Unveiling Lee Kim Soo

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Lee Kim Soo (1888-1933)

Lee Kim Soo: the founder of Elkayes match factory (photo: Rosalind Tan)

Rosalind Tan says, “Bukit Brown Heritage Park – the moniker given to Bukit Brown Cemetery by the volunteer guides – has given us much. It has stoked our social conscience, galvanised us to speak for the voiceless and brought us all together like a “Band of Brothers”. So, I think it’s time to return what it so generously given us.”

This photo essay demonstrates the work of the tomb keepers who help the guides by clearing tombs we find interesting and by clearing the paths to them. The March 25 tour group was the first to see this tomb in an as-yet uncleared state. On May 5, Rosalind documented the tomb keeper Ah Lim and his men clearing the site, and documented their admirable effort. When he first cleared it for the guides, he did it for free. I am sure you will agree this is not easy work. Respect!

Lee Kim Soo: uncovered during bush bashing (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: Ah Lim ponders how to clear the tomb (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: the front view (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: calibrating how to start clearing the tomb (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: Ah Lim encounters an obstacle (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: you take this corner, I do this corner. Enough work for us! (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: you hold the branch, I do the sawing. (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: the walled sides (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: jungled over (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: grave grandeur (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: more is revealed (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: front left flank (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: rear left flank (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: a wide but not a deep site (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: all in a day’s work (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: tomb keepers at work (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: tomb keepers almost done (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: mostly cleared (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Lee Kim Soo: after (photo: Rosalind Tan)

 

Look at the far left corner – a receptacle is revealed. What is it for? Now research can begin.

 

Lee Kim Soo: an interesting feature (photo: Rosalind Tan)

And why does the headstone look like a turret?

Lee Kim Soo: why is the mound flat? (photo: Rosalind Tan)

And so just who is Lee Kim Soo? He struck  gold by manufacturing matches!

Elkayes Matches ( photo archives)

Join us  for the first tour to feature Lee Kim Soon on the weekend of May 12-13. Tours by all things Bukit Brown starts at 9 am.

Editor’s note: This post is a tribute to the volunteers of Bukit Brown, fondly called Brownies, who give of their time and experience to help the public better appreciate the heritage site. Rosalind’s grandparents Mr & Mrs Tan Yong Tian are buried in Hill 2. She has written movingly about her walk with the Nature Society and what Bukit Brown means to her. This post tells the public what goes on behind the scenes as Brownies keep the tours interesting for the public. 

 

Related Posts:

Tomb Whisperer

Bush Bashing

What “Brownies” Do and Why We Do it

Beyond Grave Matters

Our Tours

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