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11 Jan 2018 131 views
 
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photoblog image Bukit Brown 11: Superlatives

Bukit Brown 11: Superlatives

The grandest and also the largest tomb in Bukit Brown Cemetery, belongs to a business magnate and occupies substantial area. As explained some posts back, Feng Shui principles recommend burial on a mound or a hill, facing the sea. This tomb has it all - size, occupies the top of the hill, has the largest guardian lion statues in the cemetery, furthermore has imposing statues of 2 Sikh watchmen (not many others in the cemetery had it), in addition to finer than usual standards of Jade Girl and Golden Boy. The list does not end here - there is a fair sized tiled courtyard, surrounded by a now dry moat (but at one time filled and teeming with carp). At the base, to the left and right, many sculptures and carved panels are seen that depict various lessons on filial piety.


The resident here is Ong Sam Leong, a prominent and some would say, successful businessman, who had little education. He amassed a fortune as a contractor supplying indentured workers from China to Christmas Island (it was not then a part of Australia) for mining phosphate. The Chinese workers stopped in Singapore, before they sailed to their final destination of Christmas Island. On Christmas Island, they purchased supplies with what they could afford (from sundry stores of Ong). After-mining hours were spent in the limited entertainment avenues available (also owned by Ong). Basically, out of what he paid the workers, a portion of it went back to him. Back in Singapore, he diversified into the timber and brickworks business. His wife and two sons were also buried in this consolidated plot.

 

Point of interest: When the Government announced the list of graves identified for exhumation (and published those names and location markers), there were some descendants who only then came to realize about the final resting place of their ancestors! This particular family grave plots (despite being the largest) were all forgotten and were discovered only by someone stumbling in among the meter high vegetation. Some of the tiles seen in the foreground were apparently spoiled during restoration efforts.   

Bukit Brown 11: Superlatives

The grandest and also the largest tomb in Bukit Brown Cemetery, belongs to a business magnate and occupies substantial area. As explained some posts back, Feng Shui principles recommend burial on a mound or a hill, facing the sea. This tomb has it all - size, occupies the top of the hill, has the largest guardian lion statues in the cemetery, furthermore has imposing statues of 2 Sikh watchmen (not many others in the cemetery had it), in addition to finer than usual standards of Jade Girl and Golden Boy. The list does not end here - there is a fair sized tiled courtyard, surrounded by a now dry moat (but at one time filled and teeming with carp). At the base, to the left and right, many sculptures and carved panels are seen that depict various lessons on filial piety.


The resident here is Ong Sam Leong, a prominent and some would say, successful businessman, who had little education. He amassed a fortune as a contractor supplying indentured workers from China to Christmas Island (it was not then a part of Australia) for mining phosphate. The Chinese workers stopped in Singapore, before they sailed to their final destination of Christmas Island. On Christmas Island, they purchased supplies with what they could afford (from sundry stores of Ong). After-mining hours were spent in the limited entertainment avenues available (also owned by Ong). Basically, out of what he paid the workers, a portion of it went back to him. Back in Singapore, he diversified into the timber and brickworks business. His wife and two sons were also buried in this consolidated plot.

 

Point of interest: When the Government announced the list of graves identified for exhumation (and published those names and location markers), there were some descendants who only then came to realize about the final resting place of their ancestors! This particular family grave plots (despite being the largest) were all forgotten and were discovered only by someone stumbling in among the meter high vegetation. Some of the tiles seen in the foreground were apparently spoiled during restoration efforts.   

comments (10)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 11 Jan 2018, 00:24
A fascinating history, thank you, Ayush!
I am getting a nice education here.
Quite a story!!! And a very attractive resting place for their bones.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 11 Jan 2018, 06:31
I had never thought before of feng shui in a graveyard
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 11 Jan 2018, 08:41
The trouble with paving is that it needs a lot of weeding to avoid an unkempt look Ayush.
It's so large one waonders which part their actual bodies were interned in.
Sounds like this guy had it all wrapped up with these labourers, paying them and then clawing the cash back.
I suspect old Ong was not a very nice man
Definitely the grandest of them all, Ayush. WOW!
  • Elaine-
  • Canada
  • 12 Jan 2018, 12:24
he is well remembered by YOU right here... kind of sad to be forgotten...

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