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The tree that fell has been removed by NEA

Just received update on Facebook post from Victor Lim, that the tree which fell on Chia Hood Theam’s grave was removed yesterday by NEA. Here’s Victor’s photo showing the tree trunk and branches all cut up into smaller sections and moved to the side of the road at Bt Brown.12310556_10205050104363606_8003540033522367821_n


Some of the Chia family members have moved to Jln Senyum

Chia Hood Theam’s father (Chia Leong Chuan, refer to details at died in 1889 and was buried in what is now known as Bishan Park. That area was probably part of Bt Brown in the old days but all the graves have been exhumed a long time ago.

Chia Leong Chuan’s remains are now at the Chinese temple in Jln Senyum, at Blk 30 (D13) niche #1812.

After the highway cutting through Bt Brown (work in progress) is completed, what’s next?

It is anticipated that the rest of Bt Brown graves will be exhumed in 10 to 20 years time to make way for housing development.

The bookings for additional niches at Jln Senyum temple have already been made, so that the ashes of the remains of Chia Hood Theam, Yeo Lan Neo, Chia Keng Tye and Lim Tuan Neo can be moved there any time soon. The remains will be located at Blk 22B niches #27, 28, 25, 26 respectively.

In addition, some of the other Chia and related family members (spouses) already at the Jln Senyum temple are :-

Elsie Chia Sek Neo – Blk 26 B, niche #11

Irene and Bok Chia Chin Siang – Blk 36 B, niches #12 and #13 respectively

Teddy Ong (husband of Daisy Chia) – Blk 36 A, niche #14

Maggie Chia Sian Neo – Blk 26 B, niche #10

Lee Cheng Yan – Blk 30, niche #1814

Wee Guat Neo – Blk 30, niche #1815

Lee Choon Guan – Blk 30, niche #1816






A Tree fell onto Chia Hood Theam’s grave!

I have not visited Bt Brown for some time. They have changed the access to the site, as well as relocated the old gate, and there are lots of these maps all over the place, so that one would not get lost easily.

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When I found out from Noreen yesterday, that a tree had fallen onto CHT’s grave, I decided to pay a visit. This is what I first saw when I was there this afternoon. A tree trunk had fallen in front of the grave.


The tree had fallen from the left and a small branch was touching part of the gravestone. So I pushed the small branch away to one side.


Here is what it looked like after this was done.


When viewed from the road, this is what it looks like now, until NEA removes the fallen tree later.


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Visit to grave of Chia Hood Theam with Brownies and Noreen

Noreen and I were invited today for a special tour of Bt Brown which included a presentation by Noreen at Chia Hood Theam’s grave site. She gave an excellent talk about the Chia family and passed around for viewing, old family photos to the group that was present (about 40 showed up).

This is an updated photo of CHT’s grave that I took earlier, before the meeting started this morning. Noticed that the grave of CHT’s brother Chia Hood Sang can be seen in the background, peeking out just behind CHT’s gravestone.

CHT's gravestone

CHT’s gravestone

Exhumations on 21st Feb 2014

On Friday the 21st of February, three graves of Chia family members were exhumed at Bt Brown. The first grave was of Mdm Tan (Chen Jian Rou) who died in 1863. She was the great-grand mother of paternal great-grand father Chia Hood Theam.

The grave digger started to unearth the tomb

The grave digger started to unearth the tomb


After about an hour of digging, the remains which were contained in an earthern jar which was buried only 3 ft deep, were transferred into the red container at the left of this photo


The remains were then washed in wine before being transferred to a plastic box for transporting to the crematorium

The next grave to be exhumed belonged to E Tean Choon who died in April of 1938 and whose tomb was located at Blk4, Div C. He was the husband of Chia Buay Neo, daughter of my paternal grand-uncle Chia Keng Chin.

When the wooden coffin was unearthed, only a few very small bone fragments, an intact molar, a gold tooth and some metal fittings from the coffin were found.

E Tean Choon’s photo taken from his grave stone

The grave digger starting to unearth the tomb

The grave digger starting to unearth the tomb of E Tean Choon

Finally the graves of my grand father’s sister, Chia Siew Lay and her husband Ong Siow Sian were unearthed. This grave was located not far from where my paternal grand father Chia Keng Tye is still buried at Blk 5. Chia Siew Lay died in March 1941, and her husband died in 1964.


Only Mr Ong’s photo was still visible on the grave stone, while Mdm Chia’s photo was completely faded.

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I was witness to these 3 exhumations, and subsequent collection of the ashes on the same day at the crematorium, and later installation of the urns at the Choa Chu Kang columbarium.

Chia Hood Teck

Chia Hood Teck was the brother of my paternal great-grand father Chia Hood Theam. The grave of Hood Teck was recently discovered by Raymond Goh and Khoo Ee Hoon on the way to the temple at Lao Sua.

grave of Chia Hood Teck 21 Jul 1872 - 3 Nov 1918

grave of Chia Hood Teck
21 Jul 1872 – 3 Nov 1918

Detail of grave stone inscription

Detail of grave stone inscription

Mdm Tan (d.1863) buried at Bt Brown

Six generations of Chia family ancestors buried at Bt Brown! This was my gr-gr-gr-gr-grand mother, since she was the gr-grand mother of my paternal gr-grand father Chia Hood Theam, who is still buried at Bt Brown, but for how long more?

photo taken by Beng Tang

photo taken by Beng Tang

A lonely tomb, soon to be exhumed. A forgotten ancestor, newly discovered but only for a fleeting moment as it is marked to be bull-dozed to make way for a road.

GPS location of this grave is 1.337630N, 103.823921E.

From the burial register, the full name of Mdm Tan is  陳 檢 柔 or in pinyin “chen jian rou”.

When converted to Hokien pronunciaton, this name could be either

Tan Giam Loh or Tan Giam Lek.