Monday, 26 December 2011

Boey Lian Chin 梅连振

Boey Lian Chin was the first Chinese to manage a Chinese-owned-Western-styled banking institution in the Straits Settlements. He was a Managing Director of Kwong Yik Banking Company Limited, Singapore, and the first Kwong Yik's manager. Under his term in office as the first Chinese bank manager, the Kwong Yik Bank which was established on 16 December 1903 was a prominent financial institution in the colony, but shortly afterwards was liquidated (1915). 

Born in Singapore, Boey Lian Chin’s father, Boey Ah Foo 梅阿富 was among the early settlers in the colony. He was a well-known contractor in Singapore and had engaged in several government contracts, including the erection of the flagstaff and building shophouses at Rochore Road, North Bridge Road, and Malabar Street. In 1919, his shophouses were auctioned at the value worth $800,000. Prior to his commencement in building industry, Boey Ah Foo was a keen competitor with Messrs. Whampao & Co. in the bakery business. Boey Ah Foo was presented by the British Government with a gold watch and chain as a token of appreciation for his services. And when he died on 15 May 1889, he left an estate valued over one million dollars to Boey Lian Chin. The Boey family has its ancestry in Duanfen, Taishan, southwest of Guangdong Province, China.

Boey Lian Chin’s experience in finance sector was no ordinary, in his early days he conducted a Chinese pawnshop known as Chop Tong Guan at 91 North Bridge Road. He joined the Board of Directors of Kwong Yik Bank and later charged for embezzlement, when the firm was in the process of liquidation. He was a member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Po Leung Kuk, but his presence in the society was not overwhelming, thus he was obliged to resign from that society. His residence in Singapore was at 530, North Bridge Road. Boey Lian Chin had four sons and two daughters. In 1913 he was declared a bankrupt.

*1st revision on 7 February 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment