Monday, April 01, 2013

Ong Peng Hock (Bukit Brown)

Ong Peng Hock 
Ong Peng Hock received his education in Raffles Institution just like his older brother, Ong Boon Tat. In his earlier days, he was trained by his father, Ong Sam Leong in the timber trade and was the managing director of United Sawmills. As a partner of Ong Sam Leong & Co. he made frequent trips to Penang to manage the branch there. He was better known as the managing partner of New World.

Other than being a Director of United Sawmills, Ltd, he has held many notable portfolios such as being the Vice-President of the Straits Chinese Football Association,  Merrilads Musical Association, United Chinese Musical Association and Honory Secretary of the Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club (1918)

In 1963, Ong Peng Hock was decorated with the title of Dato (Datuk) by the Sultan of Pahang.
Ong Peng Hock (left) with mother, Mrs Ong Sam Leong
and Ong Boon Tat(right)

Contributions 
Ong Peng Hock made numerous contributions and was a patriot in helping both China and the British Colonial masters. He contributed to the China Red Cross Fund, China Relief Fund, War Fund, Malaya Patriotic Fund, Halifax Relief Fund, Silver Jubilee Fund. The New World saw many charity and fund raising performances with Ong Peng Hock, Ong Boon Tat and Shaw brothers gracing or providing free usage of their venues.

Socialite 
Ong Peng Hock entertained Dr Wu Lien Teh, Director of Plague Prevention, Harbin (also known as Dr Gnoh Lean Tuck) in March 29,1922. There were many merry parties mentioned in the papers where Ong Peng Hock entertained in New World prominent guest of the chinese community such as Mrs Lee Choon Guan, Hon. Mr. Tan Cheng Lock, Dr. Lim Boon Keng, Mr. Lee Chim Tuan, Mr. Gaw Khek Khiam, Mr S.Q. Wong and Mr. Aw Boon Par making him one of the most networked person of that time.

Orchid, horse and dog lover
Ong Peng Hock was a lover of orchids, having submitted numerous unique and valuable orchids for Singapore Flower Shows competition and Agri-horticultural shows comparable to the collection of Mr John Laycock. He was also an avid horse race together with his business partners, Rumme and Run Run Shaw.

Orchids for sale
(source: NewspaperSG) 
Ong Peng Hock and his great dane (1937)


New World
Established in 1923, The New World was the pioneer amusement park in Malaya. Gate admission was 10 cents in 1932 and it boast a merry go round, ghost train, crazy house and a "talkie shows" (movie theatre with sound) among others. When its air-con cabaret was open in May 21, 1938 by the President of Municipal Commissioners, Mr W. Bartley, it was largest of it kind east of Suez and the $290,00 air-conditioned 4,400 sq ft dance floor was the talk of the town. It however did not survive the war and was bombed and destroyed by Japanese planes.

Opening of the air-conditioned cabaret
(source: NewspaperSG)

A new one was rebuilt in 1947 by Ong Peng Hock and Shaw Ltd at a cost of $350,000. Never short of ideas to entertain the locals and foreign guest, his former home in Tyrwhitt Road was converted into a modern and luxurious hotel called the Eastern Hotel at a cost of more than $70,000 in 1946. The residence that Mr and Mrs Ong Peng Hock that made their home was "Christmas Island Villa", 47 Marine Parade Road.

Christmas Island Villa
(source: NewspaperSG) 

Death 
Ong Peng Hock passed away on May 7, 1968. He is buried in the sprawling compound of his father, Mr Ong Sam Leong together with his wife and his brother Ong Boon Tat. On his simple modern tomb is the named of the person that erected the tomb, Felicity Ong, his grand daughter.

Ong Peng Hock 
Wife: Lim Yeok Quan
Madam Lim Yeok Quan is the daughter of Mr Lim Soon Liang and Madam Tan Teck Ghee Neo.
Madam Lim Yeok Quan (Mrs. Ong Peng Hock) passed away peacefully at 5:00am, Friday on December 18, 1959 at the age of 71 at her residence in "Christmas Island Villa", 47 Marine Parade Road.
Madam Lim Yeok Quan
Family
Son: Ong Tiang Seng
In an advertisement notice in 1936, Ong Peng Hock announced that he refused to take up any debt or obligation by his son, Ong Tiang Seng. What happen to cause the estrangement and what more happen to Ong Tiang Seng is a mystery to me at the moment.
Notice on his son, Ong Tiang Seng
(source: NewspaperSG)
Daughter: Ong Hong Neo
Miss Ong Hong Neo alias Besar (eldest daughter) married Mr Lim Bock Chye (brother of Lim Bock Kee, J.P. The wedding took place at "Christmas Island Villa", 47 Marine Parade Road.


References
Untitled. (1922, March 30). The Straits Times, page 8
Other local pictures. (1932, Malayan Saturday Post, page 20
Untitled. (1933, November 3). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Advertisement.(1936, June 23).The Straits Times, page 2
New World air-conditioned cabaret opened last night. (1938, May 22). The Straits Times, page 7
Director acquitted of gaming charge. (1941, February 6). The Straits Times, page 11
New Hotel Opens. (1946, December 7). The Straits Times, page 6
New cabaret to open soon. (1947, December 17). The Straits Times, page 7
Deaths. (1959, December 19). The Straits Times, page 10
3 more Datos in Spore. (1963, August 14). The Straits Times, page 6

4 comments:

Roh said...

Ong hong neo is known as the eldest daughter. Were there other daughters in the family?

Rojak Librarian said...

I wish i had more info but i don't.

sandinski said...

Hi there! I found an entry on the estranged son, wearing a pity helmet no less!, in the 1950 volume: Biogrpahies of Prominent Chinese in Singapore, published in 1950 by Nan Kok press, edited by Victor Sim. Fascinating stuff. I took a pic of the page but can't seem to post it here.

sandinski said...

Pith helmet (auto correct did me in above!)