Meeting Place for all guided walks : Gates at end of Lorong Halwa

Saturday 8 Feb  2014 :   0900- 1200

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

Fabian and Yik Han will shine a light on the notable pioneers including revolutionaries, social reformers, bankers, war heroes etc and the historical context of their lives and times. They will also explain tomb architecture and the significance to the after life. This tour will concentrate on notable tombs in Hill 4. There will be a NHK film team following this tour.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take this walking tour of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

Registration:

Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide).

Please click ‘Join’ on the FB event page to let us know you are coming, how many pax are turning up, or just meet us at the starting point at 9am. We meet there rain or shine.

“We guide rain, shine or exhumations”

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit Getting There/ 集合地点

Four of the Immortals (photo Jim Wong

Four of the Immortals (photo Jim Wong

 

 

Meeting Point for all events at Lorong Halwa gates. We guide rain, shine or exhumations

Sat 25 Jan, 2014:   9am- 12 pm  with Fabian Tee  (Facebook Registration Here)

Sun 26 Jan, 2014:   9am- 12 pm  with Yik Han & Zhi Hao  (Facebook Registration Here)

The Brownies will shine a light on the notable pioneers including revolutionaries, social reformers, bankers, war heroes etc and the historical context of their lives and times. They will also explain tomb architecture and the significance to the after life.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take this walking tour of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

General Information:

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit Getting There/ 集合地点

Beauty shot_photo Ang Yik Han

(photo Ang Yik Han)

 

 The Lim Hock Seng Family

An update:

On the morning of Sunday, June 22 ’14,  Raymond Goh was on his usual weekend exploration of Bukit Brown when he came across the tomb of Ngo Kim Neo who died young at 22 years old in 1927.

Ngo Kim Neo 1_wife of Lim Hock Seng

Ngo Kim Neo (1927), wife of Lim Hock Seng (photo Raymond Goh)

On her tomb was inscribed,  she was the wife of Lim Hock Seng (see the original story below) and she left behind 4 children, Sons: Lim Cheng Chuan and Lim Cheng Ean; Daughters:  Lim Khoon Neo (Lucy) and Lim Geok Kiat.

Ngo Kim Neo 2_Cheng Ean son

Lim Cheng Ean’s name inscribed on tombstone (photo Raymond Goh)

What was intriguing was the name of Lim Cheng Ean  which was included in the  inscription as her son, as he was born in 1934,  7 years after the death of Madam Ngo Kim Neo.

We emailed the daughter of Lim Cheng Ean  to inform her of the find and if she could throw some light on the matter.

This was her reply:

“I have managed to gather some brief knowledge about Ngo Kim Neo from my mother.  Apparently Lim Hock Seng married 2 sisters.  The first died very young without children and her grieving parents offered their second daughter, who must be Ngo Kim Neo, to him.  She had 2 daughters and then sadly died giving birth to my father’s older brother, Lim Cheng Chuan, who was known in the family as the ‘Tiger Baby’ because he ‘ate his mother while being born’ (1927 was indeed the year of the tiger) .  I’m not sure if this is a Chinese superstition, or just a Lim family ‘fable’.  My father will be so moved to see the photo that I am posting to him today.  I doubt he has ever seen the grave, or his own name credited as her son on the tombstone.  His sister, Lucy (Lim Khoon Neo), was very close to him  ” Gillian  Mendy nee Lim, 23 June’2014  

Gillian further explained that, her father’s (Lim Cheng Ean) mother was Lim Hock Seng’s third wife, Khoo  Ah Tho,  brought from Penang to marry him and look after the 3 young children left behind by Ngo Kim Neo.

From Gillian’s information, we gleaned that after Lim Cheng Ean was born, the tombstone of Madam Ngo was replaced to include his name to acknowledge Madam Ngo as his mother. We are not sure what customary practice led to this, or maybe it was  a husband’s last loving tribute to the wife who bore him 3 children before she  passed away at childbirth at the tender age of 22.

In sharing with us the close relationship her father had with his half sister, Lucy Lim Khoon Neo, Gillian attached an article  on her aunt’s wedding and another line  of family connection was revealed.  Lucy  Lim married   Cheong Thiam Siew, Chairman of Frank Knight,  who was the  son of Cheong Hock Seng, and grandson of Cheong Koon Seng  Her husband came from an illustrious and blue-chip line of property auctioneers.

And finally Gillian shared  that her father who was in a fragile state of health when she first wrote to us in in January of this year,  has improved and just celebrated his 80th birthday. The family put together a scrap book of his Lim ancestors, and the photos we had sent earlier of his father’s and his grandparent’s graves at Bukit Brown was the centerpiece of the book.

*****

All Things Bukit Brown received an email this morning  (14 January) addressed to Raymond Goh. It was from Gillian Mendy (Lim)  from London, asking if her grandfather’s  Lim Hock Seng’s grave was affected by the highway. Her email read:

“Your Bukit Brown website is incredibly informative and interesting.  We have only just discovered about the planned road works through the cemetery.

My grandfather is buried at Bukit Brown and we are trying to find out if his grave is affected by the road project.  The family now live in England.  If it is affected then we would come to Singapore to  claim the remains.  

My father is now 80 and very ill so I would be extremely grateful if you could either help or let me know who is the appropriate person to contact to try and trace the grave because it would mean a lot to him. 
 
The documentation of the affected graves online is very helpful but the names are mostly in Chinese so I have been unable to find if he is listed.
 
I have found the burial register and plot details.  These are:
 
Name: Lim Hock Seng
Date: 9 April 1946
Age: 46 years
Plot ‘A’ 368 (IV)
Register Entry: 1554
 
This was his Death Announcement in the Straits Times.

 
I believe the plot may come under the affected area but I cannot find a list of affected graves showing their original plot number. His name is not listed on the published lists but I am worried that his tombstone may be one of the illegible or damaged ones.
 
We are grateful for any help you may spare, I look forward to hearing from you.” Gillian Mendy.
We forwarded Gillian’s email to Raymond who is presently in India on a business trip and within one and a half hours,  Raymond replied :
“Hi Gillian, don’t worry, the tomb is not affected. In fact Hock Seng and his parents’ tomb are now one of the most beautiful tombs in BB. Hock Seng father is Lim Peng Chin and mother is Tan Po Neo, and I believed his uncle was Lim Peng Siang, one of the pioneers of Singapore. Here is a news of his mother death. You can see they stay in the same address.  I am overseas now , but will be able to send you photos in a couple of days when I am back. Cath, their tombs is in Blk 4a before going to Tan Quee Kan cluster, we pass by a trio of very big and beautiful tombs with exquisite carvings of deities, Hock Seng is positioned on front of his parents’ tombs” Raymond Goh.
We did not wait for Raymond to return. Brownies Sugen Ramiah and Victor Lim were mobilized , with Catherine following Raymond’s directions to a “T” . We found the tombs and  have forwarded the photos to Gillian. She has given us permission to share her story.
” It was very moving to receive the photographs of the family tombs, especially after hearing so much about my grandfather since I was small. The information you have given will be such a great assistance in tracing the family history.
 
When he last visited Singapore, my father spent hours searching for the location of his family tombs but gave up and assumed all was lost.  Even yesterday, when I mentioned that I had found the burial register entry for Lim Hock Seng, my father sadly said that his grave was no longer there!  He will be very overcome when I give him the photos.  My father’s Chinese name is Lim Cheng Ean and he is listed on Tan Po Neo’s tombstone as a grandchild.  This brought tears to my eyes.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help.”  Gillian Mendy
Request fulfilled in record time, because Raymond Goh seems to carry with him,  where ever he goes, an inbuilt repository of Bukit Brown in his head and heart.
***
1) The grave of Lim Hock Seng (Gillian’s grandfather) , behind are the graves of  his parents (Gillian’s great grandparents)
Lim Hock Seng (Sugen Ramiah)
2) The double graves of Lim Chin Peng & his wife Tan Po Neo  (Gillian’s great grandparents)
Lim Peng Chin (photo Sugen Ramiah)
3) An unusual memorial stone (about the size of the earth deity) dedicated to the memory of Mr & Mrs Lim Peng Chin located on the right hand corner of their graves. It singles out  Tan Po Neo’s  (Mrs Lim Peng Chin) death date. Note the name of son  Lim Hock Seng and  grandson Lim Cheng Ean ( they are father and son respectively)
Tan Po Neo (photo Sugen Ramiah)
4)  The Earth Deity located on the left hand corner  of Mr & Mrs Lim Peng Chin’s graves.
Earth Diety (photo Sugen Ramiah)
 (photos by Sugen Ramiah )

 

 

 

Meeting point for all guided walks :  The gates of Bukit Brown on  Lorong Halwa.

Saturday 11 Jan 2014, Heritage Walk : 9am – 12pm

Yik Han and Andrew will shine a light on the notable pioneers including revolutionaries, social reformers, bankers, war heroes etc and the historical context of their lives and times. They will also explain tomb architecture and the significance to the after life.

Facebook registration here

Sunday 12 Jan 2014, Tile Appreciation : 9 am – 11.30am

Join Victor Lim  in a walk  through the cemetery where he will focus on the various tiles, their origins and influence.

Facebook registration here

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit
http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take this walking tour of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

Registration:

Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide).

Please click ‘Join’ on the FB event page to let us know you are coming, how many pax are turning up, or just meet us at the starting point at 9am. We meet there rain or shine.

========================================

The tour:

The Bukit Brown area is about 233 hectares in extent, bordered by Lornie Road, Thomson Road and the Pan-Island Expressway. It lies just to the south of the Central Catchment Forest, being separated from it by Lornie Road and includes Singapore’s only Chinese Municipal Cemetery. With more than 100,000 graves, Bukit Brown is also one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China.

Don’t forget to bask in the peaceful surrounds, and also chat with your guides and make friends with other participants. We are amateurs and volunteers, but we are passionate and serious about what we do at Bukit Brown, and we encourage sharing of knowledge.

Here is a map of the grounds:
http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg

========================================

Please take note:

1. We will be walking mainly on paved roads. But there are hill treks so dress appropriately, especially your footwear.

2. Wear light breathable clothing. Long pants and long sleeves if you are prone to insect bites or sunburn. Bring sunblock and natural insect repellent.

3. Wear comfortable non-slip shoes as safety is important. Walking sticks are recommended.

4. Do read up on Bukit Brown before going so you have a better understanding of the place (e.g. BukitBrown.com)

5. Do bring water, light snacks, poncho/umbrella, sunhat and waterproof your electronics.

6. Please go to the toilet before coming. There are NO facilities anywhere there or nearby.

=========================================

How to get there by MRT / Bus:

Bus services available: 52, 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855.

From North: Go to Marymount MRT and walk to bus-stop #53019 along Upper Thomson Road. Take Buses 52, 74, 165, 852, 855
Alight 6 stops later at bus-stop, #41149, opposite Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Walk towards Sime Road in the direction of Kheam Hock Road until you see Lorong Halwa.

From South: Go to Botanic Gardens MRT and walk to bus-stop #41121 at Adam Road, in front of Singapore Bible College. Take Buses 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855. Alight 2 stops later at bus-stop, #41141, just before Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Cross the bridge, walk towards Sime Road, follow the road until you see Lorong Halwa.

By car:
Turn in from Lornie Road, to Sime Road. Then, turn left into Lorong Halwa.
Parking space available along Lor Halwa and in the cemetery some distance after the cemetery gate.

(photo Ang Yik Han)

(photo Ang Yik Han)

 

Government exhumations for some 4,000 graves in the way of the highway began on Tuesday 17 December, without any official announcement. Sources on the ground brought some of the Brownies  and a Mediacorp news team to Bukit Brown.

It is understood that graves  claimed by descendants will be exhumed first, followed by those unclaimed. It is estimated from descendants who have kept All Things Bukit Brown  informed on the exhumation dates of their ancestors, that exhumations could  take up to July/August  2014 to complete.

The areas of affected graves have been  cordoned off from view  in preparation for  exhumations since November 2013.  Only descendants, grave diggers and  official personnel including  the documentation team are allowed in the enclose areas to witness and record the exhumations.

There is as yet no official statement on plans to preserve tombstones except for this statement : “Due to the number of burial items, the NHB is unable to guarantee that it will be able to preserve all of them.”  CNA news report. The news video  is available here. The Mandarin news report:

A blog post in Chinese by Brownie Walter  is available here.

The Straits Times  on Exhumations,  19 December, 2013:

3,440 graves will be exhumed over next 9 months to make way for road by Grace Chua

EXHUMATION has begun at last at the Bukit Brown Cemetery, where more than 3,000 of nearly 100,000 graves will make way for a new road.

The public exhumation, coordinated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), began on Tuesday. Over the next nine months, 3,442 graves will be exhumed.

A total of 304 graves have already been exhumed privately by family members. In all, 1,263 graves have been claimed to date.

The remains that are still unclaimed three years after exhumation will be cremated individually and scattered at sea.

Construction of the new road will begin in stages after the exhumation of affected graves is completed, an LTA spokesman said.

“While construction is ongoing, members of the public can continue to enter the other parts of Bukit Brown Cemetery that are not affected by the road construction. The details of access routes will be made available to the public when construction starts.”

The exhumation process is being documented by anthropologist Hui Yew-Foong and his team, who have been appointed by the Government for the task.

Dr Hui, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said the team observes what rituals might have been carried out, what artefacts were buried with the dead, and if the tombs have any underground structure.

For instance, underground chambers were sometimes lined with bricks to keep coffins dry, while women might have jewellery or miniature cooking utensils buried with them.

Meanwhile, members of the public have sent letters to the Ministry of National Development as part of feedback about the Draft Masterplan 2013, pleading for the rest of the cemetery to be kept instead of redeveloping it for housing.

Today is the last day for the public to submit feedback on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s draft masterplan, which was made public last month.

Among those who have written in is Mr Ishvinder Singh, 26, a supply chain professional.

He became intrigued by Bukit Brown when he saw photos of Sikh-guard statues at the tombs of Chinese businessmen and officials. This led him to visit Bukit Brown and investigate its history as well as that of the Sikh community here.

“I realised that the Sikh statues weren’t just about my own community, but about the interactions that took place between different communities,” he said.

caiwj@sph.com.sg

Copyright © 2013 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
ST photo 19 December 2013
An exhumed grave at Bukit Brown Cemetery. The public exhumation began on Tuesday. A total of 304 graves have already been exhumed privately by family members. In all, 1,263 graves have been claimed to date. — ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
***

For the community who believe with us  that Bukit Brown should be preserved as a Heritage Park, the journey continues to preserve  the rest of the 95,000 tombs.   We have guided 10,000 people in one year. With your support,  we can do more to create awareness and appreciation for the Heritage, Habitat and History of  Bukit Brown.  Let’s keep calm and carry on.

At Bukit Brown on the 17th December morning,  as observed by Brownies on the Ground.

17 Dec Traffic at 8 am (photo Claire Leow)

17 December, smooth traffic on both sides of Lornie Rd posted at 08.19 (photo Claire Leow)

17 Dec Gathering for the Exhumations (photo Victor Lim)

17 December Gathering for the Exhumations (photo Victor Lim)

17 Dec Tomb Digger photo Victor Lim

A bottle of white wine in the bag to wash the bones collected as according to custom. This package is for the tomb staked as number 49  (photo Victor Lim)

17 Dec Heading towards Seh Ong Cemetery

17 December – A family heads towards Seh Ong Cemetery with a gravedigger carrying the tools of his trade (photo Claire Leow)

17 Dec Exhumations (photo Claire Leow)

Grave digger, Ah Na speaks Hokkien fluently (photo Claire Leow)

One last parting shot from the people at Cartoon Press

Cartoon Press

A report on a private exhumation here

 

 

 

http://sinchewciviljournalist.blogspot.sg/2013/12/blog-post_17.html

 

Meeting Point for all events at Lorong Halwa gates

Sat 21 Dec : 9am- 11.30am : Walk with Han Zhong & Jing Jie  (Facebook Registration here)

Join the two ex-Chinese High students as they walk around Bukit Brown, and share with you the delights of its flora and fauna, as well as stories of Singaporean pioneers that are associated with their alma mater.

Sun 22 Dec: 4pm-6.30pm : Poetry Readings at Twilight Walk (Facebook Registration here)

Follow Bianca, Claire and Mil as they walk through the cemetery at twilight and stop along the route to read poetry and excerpts of theatre play scripts. The readings will be in English. Tour participants are encouraged to take photos and record videos.  We will feature amongst others poems of the Singapore poet Khoo Seok Wan, whose grave is at Bukit Brown and staked to be exhumed in the near future. We will also pay tribute to the early pioneers from the 1830s cluster of graves that will make way for the highway.

Wed 25 Dec : 9am – 11.30am : Christmassy Tidings at Bukit Brown with Chew Keng Kiat (Facebook Registration here)

Bukit Brown. Land of One Hundred Thousand Stories. ‘Tis the season to remember.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take this walking tour of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

General Information:

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit Getting There/ 集合地点

 

shadows (Photo: Claire Leow)

 

Three guided walks this weekend. Please note new meeting point for all guided walks  is at the Lorong Halwa gates

Saturday 14th Dec 9 am – 12 pm  Ancestry Run of Brownie Dr Lim Su Min.

Dr Lim Su Min, from ACS, counts amongst his ancestors big Towkays : Mr Tan Tock Seng, Mr Tan Boo Liat, Mr Seow Poh Leng and Dr Lim Boon Keng. A few  are buried in Bukit Brown. Come and join Lim Su Min as he shares family stories and listen as he strums his ukulele  for his ancestors. Facebook registration here

Sunday 15th  Dec 9am – 12 pm Nature Ramble with Beng Tang

Besides being of cultural and historical value, Bukit brown is also of great biodiversity and ecological value. It contains many rare and locally endangered animals including birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and a great variety of plants including fruit trees, edible and medicinal herbs, and important food crops. It is also a beautiful and scenic place where you can rest your eyes on green landscapes and enjoy peaceful atmosphere and the sounds of nature. Come and experience this before it is changed by the road. Already the contractor has fenced off sections so it is no longer as it was.  Facebook registration here

Sunday 15th Dec 9am – 12 pm  Tong Meng Hui with Zhi Hao and Claire Leow

15 December is an important Day in Sino-Taiwan-US relations. Going back in History, Civil war in China lead to the establishment of the PRC in 1949, and also the shift of ROC to Taiwan. The two political parties that brought about this change in modern Chinese history were the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Before the Kuomintang, there was its predecessor, the Tong Meng Hui – the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance.  In this tour, we will visit some of our forefathers who either had a role in the Tong Meng Hui or in one way or another related to it. Hills 3 & 4 covered.  Facebook registration here

General Information:

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7250

Registration:

Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide).

Please click ‘Join’ on the FB event page to let us know you are coming, how many pax are turning up, or just meet us at the starting point at 9am. We meet there rain or shine.

========================================

The tour:

The Bukit Brown area is about 233 hectares in extent, bordered by Lornie Road, Thomson Road and the Pan-Island Expressway. It lies just to the south of the Central Catchment Forest, being separated from it by Lornie Road and includes Singapore’s only Chinese Municipal Cemetery. With more than 100,000 graves, Bukit Brown is also one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China.

Don’t forget to bask in the peaceful surrounds, and also chat with your guides and make friends with other participants. We are amateurs and volunteers, but we are passionate and serious about what we do at Bukit Brown, and we encourage sharing of knowledge.

Here is a map of the grounds:
http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg

========================================

Please take note:

1. We will be walking mainly on paved roads. But there are hill treks so dress appropriately, especially your footwear.

2. Wear light breathable clothing. Long pants and long sleeves if you are prone to insect bites or sunburn. Bring sunblock and natural insect repellent.

3. Wear comfortable non-slip shoes as safety is important. Walking sticks are recommended.

4. Do read up on Bukit Brown before going so you have a better understanding of the place (e.g. BukitBrown.com)

5. Do bring water, light snacks, poncho/umbrella, sunhat and waterproof your electronics.

6. Please go to the toilet before coming. There are NO facilities anywhere there or nearby.

=========================================

How to get there by MRT / Bus:

Bus services available: 52, 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855.

From North: Go to Marymount MRT and walk to bus-stop #53019 along Upper Thomson Road. Take Buses 52, 74, 165, 852, 855
Alight 6 stops later at bus-stop, #41149, opposite Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Walk towards Sime Road in the direction of Kheam Hock Road until you see Lorong Halwa.

From South: Go to Botanic Gardens MRT and walk to bus-stop #41121 at Adam Road, in front of Singapore Bible College. Take Buses 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855. Alight 2 stops later at bus-stop, #41141, just before Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Cross the bridge, walk towards Sime Road, follow the road until you see Lorong Halwa.

By car:
Turn in from Lornie Road, to Sime Road. Then, turn left into Lorong Halwa.
Parking space available at the largish paved area near the cemetery gates.

Lorong Halwa, Singapore, Singapore
Lim Su Min_ (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bukit Brown, Our Singapore Story

On 7 Dec 2013 at 9am, a group of 40 tour participants joined TEDX speakers Claire Leow and Ish Singh to listen to how Bukit Brown inspired their search into Singapore’s historical past and deepened their understanding of their own cultural identity. Ish shared his insights on the Sikh guards in Bukit Brown and the history of the Sikhs in Singapore, while Claire shared about Singapore’s WWII stories and connections to some of the pioneers who played a role in this. The next day would be the anniversary of the Dec 8, 1941  Japanese bombing campaign in Singapore, marking the day war arrived at our shores.

There was also a special poetry reading by Claire at the 1830s graves cluster – a remnant from the Qing dynasty, and therefore the earliest immigrants to Singapore when Sir Stamford Raffles settled here and developed the colony.

Descendants Kim Wee and Cecilia Chong shared the stories of their ancestors  buried at Bukit Brown as well. Below are a few photos of the event and useful information at the bottom of the page.

Ish Singh with one of Sikh guards

Ish Singh with one of Sikh guards [photo: Bianca Polak]

The 1830s graves cluster with a poetry reading by Claire Leow [photo: Bianca Polak]

The 1830s graves cluster with a poetry reading by Claire Leow [photo: Bianca Polak]

 The poem is here.

Ish with Sikh guard and retired Indian army veteran at Ong Sam Leong's grave [photo: Bianca Polak]

Ish with Sikh guard and retired Indian army veteran at Ong Sam Leong’s grave [photo: Bianca Polak]

Claire sharing the story of the Tok family [photo: Bianca Polak]

Claire sharing the story of the Tok family [photo: Bianca Polak]

group photo at Chew Geok Leong's grave with the colourful Sikh guards [photo: Bianca Polak]

group photo at Chew Geok Leong’s grave with the colourful Sikh guards [photo: Bianca Polak]

 

Related posts:

A primer on Sikh history: http://amardeepphotography.com/reputation_follows_to_grave/

Claire’s TEDx speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYRiHjq_2uA

Ish’s blog report: A Shared Heritage

==============

Join us for guided tours here. Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide). We guide rain or shine.

Information on How to get there and handy tips

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 .

Sikh guards (Photo: Ang Hock Chuan)

Sikh guards (Photo: Ang Hock Chuan)

 

Pre- exhumation rituals for the nearly 4,000 pioneers who will have to be exhumed to make way for the highway, took place on the morning of Thursday, 28th November.  A short and simple ceremony, it was organised by the Land Transport Authority and  Swee Hong construction company  for descendants. More than 500 descendants together with well wishers and brownies were in attendance.

The rituals were conducted by 7 members of the Inter Religious Organisation.

Prayers were offered for the peaceful move of the soon to be exhumed pioneers to their new homes and for the safety of the people who will be working on the site.

The descendants who arrived were confronted by a new almost “fortress-like” Bukit Brown where barriers had been put up in preparation for exhumations, scheduled to begin in December 2013

Descendants arriving to participate in the prayers for the deceased. (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Descendants arriving to participate in the prayers for the deceased. (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

The area for the ritual prayers was under a marquee enclosed by a metal barrier and restricted to descendants. Registration was required.

Registration (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Registration (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

The area within was quickly filled to capacity

Pre exhumation rituals  3 ( Jennifer Teo )

Pre exhumation rituals ( photo Jennifer Teo )

It quickly became standing room only

Pre exhumation rituals  2 ( Jennifer Teo )

Pre exhumation rituals ( photo Jennifer Teo )

Pre exhumation rituals  1 ( photo Mil Phuah)

Pre exhumation rituals ( photo Mil Phuah)

The scheduled time to begin the prayers was 10am. It was delayed because of the unexpected crowds and started about 15 minutes later.

Religious leaders  from left to right  represented: Jainism , Buddhism , Taoism , Hinduism , Christianity, Sikhism and Baha’i faith (photo below)

Pre Exhumation Rituals (photo Walter Lim)

The prayers begin (photo Walter Lim)

The religious leaders took their turns to pray starting with Jain leader in pink, followed by Buddhist leader. (photo below)

Religious Leaders  Buddhist (photo Jennifer Teo)

Buddhist religious leader (photo Jennifer Teo)

The Taoist leader (in black robes) was followed by the Hindu religious leader

Religious Leaders  Hindu (photo Jennifer Teo)

Hindu religious leader (photo Jennifer Teo)

Religious Leaders  Sikh (photo Jennifer Teo)

Religious leader of the Sikhs (photo Jennifer Teo)

Religious Leaders  Christian (photo Jennifer Teo)

Christian religious leader (photo Jennifer Teo)

Religious Leaders  Baha'i (photo Jennifer Teo)

Baha’i faith leader (photo Jennifer Teo)

The prayers took about 10 minutes and the ceremony was over. A few descendants took the opportunity to also pay their last respects personally to their ancestors and came bearing offerings.

Families conducting their personal pre Exhumation Rituals  2 (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Pre  Exhumation Rituals  (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Families conducting their personal pre Exhumation Rituals 1  (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Families conducting their personal Pre Exhumation Rituals (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Family with 3 affected tombs (Khoo Ee Hoon)

Family with 3 affected tombs (Khoo Ee Hoon)

Pre exhumation rituals  3 ( Walter Lim )

A lone offering, but all it takes is just one person to remember (photo Walter Lim)

Victor Lim, a brownie offered his own prayers of remembrance and respect  to the earth deity at the Lorong Halwa gates. Bukit Brown to him is a place to remember his ancestors and affectionately as he is always wont to say “my playground”

Victor Lim : “I don’t know when we can meet again. Since the past 1 1/2 years, we have been meeting with those lonely souls every week. This morning we are departing from this endless,  from a party that needs to be dispersed. Alas, we would still need to leave and this brings me good memory. I wish you all the best, bless you peace when you leave, and may this good luck come forth to your new home. We will think of you now and then, and we will be together , not forgetting the milestones of our social memories and roots.”

Brownie Victor Lim at Pre exhumation ritual (photo Raymond Goh)

Brownie Victor Lim at Pre exhumation ritual (photo Raymond Goh)

And finally, all the way from London, Sugen Ramiah remembers Bukit Brown in his prayers at the Westminster Cathedral. His message : While Rev Fr Paul Staes said a prayer for the dead in Bukit Brown, I too lit up a candle and said a prayer for the dead in the Chapel of Holy Souls.

Eternal rest
grant unto them O Lord,
may perpetual light
shine upon them;
May they rest in peace. Amen

From Westminister Cathedral candles burning for Bukit Brown (Sugen Ramiah)

From Westminister Cathedral candles burning for Bukit Brown (photo Sugen Ramiah)

Amen, indeed amen. A ceremony that seem all to short,  commemorates a farewell to those for whom Bukit Brown has been home for decades. We wish you all a safe and peaceful passage to your new homes.

Read Walter Lim’s blog on the rituals in Chinese here

A postscript. Thursday, 28 November 2013, was also the day the Roundabout became a Road.

28 November (photo Raymond Goh)

Thursday, 28 November : The Roundabout becomes a Road (photo Raymond Goh)

Follow the path of destruction here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Point for all events : As you enter the Jalan Halwa gates, on your left near the LTA container office,  under the soon to be endangered beautiful raintree.

Friday 29 November, 5 pm – 7pm ” A Walk into the Past” with Andrew Lim

Join Andrew as he takes you through the the former Kheam Hock Village into Bukit Brown and bids farewell to our poet of the south. Please bring torch lights for this guided walk

Facebook Registration here

Saturday 30 November,  9am – 12pm Guided Walk in Mandarin to Hill 4

Facebook Registration here

一个小岛国的城市绿洲,武吉布朗,历史与丛林交汇的世外桃源!

武吉布朗导览义工 Fabien Tee, Andrew Lim 和 Yik Han 将为大家介绍安葬于武吉布朗墓园的新加坡开埠先驱及达官显要,这些先贤在二十世纪上半叶为新加坡作出了巨大的贡献.

我们也将探讨他们当时所处的历史背景。

在亲身瞻仰这些先贤的坟墓之余,大家也有机会认识墓碑和坟墓的不同设计及相关风水,以及了解华人的殡葬习俗。

陆路交通管理局授权的工程公司已经准备动工挖掘与迁坟,再过不久,4153座先贤的坟墓与遗骸将被发掘殆尽,道路工程也会开始,新加坡仅存的值得保留的历史遗迹也将被铲除。时间所剩不多,要了解武吉布朗的历史与文化价值就要赶紧参加我们的导览团。

这次导览将深入坟山四号山重点介绍葬那里的先贤,尤其是享有“南侨诗宗”盛名的邱淑园先生,其坟墓在数月内将因道路工程彻底消失。

集合地点:

环状绕道前的雨豆树下。可惜的是,这棵高大凛然的雨豆树可能也会因筑路工程而不保。坟场正门之后往前走大约20米,雨豆树就在土管局临时办事处的右边。

Saturday 30 November, 6.30- 9.30 pm “Light Up Bukit Brown” organised by SOS Bukit Brown

Facebook registration here

Sunday 1 December, 9 – 11.30 am ” Back to School(s)”

Join Simone Lee as she introduces you to the founders and contributors of our pioneer schools. Schools were created to improve literacy, propagate beliefs and to create an advanced society. In line with these objectives, schools such as the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, Gan Eng Seng, Tao Nan Primary School and Nanyang Girl’ High School were born.

Facebook registration here

General Information:

Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

For information on how to get there and handy tips please visit
http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=1347

Registration:

Our weekend public tours are FREE …
Optimally the group size is 30 participants (15 individuals/guide).

Please click ‘Join’ on the FB event page to let us know you are coming, how many pax are turning up, or just meet us at the starting point at 9am. We meet there rain or shine.

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The tour:

The Bukit Brown area is about 233 hectares in extent, bordered by Lornie Road, Thomson Road and the Pan-Island Expressway. It lies just to the south of the Central Catchment Forest, being separated from it by Lornie Road and includes Singapore’s only Chinese Municipal Cemetery. With more than 100,000 graves, Bukit Brown is also one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China.

Don’t forget to bask in the peaceful surrounds, and also chat with your guides and make friends with other participants. We are amateurs and volunteers, but we are passionate and serious about what we do at Bukit Brown, and we encourage sharing of knowledge.

Here is a map of the grounds:
http://bukitbrown.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/API.BBC_.Map_.ver3_4.jpg

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Please take note:

1. We will be walking mainly on paved roads. But there are hill treks so dress appropriately, especially your footwear.

2. Wear light breathable clothing. Long pants and long sleeves if you are prone to insect bites or sunburn. Bring sunblock and natural insect repellent.

3. Wear comfortable non-slip shoes as safety is important. Walking sticks are recommended.

4. Do read up on Bukit Brown before going so you have a better understanding of the place (e.g. BukitBrown.com)

5. Do bring water, light snacks, poncho/umbrella, sunhat and waterproof your electronics.

6. Please go to the toilet before coming. There are NO facilities anywhere there or nearby.

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How to get there by MRT / Bus:

Bus services available: 52, 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855.

From North: Go to Marymount MRT and walk to bus-stop #53019 along Upper Thomson Road. Take Buses 52, 74, 165, 852, 855
Alight 6 stops later at bus-stop, #41149, opposite Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Walk towards Sime Road in the direction of Kheam Hock Road until you see Lorong Halwa.

From South: Go to Botanic Gardens MRT and walk to bus-stop #41121 at Adam Road, in front of Singapore Bible College. Take Buses 74, 93, 157, 165, 852, 855. Alight 2 stops later at bus-stop, #41141, just before Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Adam Road. Cross the bridge, walk towards Sime Road, follow the road until you see Lorong Halwa.

By car:
Turn in from Lornie Road, to Sime Road. Then, turn left into Lorong Halwa.
Parking space available at the largish paved area near the cemetery gates.

Lorong Halwa, Singapore, Singapore
BB Gates Sept 2013 (photo Theresa Teng)

Bukit Brown Gates taken in Sept 2013 (photo Theresa Teng)

 

 

 

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