Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cheong Koon Seng, death 20 March 1934, Singapore

Death of Mr Cheong Koon Seng After Lengthy Illness. Head of Well-Known Auctioneers. Mr Cheong Koon Seng, managing director of  Cheong Koon Seng and Co., Ltd., the well-known auctioneering firm, died shortly after nine o''clock this morning at his residence, 299 River Valley Road. Mr Koon Seng's death was not entirely unexpected. He had not been in good health for the last few months. He was taken to the General Hospital 16 days ago and operated upon. He showed signs of progress but suddenly had a relapse and he was brought back to his house. Mr Koon Seng leaves a wife, three sons (Mr Cheong Hock Chye, a partner in the business and Cheong Hock Guan and Mr Cheong Hock Leng, both of whom are still at school), four daughters, and four grand-children. Mr Cheong Koon Seng was the son of Cheong Ann Bee who was born in Malacca in 1833 and came to Singapore at the age of 10. His father knew no English but became a well-known business man, one of whose charitable actions was the giving away of eye salve to anyone suffering from any complaint of that organ. On one occasion, when Ann Bee was examining the eyes of a coolie he was stabbed by the pateient on the shoulder and head. His assailant who also attacked a European police constable who tried to arrest him was sent to prison for two years. Born in 1880. Mr Koon Seng, born in Singapore in 1880, received his education in Anglo-Chinese School. He then joined the firm of Messrs Powell and Co., where he received a thorough training in the auctioneering business. He was also manager of the Commercial Rubber Co., Ltd., from 1918 to 1920. He left Powell and Co. after 25 years service and commenced his own business in 1920 in partnership with Mr Ong Hong Guan under the style of Cheong Koon Seng and Co., now one of the leading auctioneering firms in Singapore. His partner, however, died after five years, and since then the business has been carried on by Mr Cheong Koon Seng and his eldest son. Mr Koon Seng had a sound business head and his affability and obliging disposition earned him many friends. Apart from business he had many other interests and led an active life. He was president of the Chinese Swimming Club for many years, president of the Chinese Association, of the Singapore Funeral Association, the Straits Junior Association, the City Club, and the Straits Hunting Party ; he was vice-president of the SIngapore Chinese British Association ; he was on the committee of the Straits Settlements Association, the Strats Ratepayers' Association, the Licensing Justices ; and the Boxing Board of Control. Active Life. He was a member of the Singapore Rotary Club in which he served on the Unemployment Committee.  Prior to his round the world trip in 1932, he had been a Municipal Commissioner from which he resigned. He has been a Justice of the Peace for some years now. Mr Koon Seng who owned the Theatre Royale, North Bridge Road, was looked upon as one of the foremost experts in land values. He presented the Anglo-Chinese School with a class-room in memory of his father, and there is also a room in his name in the Methodist Girls' School. These schools, and the firm of Cheong Koon Seng and Co., were closed today. The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon at the Bukit Brown Cemetery. The offices of the firm were closed today. [The Straits Times, 20 March 1934, Page 12]

Mr. Cheong Koon Hong, Mrs. Cheong Koon Seng and family beg to tender their heartfelt thanks to their friends and relatives, staff of Messrs Cheong Koon Seng & Co., Ltd., members of the different Clubs and Associations, principals and staff of the Anglo-Chinese School and Methodist Girls' School who paid night-visits and attended the funeral of the late Mr Cheong Koon Seng and to those who sent caskets, wreaths, telegrams and letters of condolence in their sad bereavement. [The Straits Times, 28 March 1934, Page 10]

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