Friday, November 9, 2012

Ancestry Run V8.0

Ode to my Great Great  Great Grand Father
My Great Great Great Grand Father's Tomb!
I stand before him, silent, in respect and awe.
His genes embedded in every cell of mine,
We are bonded though the course of time.

My Great Great Great Grand Father's Tomb!
I sit beside him, sunlight streaming through the trees.
I sense inner warmth and joy sublime:
Habitat Heritage History entwine.

My Great Great  Great Grand Father's Tomb!
The white stakes declare a restless future:
His eyeless sockets shedding copious tears-
That eight lane highway: unspoken fears!

My Great Great Great Grand Father's Tomb!
"Could you not beg them to let us rest in peace?"
His silenced tongue in eloquence loudly says :
His bony hands grasp me in one last fond embrace.

Family Connection scattered over various blocks in Bukit Brown.
The tomb stops include :
Tan Kim Ching, GGGGF (Great Great Great Great Grand Father)
(neighbour to Cheang Hong Lim )
Yeo Buay Neo (Mrs Seow Watt Chye) GGM
Tan Boo Liat GGF
Mr & Mrs Lim Mah Peng GGGGF/M Mr & Mrs Lim Thean Geow GGGF/M      

Tan Kim Ching (陳金鐘) (1829 -1892. ) Tan Tock Seng’s eldest son. Recommended Anna Leonowens, as teacher for children of King Mongkut of Siam ( King Rama IV).

Buried in Changi, transferred to Bukit Brown (1940). One of Singapore’s earliest “diplomats” and much respected in the Siam court.
Tan Boo Liat, (1875-1934) built his home Golden Bell Mansion, 10 Pender Road on Mount Faber, naming it after his grandfather. He was a strong supporter of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and member of the Singapore T'ung Meng Hui along with Lim Boon Keng. In 1920 he was awarded the title Phra Anukul Sayamkich by the Siam court. Note “Kuo-Ming-Tang” rays on  his tomb.
Tan Boo Liat’s daughter Polly was the template for Emily of Emerald Hill, written by my sister Stella Kon ( nee Lim). To know that Polly was the niece of Lilian Tan Luck Neo and that Polly eventually married her aunt’s husband (Tan Boo Liat) 12 years her senior, when the aunt passed away is to understand some of the complex forces at play in “Emily”

Polly Tan (my Grandmother) is pictured here, aged 10 years. Lady with right arm on armrest is Mdm Yeo Buay Neo, my Great Grand Mother (Mrs Seow Chye Watt), mother of Seow Poh Leng: 

Polly at the piano while her husband Seow Poh Leng serenades. An alumnus of the Anglo Chinese School, he instituted a medal Seow Poh Leng Gold Medal in 1936 to be awarded to the top ACS boy at the Senior Cambridge/GCE “O” Level Examinations.

Lim Quins: Mr & Mrs Lim Mah Peng (Mdm Khoo),Mr & Mrs Lim Tean Gow (Mdm Su)
Md  Margaret Wong Tuan Keng (Mrs Lim Boon Keng V1.0) [Septuplet: plus two of
LBK’s sisters)

Lim Boon Keng (GGF) with Stella (my sister) and Mrs Lim Boon Keng V2.0, Grace Yin Pek Ha (GGM) with me on her lap.
Impetus for studying medicine was death of mother when he was 8 and father Lim Thean Gow when LBK was 17, from blood poisoning after razor cut: a dozen doctors resulting from this fatal cut!
Dr Lim Boon Keng
Dr Robert Kho Seng Lim, Dr Lim Peng Thiam
Dr Lim Kok Ann, Dr Lim Kok Kian, Dr Lim Kok Lian
Dr Michael Palmer, Dr Suzanne Low, Dr Lim Su Min, Dr Lim Su Chong
Dr Lim Min Yu, Dr Mark Kon

THE SAGE OF SINGAPORE [The Straits Times 22 October 1948 Page 4 ]
Straits Times interview by Roy Ferroa.
Of his 80 years of living, Dr.Lim says that his “happiest memories” are those of his school days, in particular  of his old headmaster Mr Hullet.
“The thing that makes me ever -mindful of dear Mr. Hullett is his word of advice given to me when I left school and was on my way to study in England.
Mr Hullett said: You are a Chinese going to the West.
Remember to respect yourself and do right. Never mind what other people, the rich and influential, may think of you. As long as you do right and remain right you will always be happy.

Mr. Hullet also told me “I advise you to keep a Bible by your side and read it whenever you have the time. The Bible is the basis of the English language.
This, Dr. Lim explained was the advice given him when he was still making headway with English literature and grammar.
Today 65 years after those words were uttered by his teacher, the pupil follows their precept. His Bible, slightly tattered and well worn, is in his hands when he walks about in his garden.
  The Bible has 66 books and one of them is written by a doctor. It is from the book written by Dr. Luke that I have chosen a passage to be read at my funeral. All of you are invited to my funereal. I don't have the date yet and I hope it doesn't happen soon.

But just as a preview, let me give you glimpse. In Chapter 16 verse 19-31 of Luke's book, we read of a parable told by Jesus of an unnamed rich man who was enjoying a life of luxury and a poor man named Lazarus who was longing to eat the scraps of food that fell from the rich man's table.
Lazarus dies and is bought by angels up to heaven.
Lazarus has a relationship with God that began while on earth, and this continues  on in heaven.
The rich man, however, failed to share of his abundance while on earth thus demonstrating his lack of relationship with God The Rich man dies and is brought to a place of eternal torment:
For the rest of the story you will have to attend my funeral, but one take home message is this: We need to be accountable for the gifts that we are given from above, and we need an ongoing relationship with the Giver.

“He died that we might live” was a clear message I heard as I was cleaning tomb of Great Great Grand Father Lim Thean Gow.  At first I thought the message was talking about Lim Thean Gow, but it did not quite make sense.

Only later, when we discovered the adjacent tomb of Great Grand Mother Margaret Huang, did I understand that voice I had heard must have came from her father (my Great Great Grand Father Pastor Huang Nai Shiong refering to no less than Jesus Christ.