Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cheang Hong Lim 章芳琳


Cheang Hong Lim was born in 1825 in Singapore to Cheang Sam Teow. His family with ancestry at Tiang Thye (Chang Tai), Zhangzhou, was well-known in the Chinese community section in Singapore. Cheang Hong Lim had great interest in the Opium and Liquor Farm of Singapore. He was a member of Singapore Po Leung Kok (Women’s Shelter Home) where he was a co-founder, and was made a Justice of Peace. Cheang Hong Lim was also known as a generous philanthropist to various charity fundraisings. He was the largest donor for the building of a new convent in Singapore, where a sum of $3000 was endowed, and in 1876, a sum of $900 was given to the Portuguese Church of St Jose for the alterations of the gas chandeliers. And a sum of $3000 was also donated to convert the front space of the Central Police Station into a public garden, where the park was later named after him. In 1874, he donated $100 for the Bengal Famine, near Bihar, British India. In 1875, he founded the Cheang Wan Seng School (later Cheang Jim Hean School and Telok Ayer Grammar School). Cheang Hong Lim was the Headman for the Hokkien Community in Singapore, and was the owner of a private fire-brigade force, with 37 firemen. He also extended his charitable deeds to the French colonies in Southeast Asia, and had earned him recognition from the French Government, where he was presented with a medal. He also offered to fund the building of iron rail fence around the park near the Singapore Chinese Recreation Club ground, in which also donated by him in 1885. Cheang Hong Lim also funded the refurbishment of Fuk Tak Chi Temple in 1869 and the reconstruction of the Tiang Thye Temple in 1887, as the old one built by his father in 1849 was in a deplorable state, and a wet market at Havelock Road, where the market was named after him. He was the single largest sponsor for providing armed weapons, including contributed one of the four Maxim guns to the Singapore Volunteer Artillery. Cheang Hong Lim had two wives, Bek Chit Boey and Lim Kwee Eng, eleven sons and three daughters. He died on 11 February 1893, and left a Will of his estates worth millions of dollars dated on 30 October 1878 to his 14 children. His sons were, Cheang Jim Hean, Cheang Jim Chuan, Cheang Jim Kheng, Cheang Jim Khean, Cheang Jim Siew, Cheang Jim Ho, Cheang Jim Seong, Cheang Jim Eng, Cheang Jim Kwan, Cheang Jim Kong and Cheang Jim Khoon. His daughters were Cheang Cheow Lean, Cheang Kwee Lean and Cheang Sai Lean. His property at Hong Lim Market was given to his granddaughter, Cheang Tew Meuy. His eldest son Chean Jim Hean died in 1901 at his family residence, Annan Bank, River Valley Road and buried at Alexandra Road.