2012
Sep
23

A Family Reunion (Chia Ann Siang Part II)

1

So not a few days back, the tomb of Chia Ann Siang was finally found, just in time for his 120th death anniversary today.

So, wasting no more time, a handful of cousins (the great, great grandsons of the man) met up with tomb whisperers Raymond and Charles Goh to visit their ancestor, the Goh brothers having been the ones who found the tomb. This is indeed special news, and deserved newspaper coverage (albeit a an error was spotted, in that the tomb is in a private plot near Bukit Brown but not in Bukit Brown grounds):

 

Shin Min report

 

 

Zaobao report

 

From the Sunday Times 23 Sept  – major cover story with a front page highlight

Brownie Ee Hoon makes it to the front page with her trusty chalk

Full page coverage, a tribute to Pioneer Chia Ann Siang and his descendants

 

To read the full article, please click here

To get a sense of how hard it was to find, see this video In Search of Chia Ann Siang: Part I: Lost and Part II: Found  (Videographer: Khoo Ee Hoon)

 

The cousins’ first sighting of the long-lost grave (Photo: Catherine Lim)

 

To hear the descendants speak of the reunion with their ancestor and each other, click here for Part III: Moments. (Videographer: Khoo Ee Hoon)

 

Raymond explains to the great great grandsons of Chia Ann Siang how he found the tomb (Photo: Catherine Lim)

 

Raymond and Charles Goh lead the way to Chia’s tomb (Photo: Khoo Ee Hoon)

 

As long as you are remembered, you are not dead, so goes a proverb. So Chia Ann Siang is no longer lost to time and the jungle:

 

Great great grandsons of Chia Ann Siang with Raymond (carrying the stick) (Photo: Alvin Lee)

 

Alvin says, “This is indeed a very special day! Many thanks to Raymond Goh from Bukit Brown Heritage group for locating the grave of my great, great grandfather Chia Ann Siang. It was neglected and lost for over a 100 years. He was a prominent land owner in early Singapore who died on 23 Sep 1892.

Today I met my cousins, Anthony Sng, Raphael, Alan & Alphonsus, all fellow great, great grandsons of Chia Ann Siang. Memories are made of these – heartfelt thanks once again to everyone who made this possible and shared the moment with us.”

The group proceeded to Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery to pay respects to Chia’s eldest son, Chia Keng Beng, who was the trustee of his estate:

 

Paying respects to Chia Keng Beng, eldest son of Chia Ann Siang, buried in Hill 2, Bukit Brown (Photo: Catherine Lim)

 

As his great, great grandson Alvin puts it so eloquently,

“It is humbling to know our beginnings.

The journey of a man from China who settled in Malacca and had a son, who then moved to Singapore in the 1800s, and worked in Boustead as a simple storekeeper. How Chia Ann Siang amassed a huge fortune in 40 years is amazing! His generosity in making his world a better place inspires me to do likewise. Knowing too how his descendants lost most of the father’s immense wealth because of economic crises, wrong business decisions and of course the war, only confirms the truth that the most precious things in life are not things per se.”

“It challenges me to invest in things that truly count for eternity.”

“Please save Bukit Brown. Please do not destroy our National Identity in the pursuit of things that won’t last,” Alvin adds.

 

Additional visuals from Brownies:

For more on  Ee Hoon’s album

For Hock Chuan’s video

Related Posts:

Found! Chia Ann Siang, with an impassioned plea by one of his great great grandsons to save Bukit Brown out of respect for other pioneers. Chia’s eldest son is also buried at Bukit Brown.

Bush-Bashing

The Tomb Whisperers  – How the brothers Goh started looking for tombs

Looking for an Ancestor

Ancestry Tracing

DIY Walking Guide on Ann Siang Hill

 Video archive for Chia Ann Siang’s find

 

CAS family with the Brownies (Photo: Khoo Ee Hoon)