|CHEAH CHEN EOK 谢增煜, JP|
Cheah Chen Eok was born in 1852 in Penang and was the only son of Cheah Sim Hean. He was educated at the Penang Free School and first worked at the Messrs Boon Tek & Co. and later to the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China of Penang branch. Where he served the firm for eight years. His father, Cheah Sim Hean was born in China with ancestry in Chang Tai District, Fujian.
In 1872, Cheah Chen Eok married daughter of Foo Tye Sin and had six sons and three daughters. With financial support from his father-in-law, in 1876, he commenced business in partnership with Foo Boon Sean, his brother-in-law, under the firm Chen Eok & Co., principally engaged as a ship chandler and trading general goods. After six years of prosperous business, he joined the Opium & Liquor Farm with interests in Penang and Singapore. In 1902, he became the Superintendent for the farm, backing by his vast experience in business affairs. In the farm business where he had engaged for almost 25 years had made him a great success to-be-told. The farm was one of the biggest income revenues for the colony and had employed more than 200 workers.
Cheah Chen Eok’s business by then had expanded to tin mining and plantations. Besides business concern, he was active in playing pivotal role in public affairs. He was a Justice of Peace, Municipal Commissioner of Penang, Visitor to goals and hospitals, member of the Chinese Advisory Board, a trustee of the Penang Free School and member of all local clubs. Cheah Chen Eok regarded himself as a loyal British subject and had great interest in English educations. In 1897, when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, he offered to fully fund the erection of a clock tower in commemorating the event. The clock tower was constructed at King Edward Place, costing him $35,000. Cheah Chen Eok died in 1922 at the age of 70 years.
|Cheah Chen Eok in his youth|