng Road for $85,000. Lam’s family residence was named as King’s Villa at Gopeng Road, Ipoh. During his final two years, Lam’s health was deteriorating and was treated at Singapore. On 1 June 1937, he died in Ipoh at the age of 74.

    Chu Kik Moon 朱戟門

    CHU KIK MOON 朱戟門, JP

    Chu Kik Moon J.P., was a prominent resident of Seremban, perhaps he was the only man in the town to have sent all his children to have university education during the early times.

    His eldest son, Chu Chin Hon earned a Degree in Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) from Lingnan University, while his daughter, Chu Tsuk Lin was also in Lingnan University studied literature, and Chu Kik Moon's youngest son, Chu Chi Kin was in Hong Kong University.

    Chu Kik Moon was a great beneficiary and promoter of education, he had financially supported the Anglo Chinese School and several other schools in Seremban. Chu Kik Moon was first educated at Queen’s College, Hong Kong and then at Raffles Institution, Singapore for a jiffy.

    He settled down in Malaya in 1907 and was made a Justice of the Peace in 1937. He was notably known for his post as the President of Negri Sembilan Athletic Association, a committee member of the Chinese Maternity Hospital, a member of the Board of Visitors to the Decrepit Hospital, Tampin and was an honorary Treasurer of the China Relief Fund.

    Chu Kik Moon's Town House at No. 86 Paul Street, Seremban

    Wednesday, 6 July 2011

    Quah Beng Kee 柯孟淇

    QUAH BENG KEE 柯孟淇, OBE, JP

    Quah Beng Kee was descended from a well established Straits Chinese family. His father Quah Joo Moye was born in China. Quah Beng Kee was born in 1872 in Penang. He married daughter of Chew Choo In, the Chinese Kapitan of Deli, Sumatra. Quah Beng Kee had five sons and two daughters and was the owner of coconut estates in the Province of Wellesley and Northern Perak. He was educated at the Penang Free School and later to the Roberts' College in Calcutta.

    Quah Beng Kee was an appointed Justice for the Peace and decorated with Officer of the Order of British Empire in 1923. His family residence was at No. 95 Bishop Street, Penang, while his summer house Castledale was at Province of Wellesley. Quah Beng Kee's brothers, Beng Hong, Beng Hoe and Beng Kang were proprietors of the Beng Brothers Co. premised at Beach Street, Penang.

    In 1895, Quah Beng Kee establised the Guan Lee Hin Steamship Company and provided logistic services in Penang and Singapore and proved to be one of the most successful steamship companies in the British Malaya. In 1897, the company extended its ferry steamship service in between George Town, Province of Wellesley, Kedah and minor ports in Perak, marking the history as the first firm to operate ferry services in Malaya. Besides the Guan Lee Hin, Quah Beng Kee also seated as Director to several other major companies, including the Taik Lee Guan & Co. and Graham & Co. Ltd. Quah Beng Kee also extended his business in exporting copra from his estates of Otaheite in Glugor and Sungei Nibong. He also ventured into large ironworks and known as the Penang Foundry.

    Quah Beng Kee played his importance in the Chinese welfare in Penang, he was a committee member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Commissioner of George Town, Penang Habour Board and held important role in various associations. He died on 13 Novermber 1952.