Thursday, 7 June 2012

Chee Yam Chuan 徐炎泉

CHEE YAM CHUAN

Chee Yam Chuan also known as Chee Yean Chuan was born on 24 May 1818 in Malacca to Chee Kim Guan (died on 13 January 1839). Chee Yam Chuan’s family had long settled in Malacca, with his great grandfather, Chee Soo Sum first came in around 1750s. The family lineage then passed down from one generation to the other, with Chee Yam Chuan as the fourth generation of the early Chinese settlers.

Chee Yam Chuan’s father and grandfather, Chee Tiow Seng (died on 16 December 1832) were already well-established trading in the British Colony. And by the time of Chee Yam Chuan, he had no difficulty to commence business on his own account.

When the British took over Singapore and founded a colony there, Chee Yam Chuan and his parents (Chee Kim Guan and Goh Him Neo) were among the early settlers. It was in Singapore he co-established the Leack, Chin Seng & Co., a general store selling food stuffs and etc. The business in Singapore could not make him rich but able to meet the end of the day. He then moved back to Malacca and his life changed when he came to know Raja Jumaat, where both were business partners in tin mining.

Chee Yam Chuan was a good example in forging friendship bonds and partnership with the Malay community, he was an ally of Raja Jumaat, the son of a Riau prince in Selangor. When Raja Jumaat was granted the Lukut district by Sultan of Selangor in 1846, where he and Chee Yam Chuan were the main partners in developing tin mines at there. Raja Jumaat's son Raja Bot, lived with Chee Yam Chuan in Malacca for some time, where he acted as Chee's business intermediary with the Malays. In 1849, Raja Jumaat's brother, Raja Abdullah also borrowed large sums of money from Chee Yam Chuan to open up mines in Klang.

Chee Yam Chuan died on 28 July 1862, leaving behind his wife Tan Lian Kian, ten sons and two daughters, and also bequeathing a large estate in Malacca and Singapore. His sons were, Cheah Jin Siew (also Chee Gin Siew), Chee Him Bong, Chee Pee Bong, Chee Teck Bong,Chee Hoon Bong, Chee Lim Bong, Chee Hee Bong, Chee Quee Bong, Chee Beck Bong (also Chee Peck Bong) and Chee Siang Bong.

Chee Swee Cheng 徐垂青

CHEE SWEE CHENG, JP
Chee Swee Cheng was born on 13 December 1866 in Malacca to Chee Hoon Bong. His family was well-known in the Malacca for being among the earliest Chinese settlers, where he could trace his direct lineage to five generations before him.

Chee Swee Cheng was educated at the Malacca High School and at the age of 16, he was employed at Lim Tiang Wah & Co. in Singapore and remained there until 1886. He then joined Leack Chin Seng & Co., a firm where his grandfather founded, in which he remained for four years. Chee Swee Cheng was later became the manager of Soon Tye & Co. and served for ten years, before ventured into the Opium and Liquor Farm in British North Borneo in 1900.

In 1890, Chee Swee Cheng was appointed as secretary of the Widows and Orphans’ Fund of Singapore and Malacca. Six years later he became a Visiting Justice of Prisons and was a committee member of the Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club of Singapore. Apart from that, he became the Chairman of Ho Hong Bank Ltd, Singapore founded in 1917, and also expanded his business to rubber, coconut and tapioca plantations.

 In 1906, Chee Swee Cheng and his brother Chee Sim Cheng leased the General Spirit and Opium Farms for British North Borneo and Labuan. He was also the principal shareholder in the Straits Industrial Syndicate, Singapore. Chee Swee Cheng also had an ice factory known as Atlas Ice Company, which able to produce five to twenty tons a day. This factory who recognised that the price of ice was expensive and as an outcome of his generous venture, the price of the commodity had been reduced to such an extent that even the poor can afford to buy it. Today the company is still owned by the family, and is run by the Chee members.

Being a generous philanthropist, he endowed a ward to the Medical Mission Hospital in Malacca, and a sum of $10,000 was donated to build a hall for the Chinese High School in Singapore.

Chee Swee Cheng had been married twice, by his first wife he had one daughter, and through his second wife who was daughter of Lee Keng Leat he had one son. His son, Chee Guan Chiang (3 April 1896 – 29 March 1959) had two sons, Chee Bay Hoon (b. 16 June 1924) and Chee Swee Hoon (b. 24 July 1943; d. 9 May 1972). Chee Swee Cheng's biggest contribution to his family was building the Chee family temple at 117 Heeren Street, Malacca, dedicated to his father, Chee Yam Chuan. Chee Swee Cheng died in 1938. 

Chee Sim Cheng

CHEE SIM CHENG

Chee Sim Cheng was born in 1873 in Malacca to Chee Hoon Bong, and a grandson to Chee Yam Chuan. He was educated at the Malacca High School. In 1905, he was a business partner in the Batam Paya Rumput Rubber Estate with his brother Chee Swee Cheng and brother-in-law, Chan Cheng Siew. The 1000-acre rubber estate was well-maintained under Chee Sim Cheng. and had interest in Opium and Liquor Farm in Malacca, Singapore and Labuan. He married daughter of Chan Kung Swee and had four sons.

Chee Lim Bong

CHEE LIM BONG

Chee Lim Bong was born in 1849 in Malacca to Chee Yam Chuan, a prominent Chinese family in the Colony who had settled for generations. His family was well-known and highly respected among the Chinese community section in Malacca. At the age of 21, Chee Lim Bong was elected head of the Hokkien community in Malacca. He and Chee Eng Chen were partners in the Malacca Opium and Liquor Farm. Chee Lim Bong had two wives, Lee Seck Loon and Lee Seck Keng, both were daughters of Lee Cheng Yan. Chee Lim Bong was a business partner in the firm Lim Tiang Wah & Co. (Chop Swee Hong). He had one son and two daughters, eldest daughter Chee Siok Goh was married to Lee Chim Teck and the second one Chee Suat Goh was married to Lee Pang Seng son of Lee Choon Guan. Chee Lim Bong died on 18 December 1907.

Chee Kang Cheng

CHEE KANG CHENG

Chee Kang Cheng was born in 1876 in Malacca to Chee Lim Bong. He was educated at the Malacca High School, and at the age of 19, he joined his father’s business. Shortly afterwards, Chee Kang Cheng purchased the Diamond Jubilee Estate and commenced in planting tapioca and rubber, the estate was well-managed. In 1904, Chee Kang Cheng participated in the Agri-Horticultural Show at Kuala Lumpur, its tapioca products secured the first prize. In all his life, Chee Kang Cheng took an active role in the Malacca Chinese welfare, he was a Municipal Commissioner of Malacca, the Vice-President of Chinese Malacca Club and had profound interest in the Malacca Chinese Football and Malacca Union Club, as well as several other clubs and associations. He died on 19 October 1918 at his residence at Cheng Rubber Estate. His second daughter, Chee Lang Eng was married to Tan Eng Seng, eldest son of Tan Soo Ghi in 1929.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chee Hoon Bong

CHEE HOON BONG, JP

Chee Hoon Bong was born in Malacca to Chee Yam Chuan. His family had lived in Malacca for up to four generations before him. Chee Hoon Bong was the owner of the City Saw Mills and Bukit Beruang Estate in Malacca, where he planted tapioca, and numerous fertile lands in Malacca. He was a director of his father’s owned firm, Leack Chin Seng & Co. and also a partner in the firm Lim Tiang Wah & Co. (Chop Swee Hong). Chee Hoon Bong was a headman for the Hokkien community in Malacca, and was appointed Justice of Peace for six years. In 1883, when the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements passed the Ordinance X of 1883, in order to prevent encroachments upon the Crown Colony lands, he immediately called for a meeting among people of interest in their estates in Malacca for solving their problems of illegal lands. The Chee Hoon Bong Scholarship named after him was created and endowed to St Francis’ Institution, Malacca for the best-excelled students in term of academic achievements. He died on 28 September 1903, leaving four sons and three daughters. His sons were Chee Tye Cheng (1860 – 1921), Chee Swee Cheng (1866 – 1935) and Chee Sim Cheng (1873). His family residence was at Heeren Street.

Cheang Jim Chuan 章壬全

CHEANG JIM CHUAN

Cheang Jim Chuan was born in 1878 in Singapore to Cheang Hong Lim. He inherited considerable amount of his father’s estate and became a millionaire at a very young age. Cheang Jim Chuan took minor interest in business affairs, but he was a member of the Singapore Opium and Liquor Farm. He married Chan Kim Hong (1876 – 1934) and had two sons and two daughters. His sons were Cheang Theam Chu and Cheang Theam Kee. Cheang Jim Chuan’s eldest son, Cheang Theam Chu married Khoo Giang Neo daughter of Khoo Heng Wan, his second son Cheang Theam Kee married Cheong Tuan Neo, second daughter of Cheong Keong Chye of Singapore on 1 July 1931. His eldest daughter was married to Dr Cheong Chee Hai, the eldest son of Cheong Choon Beng. Cheang Jim Chuan’s second daughter, Emily Cheang Seok Cheng was married to Woon Chow Tat, fifth son of Woon Hong Heng of Kuala Lumpur on 27 September 1930. Cheang Jim Chuan and family first lived at the family house at Havelock Road (in 1931 the house was sold to the Scheut Missions), his family then moved to several places including the Maidstone at 42 Cairnhill Road and lastly, the Riviera at 112 Pasir Panjang Road and 10 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore. Cheang Jim Chuan died in 1940.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cheang Hong Lim 章芳琳

CHEANG HONG LIM, JP

Cheang Hong Lim was born in 1825 in Singapore to Cheang Sam Teow. His family with ancestry at Tiang Thye (Chang Tai), Zhangzhou, was well-known in the Chinese community section in Singapore. Cheang Hong Lim had great interest in the Opium and Liquor Farm of Singapore. He was a member of Singapore Po Leung Kok (Women’s Shelter Home) where he was a co-founder, and was made a Justice of Peace. Cheang Hong Lim was also known as a generous philanthropist to various charity fundraisings. He was the largest donor for the building of a new convent in Singapore, where a sum of $3000 was endowed, and in 1876, a sum of $900 was given to the Portuguese Church of St Jose for the alterations of the gas chandeliers. And a sum of $3000 was also donated to convert the front space of the Central Police Station into a public garden, where the park was later named after him. In 1874, he donated $100 for the Bengal Famine, near Bihar, British India. In 1875, he founded the Cheang Wan Seng School (later Cheang Jim Hean School and Telok Ayer Grammar School). Cheang Hong Lim was the Headman for the Hokkien Community in Singapore, and was the owner of a private fire-brigade force, with 37 firemen. He also extended his charitable deeds to the French colonies in Southeast Asia, and had earned him recognition from the French Government, where he was presented with a medal. He also offered to fund the building of iron rail fence around the park near the Singapore Chinese Recreation Club ground, in which also donated by him in 1885. Cheang Hong Lim also funded the refurbishment of Fuk Tak Chi Temple in 1869 and the reconstruction of the Tiang Thye Temple in 1887, as the old one built by his father in 1849 was in a deplorable state, and a wet market at Havelock Road, where the market was named after him. He was the single largest sponsor for providing armed weapons, including contributed one of the four Maxim guns to the Singapore Volunteer Artillery. Cheang Hong Lim had two wives, Bek Chit Boey and Lim Kwee Eng, eleven sons and three daughters. He died on 11 February 1893, and left a Will of his estates worth millions of dollars dated on 30 October 1878 to his 14 children. His sons were, Cheang Jim Hean, Cheang Jim Chuan, Cheang Jim Kheng, Cheang Jim Khean, Cheang Jim Siew, Cheang Jim Ho, Cheang Jim Seong, Cheang Jim Eng, Cheang Jim Kwan, Cheang Jim Kong and Cheang Jim Khoon. His daughters were Cheang Cheow Lean, Cheang Kwee Lean and Cheang Sai Lean. His property at Hong Lim Market was given to his granddaughter, Cheang Tew Meuy. His eldest son Chean Jim Hean died in 1901 at his family residence, Annan Bank, River Valley Road and buried at Alexandra Road.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Cheah Tek Thye

CHEAH TEK THYE, JP

Cheah Tek Thye was born in 1860 in Penang to Cheah Chow Pan. He was educated at the Penang Free School, St Xavier’s Institution and Doveton College in Calcutta. His father in partnership with Khoo Seck Chuan was the principal importer of China goods in Penang. Cheah Tek Thye first worked as assistant to his brother, Cheah Tek Soon’s company, the Sing Eng Moh & Co. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Kean Guan Insurance Company in Penang as secretary. He was the owner of Eng Moh Hui Thye Kee Estate in Semelin, Kedah, a 3400-acre land planted with 20,000 coconut trees and 30,000 rubber trees. He was a director of the Chinese Overseas Bank, and was an agent for Lipton’s wines. Cheah Tek Thye was famed for being an active sportsman. He owned several racehorses and won numerous tournaments in the Straits Settlements and also in the Federated Malay States. He had been elected as a Municipal Commissioner of Penang for two terms, the President of the Cheah Clan Temple of Penang and an ex-officio of the Penang Free School. In 1903, a two faced turret clock with dials three feet in diameter on the tower of the grand stand on the Penang Turf Club was donated by him. In 1925, he was made a Commissioner of the Peace. Cheah Tek Thye was married twice, whom his first wife was the youngest daughter of Koh Teng Choon (a grandson of Koh Lay Huan), but she died after thirteen years of married life and within a year later, Cheah Tek Thye married daughter of Gim Tong. Cheah Tek Thye had four sons and four daughters. One of his sons, Dr Cheah Toon Lok was awarded a research grant of the Jordan Scholarship in Tropical Medicine, where he based at the Medical Hospital of Hong Kong University and later became a prominent politician in the country. Cheah Tek Thye died on 11 January 1935 at his house at Northam Road and was buried at the Cheah Cemetery, Mount Erskine.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Cheah Tek Soon 谢德顺

Cheah Tek Soon was born in Penang to Cheah Chow Pan, and was brother to Cheah Tek Thye and Cheah Tek Lee. Cheah Tek Soon was the owner of the Sing Eng Moh & Co., and had founded the first Chinese insurance company in the Straits Settlements, known as Kean Guan Insurance Company. Cheah Tek Soon was best known for his impressive five-story house at Northam Road. In spite of the spacious house, Cheah Tek Soon never married, he invited his brothers to live with him. One of his brothers, Cheah Tek Thye had given his daughter, Cheah Liew Bee for his adoption. Cheah Tek Soon was active in the Chinese community affairs, he was a donor to the establishment of the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1881 and donated a Bandstand at the Penang Town Hall in 1884. 

Cheah Tek Soon in partnership with Cheah Eu Ghee 谢有义 was a government contractor. In 1893, both men were in charged for repairing the road from Tanjong Tokong to Tanjong Batu in Penang which cost $5,000. Besides that, he and Cheah Eu Khay had business interest in steamships 

When Cheah Tek Soon died, he left all his estate to his adopted daughter, Cheah Liew Bee, including his mansion at Northam Road. Cheah Liew Bee who had married to Goh Say Eng (1875 - 1941), was a loyal supporter of Dr Sun Yan Sen's revolution movement in China. Had contributed all the Cheah’s properties to keep Dr Sun's movement alive and had led the couple live in dire conditions. Cheah Tek Soon’s another brother, Cheah Tek Lee was a business partner with Cheah Chen Eok, where he acted as intermediary for Thai merchants in Penang, Perak and Kedah. Cheah Tek Lee had married two daughters of Khaw Teng Hai@Khaw Soo Cheang (1797 – 1883), the Governor of Ranong.