The Search for a Tomb!

On March 15, 2012, in Singapore, by omegaforest

Looking for 1 in 100,000
There is an estimated of 100,000 tombs in Bukit Brown cemetery.  Many of these tombs that are found along the main pathway are maintained regularly by the caretakers while others are engulfed by the vegetation.

A number of famous Chinese pioneers and perhaps our ancestors are buried here. Does the names, Lim Chong Pang, Gan Eng Seng, Chew Boon Lay, Ong Sam Leong sound familiar? The tombs of  Lee Kwan Yew’s grandfather and the descendent of Confucius can be found here too.

Today was a special day as I am here to locate Chris’s ancestors grave in Bukit Brown. It was a decade since his last visit. As described by Chris, he recalled the tomb to be near the Sikh Guards (painted) and beside a palm tree. These were pretty useful leads as it helps us narrow down to a specific sector with the cemetery.

As usual, Bukit Brown appeared so tranquil in the morning. Met C&C at the roundabout and we cycled toward the tomb. Down the path, I stopped to gave way to 2 gorgeous horses. Well, it may be hard for you to relate horses to cemetery. Apparently the pathways in Bukit Brown are popular routes for the horses and their riders from the Bukit Timah Saddle Club.

We cycled around Block 3 and reach Division A. The painted Sikhs guards were hard to miss. The tombs here are pretty well maintained. We searched for the palm tree and to our surprised, the palm trees were everywhere. We walked up the slope and started the search from a dirt path leading to the tombs.

Clue no. 3 :: English Name on the Tomb
Chris mentioned that there  were English names on the tomb. That did helped us to narrow down the search as most of the tombs were engraved with only Chinese characters. After 10 minutes, we still had no luck and the mosquito were preying on us! We moved slowly to the left and started to look for tombs beside palm trees. Five minutes later, I spotted the English surname on the tomb. I quickly called Chris to verify and he said yes. Not too bad for a mere 15 minutes of tomb hunting!

His grandparents were buried in the same tomb. The photographs on the porcelain had long faded. The surrounding were quite well maintained except for some water puddles. There were no weeds and leaves on the tomb, a sign that it is being taken care of. Chris snapped pictures so that he could show his dad. I reckon they would have shared some interesting memories.

As I looked at the surrounding tombs, I wonder how many of these were unclaimed. There were tombs that were in pretty bad state, some were even broken into piece by the forces of nature.

Nonetheless the building of the new road had aroused the interest of Singaporean and that hyped up Bukit Brown. Good to have a look at this beautiful place before it get bulldozed!

Cycling into Bukit Brown

Horses from the nearby saddle club

Combing the sector for the tomb

Found and the tomb is in very good condition

Rear view : As compared to their neighbors,  these tombs appeared much bigger in size,

Documenting the tomb

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3 Responses to “The Search for a Tomb!”

  1. c says:

    Hi I was one of the facilitators for the cycling group. Could you change in your other post All Things Bukit Brown to bukitbrown.com cheers Catherine

  2. omegaforest says:

    Done Catherine!:)

  3. Al says:

    You have really helped the Wee family so much Matt through this kind act. And to document it to makes that double special.

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