Do you support the preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery ?

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Preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery

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Do you support the preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery ?

Postby verykiasu2010 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:48 pm

The Straits Times
Published on Oct 19, 2011

Keep Bukit Brown graves: Descendants

THE consequence of the decision by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to clear Bukit Brown Cemetery to make way for a highway and future housing developments is an irreplaceable loss to generations of Singaporeans ('Redevelopment plans for Bukit Brown site', Sept 13; and Forum letter 'Rethink road widening affecting cemetery' by Mr Liew Kai Khiun, Sept 16).

Indeed much of the historical and social value of Bukit Brown Cemetery is still being uncovered by volunteers today, yet preparations for clearing works are slated to start next month. The latest tender suggests that 24ha (10,000 graves) will be affected in the heart of the cemetery. This, we understand, is just the beginning.

Despite URA and LTA's assertions that they will work with the Singapore Heritage Society and other stakeholders to identify and document key heritage elements, it appears that this refers to mere 'data recording', and not a heritage study.

It is not widely known that the Bukit Brown, Ong clan and Hokkien Huay Kuan cluster form the biggest Chinese burial grounds outside China, with a quarter of a million graves.

The erasure of these grounds will deal a substantial blow to the cultural history of Singapore.

The graves contain our immigrant forebears, from paupers to almost all our local pioneers who remain largely unrecognised beyond the roads that bear their names, such as Ong Boon Tat, Cheong Koon Seng, Cheang Hong Lim, Chew Joo Chiat, Lim Chong Pang and Chew Boon Lay; and the wife of philanthropist Lim Nee Soon.

Each tomb tells of a journey from a village in China, their families, their achievements and their culture.

Stories discerned from the graves will no longer be accessible to future generations.

As descendants of Singapore's early pioneers, we appeal to the authorities to explore alternatives like widening existing roads or using flyovers to preserve this national heritage.

It is not too late to recognise that Bukit Brown is rich with 'living' possibility and multi-uses - not just for those who pay respects to ancestors but also as a place for learning and recreation.

Here is where creative lessons in biology, bird-watching, history, genealogy, art and poetry could take place as well as serious research. To take a quiet walk with family or tour with the passionate guides is to be moved by our history and feel truly connected with this place we call our home.

Let us not squander our heritage and dishonour our past for a few more condos and cars. Once we bulldoze through this history, it will be too late to resurrect the foundation of our national sense of identity.

Chew I-Jin (Ms)

Descendant of Chew Boon Lay

FORUM NOTE: The other signatories are Mr Chew Kheng Chuan (descendant of Chew Boon Lay), Mr Gerald Tan Kok Seng (descendant of Tan Tock Seng), Mr Chia Hock Jin (descendant of Chia Hood Theam) and Ms Ong Chwee Im, representing the descendants of Ong Chong Chew, Ong Ewe Hai and Ong Kew Hoe, who donated the land for use of the Ong clan in 1872).

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

see also : ... ur-roots-i
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Re: Do you support the preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery

Postby Intermezzo » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:50 am

Me am totally in support to preserve Bukit Brown.
Feels extremely depressed and sad whenever i think that this beautiful place is going to disappear to make way for more roads and condos..

it's just simply one of the most tranquil and lovely (as well as richly historical) places in singapore that i know of.
i have been there a few times. there are some really beautiful old trees in the grounds, and the place is teeming with birdlife. i've seen woodpeckers, bee-eaters, kingfishers, drongos, warblers, parakeets, green pigeons and little doves, just to name a few.

it's also very fun to look at the old gravestones in so many different styles. some are so weathered and overgrown with creepers, while some are grand and ornate.

take a walk there in the early morning or on a cool day just after a rain shower.. you'll love the place too ~

ps. the singapore Nature Society organizes nature walks there almost every month. Please check out their website if you're interested ~

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Re: Do you support the preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery

Postby verykiasu2010 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:11 am

Written by Charles Goh
Friday, 08 July 2011 23:21
A cool chill blew across the rolling grass of Bukit Brown.

It woke up Tan Kim Ching (son of Tan Tock Seng).

He yelled out to his friend below, Cheang Hong Lim (Speakers’ Corner): You feel that, Hong Lim?"

Hong Lim shuddered and nodded: "Let’s go find out what’s happening."

Together they stroll down the lonely path till they came up to 2 brothers Lim Chong Pang (Chong Pang Market) and Lim Chong Kuo, with their mother, Mrs Lim Nee Soon (Yishun Estate).

Mrs Lim looked at the 2 elderly gentlemen strolling towards them and ask: "Is it time?"

No one had the answer, and the group decided to cross the valley and ask others.

Gan Eng Seng (Gan Eng Seng School) came down from his hill and met them They were joined midway by Tan Kheam Hock (Kheam Hock Road). The group, now slightly larger than when it started, visited Chew Boon Lay (Boon Lay MRT), who was chatting with Tan Eng Neo (Eng Neo Avenue).

Together they climbed the hill to Ong Sam Leong (Biggest Grave in Singapore), who was with his sons Boon Tat (Boon Tat Street) and Peng Hock (Joint owner of New World Amusement Park)

From that highest point in Bukit Brown, Boon Lay shouted across the hills to Teh Ho Swee (Bukit Ho Swee), who was with his family, a distance away.

"Do you know what’s happening?" Boon Lay yelled.

" I don’t know." Ho Swee shouted back, dropping whatever he was doing and running to join the group. "Could it be related to the Bukit Brown MRT being constructed behind me?"

The wind blew stronger as if to answer him, and the group moves down the hill.

Around the bend, they were joined by Tan Boo Liat (Great Grandson of Tan Tock Seng), Hu Shien Nien (OCBC Director), Tan Ean Kiam (OCBC Founder), Khoo Yang Thin (Father of Khoo Tech Puat [Hospital]).

The group, now considerably larger, swelling in size as other Notables and their families joined the march towards the Bukit Brown Cemetery Gate.
"Cant you do anything, dad?" asked Lee Choo Neo (aunt of MM Lee) to her dad Lee Hoon Leong (MM Lee Grandfather).
Hoon Leong breathed deeply to speak: "I.... I" but his words were interrupted by the arrival of Fang Shan (oldest tomb in Singapore), Ho Siak Kuan (Assistant Secretary for Chinese Affairs), Tan Yong Thian (Southeast Asia 1st Producer of Essential Oil) and Tay Koh Yat (popular public bus operator in the 60s).

"Wait up!" came a voice from behind, as Chew Joo Chiat (Joo Chiat Place) came running from behind and joined the group.
By now, a great multitude of the early Singaporean had gathered at the Gate. Those who travelled far to reach our shores and made their fortunes and names here, as well as the more common folks, who though you may never, ever know them, had equally shed their sweat, blood, strength, age and lives for our small island in the sun.

Now nearing the Gate, Ang Seah Im (Seah Im Food Center) stopped the group and hushed everyone.

"Can you hear that?"

There are distinct sounds of machinery in the air, rumbling of metal crawlers across cart tracks.

‘Is this the end?" Someone wailed from behind.

"But our stories are not told yet!"

"We once lived! Please don’t! Remember us please!"

The wind howled louder…………
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Re: Do you support the preservation of Bukit Brown Cemetery

Postby concern2 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:48 am

Die die must make money out of the land. I have stopped taking in all these crap. But they want it, they take it. What can you do? Build condos, build this, build that. What I need is space, SPACE!!!!

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