Permanent Resident #2

September 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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I can’t remember when was the first time I saw this, it must have been when I was on a bus  many years ago? If you drive from Tiong Bahru Road towards Outram Road, I think you would not miss this too. Right on a small little hill lies a big tomb that I always wondered who was being buried there.


See this tomb on top?

This day, Itchyfingers decided to drop by for a visit…


We could only find our way up via some steps at the other end near a
big fig tree….

And what we saw really shocked us…We really didn’t expect this…


When we climbed up the steps, what lied in front was a bigger grave than
the one we were supposed to check out….Didn’t expect to see this really…


It was a such a big grave…Although it seemed to be bigger than many big
ones we saw at Bukit Brown Cemetery, it still paled in comparison to the 
biggest grave in Singapore – the one that belonged to Mr Ong Sam Leong
also at the Bukit Brown Cemetery…

Just who was this person who had such a big grave tucked in the middle of the city up on a small hill?


A look at the words showed that it belonged to a lady surnamed Chua, who
was married into the Tan Family…Could this person be related to the one
that we were supposed to visit? Why was she buried here? Was this place
an unknown cemetery before? This looked well-maintained with fresh coat
of paint


A side tomb for offering normally to the Earth God, but I think in this case
it is for the Mountain Deity….


One of the four animal statues that guard the tomb…


Lion on the left


Lion on the right…

We then proceeded to check out the other tomb….I had heard and read that it may belong to a prominent Singapore pioneer…


This tomb looked relatively modest compared to the other lady’s…But the
location was much better….


And it was indeed for a Mr Tan….


A paper sign attached to the fence in front confirmed what I had read.
This tomb belongs to our
 Singapore pioneer, Mr Tan Tock Seng!  

We didn’t recognise the name on the tomb because many Chinese people at that time had two names…


Although it sat at such a prominent location, it was still a relatively simple
tomb. The lion statues were small too. The red paints on the eyes and lips
made them look scary…


Right below is a bus-stop and there is a petrol station here…Turning right
goes towards Kim Seng Road….


I used to work freelance at this building opposite…Those on the second
floor onwards should be able to see this tomb very clearly…This road
leads to Outram Park and the city area….We didn’t stay that long cos it was

humid and there were lots of mozzies. 

A check online revealed more…So the bigger tomb belonged to Mr Tan’s daughter-in-law! No wonder the chinese scripts on the left of her tomb said “second daughter-in-law”. These chinese words on old tombstones were normally carved in a compressed form and written in very formal old chinese, so sometimes it is tough to make out what they all mean…This site said, according to fenshui or geomancy, the location is more appropriate for females. So why did they bury the second daughter-in-law here and not the first? Or not his wife or his mother? Initially we had thought that it was his mother’s grave since it was much grander and bigger and they were so close together. Read an earlier survey of Tan Tock Seng’s tomb by API here and a Straits Times report here. According to the reports, there used to be three tombs there! Wonder where did the third one relocate to? We did try to walk around the area to see if there is any more tombs but there seemed to be no more access roads…


The hospital today that bears Tan Tock Seng’s name at Jalan Tan Tock Seng.
In 1844, he contributed
 $5,000 for the construction of the original hospital
on top of Pearl’s Hill.
 Wow…how I wish we can still build a hospital for
a mere $5K today! Then we will have an Itchyfingers’ Hospital…specialising
in curing those with itchy fingers….wahahah….


Another small road bearing the pioneer’s name….

Also see related posts:
> Backyard Cemetery
Night at the Cemetery
Revisiting the Old Residents @ Bukit Brown
Saving the Old Residents at Coffee Hill
Permanent Resident #1
R.I.P – Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery

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