Update of news and articles on Bukit Brown

August 2016

Straits Times News Aug 29, 2016, 5:00 am SGT
By John Lui, Film Correspondent

Two's Company With Bukit Brown Cemetery Heritage Activists

Two brothers' shared passion for decoding clues and making a connection to the past led to their work in locating and identifying graves



Teamwork: Mr Charles Goh (above left) researches historical maps and pores over old government records, while Mr Raymond Goh is fluent in written Chinese and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of clan lineage.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, LAU FOOK KONG

We find the grave eventually. It looks nondescript - a stone slab with Chinese inscriptions, a joss urn in front of it and the usual hump of earth behind. What is odd about the grave is not the what of it, it is the where.

Brothers Charles and Raymond Goh are in a clearing in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, after walking a hiking path 1km from our start point, a carpark in Chestnut Avenue. Insects buzz around our heads. The roar of Bukit Timah Expressway can be heard, faintly. Out of sight of the path, hidden behind bushes, is this solitary grave.

Older brother Raymond rubs his fingers over the text, painted in red. It says this is the resting place of Chua Moh Choon, a powerful triad society leader who died in 1879.

"The colours are too bright," he says with excitement. It indicates that the paint was laid down recently. He points out another anachronism - the pattern of grinding marks on the slab show it was made with electric tools.

The first time the Chua grave was found was in the 1980s. Except the grave was in Upper Thomson Road. A decade after that, it vanished. No one knows who took it or why.

Then, recently, explorers from the Temasek Rural Exploring Enthusiasts group, while looking for another artefact, stumbled on this jungle grave, hidden from hiking paths. They tipped off the Gohs.



And here we are, at a grave that was lost and found, then lost and found again, assuming this new site has something to do with the disappearance of the old one. There are more riddles: Who made this modern replica of a 19th-century grave? For what purpose? And why here?

Most interestingly: Is this just a marker or did someone exhume Chua's remains and rebury it here, where they would be safe from urban development?

The brothers paint a spooky picture of a clandestine grave-digging, of men dragging slabs and equipment around the jungle, perhaps under the cover of night.

This venture has a bit of everything they love - decoding clues, making a connection to the past, the joy of discovery and, perhaps most importantly, the pleasure of telling the story behind the stones. The brothers are in high spirits.

"Solving a mystery, yes - and putting what we know to good use," Charles says.

Their exploits have earned them nicknames. "Tomb whisperers" and "tomb hunters" have been bandied about for their work in grave location and identification. "Ghostbusters" or "myth busters" have been used for their paranormal investigation work.

The Gohs see history everywhere. They cannot help it. On the hike back from the jungle gravesite, they point out mossy cement pillars. They formed a cattle fence, from early 20th-century structures that gave Dairy Farm Road its name. At the Bukit Timah Guild House, where we do the interview, Charles, 49, spots a rare item in the grass: a cable marker stone from the now-defunct Telecommunication Authority of Singapore.

The senior safety manager with a construction company says: "Every stone tells a story."

The media first took notice of the brothers in the mid-2000s, after they began pinpointing the graves of leaders and towkays whose names adorn Singapore roads and buildings, and for helping families locate the resting places of ancestors.

In 2012, in an overgrown patch across from St Joseph's Institution, they found the grave of businessman Chia Ann Siang, who had Ann Siang Hill and Ann Siang Road named after him.

Neither Charles nor Raymond, 52, a pharmacist, make a penny from their heritage work.

They work as a team. Charles researches historical maps and pores over old government records and archived news clippings. He is usually the first to walk an area, looking for signs of a grave.

Raymond is fluent in written Chinese and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of clan lineage. Finding a grave is not enough. You have to know when the burial took place, who is buried there and if that person left a mark on Singapore history. That is his job.

Take, for example, how the brothers found a forgotten graveyard near the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in 2014.

Raymond's reading of temple records pointed to the existence of a cemetery in the Outram area. Charles found it drawn on colonial-era maps. Cross-referencing it to a current map, he noted an undeveloped area.

He walked the thickly overgrown patch, noticed the graves, then called Raymond to read the inscriptions. Their find was reported in The Straits Times and, this year, the Government's plans to redevelop the hospital complex include provisions to preserve the graves and heritage features such as the walls from an old asylum.

It all started in 2005, when Charles was a licensed freelance tourist guide, conducting "ghost tours" of Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetery, a site that was then known mainly to families who visited during the annual tomb-sweeping Qing Ming festival, joggers and horseback riders. It had been closed to burials since the early 1970s. His idea for holding tours there had sprung from how anything that gave him the chills also fascinated him.

Raymond participated in one tour and was hooked - not by how spooky it felt, but by how astonishingly old the tombs were.

"Some of them date back to the time of the Daoguang Emperor, who reigned from 1820 to 1850. I could not believe that tombs like that existed in Singapore," he says.

He was so intrigued, he started to do his own exploration and research of the site and also got a tourist guide licence so he could tell more people about it.

In search of a vanished past

A few years earlier, Charles had founded Asia Paranormal Investigators, a group dedicated to applying rational, scientific principles to spooky phenomena. The group is today largely a website and forum, he says. As redevelopment surges ahead in Singapore, causing old houses, kampungs and even venerated trees to disappear, calls have dwindled.

When the Government's plan to cut a highway through Bukit Brown surfaced in 2011, another chapter was added to the brothers' book of varied activities.

The pair, especially Raymond, began sharing their knowledge with the volunteer community, All Things Bukit Brown, that work to raise awareness of the cultural and historical value of the cemetery. The "brownies", as its members are known, conduct regular guided walks of the site.

Ms Catherine Lim, an editor of the All Things Bukit Brown blog, says Raymond has been doing "dogged walking" of the cemetery since 2006. "The site is big and you can walk and walk and you might miss something, so you walk again, then you see it. It's hard to see - the inscriptions are faded," she says.

Then, as both she and Raymond note, he has to keep a mental list of historical figures and names connected to people who have asked him to find long-lost ancestors. That list is cross-checked against each inscription.

Lim's blog carries heartwarming stories of descendants who had given up hope of finding a certain ancestor in Bukit Brown's thousands of graves, only to have them discovered through Raymond's sleuthing.

The president of the Singapore Heritage Society, Dr Chua Ai Lin, talks about how the Gohs "pick up things that everyone else has forgotten about Singapore history".

"They have been doing it a long time, in their spare time, at such an intense pace."

They are practical historians, combining research with fieldwork.

Dr Chua says: "Right in the centre of town, there is a jungle and there are ruins from the 1860s and 1870s. Under our noses, next to SGH. No one knew about it until they brought it to our attention."

That work led to real results when it was announced that redevelopment would preserve the historical finds, she says.

Raymond is the eldest of five children, comprising three boys and two girls. Charles is the third child. Their father, who died recently, was a taxi driver. Their mother is a retired hawker who ran a kway chap stall. Both sons remember long, foul-smelling hours spent cleaning pig intestines.

The Gohs grew up in a family that had one foot in the supernatural world. An aunt was a medium and both brothers have experienced weird happenings as children.

As a teen, Raymond trained to be a medium. In one initiation ceremony, a needle was inserted - bloodlessly - through both cheeks.

Charles, who says he has a more Western outlook than Raymond, was into horror and science fiction, and had what he thinks were out- of-body experiences when he was younger. Those experiences have taught them to keep an open mind.

In most cases that they have looked into as paranormal investigators, the supernatural can be ruled out. Charles says "99.9 per cent can be explained. It's only a tiny fraction that can't be explained".

Raymond is married to a part-time clinic assistant and has three children in their teens and 20s. His children have accompanied him on treks.

Charles is married without children. His wife is Christian and prefers not to be involved in his tomb activities, he says.

Even as Singapore's uncharted parts shrink, the brothers plan to go on searching for tombs or other marks of a vanished past. Charles says: "As we have this interest and the knack for it, we'll just keep doing it as a way of giving back to society."

Raymond says he will continue to help the brownies conduct tours when he is free. Otherwise, he will carry on trekking in Bukit Brown and its surrounding areas, which also contain graves. The site is larger than people think it is, he says.

"It is 162ha in size and has 200,000 tombs. There are still many unexplored areas," he says.

Join the team on a trek to look for a tomb thought to be lost. Go to str.sg/4cMg


Charles on Raymond: Good interpretive skills

Like Raymond, Charles says artefact-hunting is made a lot more bearable when you have someone there with you. The Goh brothers plan missions via e-mail and text messages. If they do not meet on missions, they meet a few times a year at family gatherings.

Charles will do much of the archive-related work, such as going through news clippings. While much of it is online now, he might still need to make a trip to the National Archives or the Singapore Land Authority for historical material.

He credits his older brother for being the one with the interpretive skills, in which the ability to decipher tomb inscriptions is married to a mental database of prominent Singapore families and where their estates used to be. Many landowners were buried on their land.

Many times, when they have to cut a path through the bush, Charles says he is glad for the company.

"Walking on a 8ha plot, bashing through thorny vines, it takes 10 minutes to walk a few steps. Many times, I find nothing," he says. So, being able to hear another person's voice nearby is comforting, he says. In the bush, they usually split up and shout to each other to stay in touch.

If he is alone, Charles says, he might take a screenshot of his location on Google Maps and text it to Raymond in case he needs to be rescued.


Raymond on Charles: Uncanny ability to navigate

Charles has a spatial intelligence that allows him to orient himself on a plot of land and see how maps drawn in different eras relate to one another, says Raymond.

"He's an explorer. If he has a map and compass, he can find his way. He makes it look simple," he says.

In the jungle where every tree looks the same, Charles' ability to navigate is uncanny. He is usually the first to enter an area, so he has to deal with the undergrowth. He can spot boundary markers only a few centimetres tall, fallen over or hidden under brush. "He can find a stone or a tomb in all that vegetation," his brother says.

Often, it is only after Charles has found something that he tells Raymond to come in for a look.

The heat, thorny plants and biting insects will make the less determined give up. Not Charles, who Raymond says will carry on hunting for days, sometimes weeks on end.

There is another thing that the two of them give to each other, without which their most important finds would not have happened - emotional support.

"People ask us, 'Why are you wasting your time in the jungle? You can go out and make more money for your family'", says Raymond.

"When I have someone along who is as foolish as me, it helps," he says with a laugh.


Mr Raymond Goh (far left) and Mr Charles Goh were exposed to the supernatural from a young age.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES


Mr Charles Goh (left) and Mr Raymond Goh (second from left) at the Tu Di Gong temple at Bukit Brown Cemetery in March 2010.PHOTO: ST FILE

Source:

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/tomb-hunters

中国报 2016年8月28日

華人一般忌諱在墳場走動,只有在清明祭祖時,才放下心中忌諱,但大多數人往往因忌諱而與歷史擦身而過,導致我們這一代人遺忘墳場的「歷史」,讓它一直深埋在荒野,不見天日!


墳場並不恐怖!民眾在志工導覽下,認識過往的歷史。


隨著時代轉變,歷史越埋越深,始終沉睡在墳墓裡。想要喚醒歷史,總得要有人踏出第一步,新加坡知名尋墓人吳安全(52歲)就是其中一位,扮演著喚醒歷史的先驅,喜歡挖掘舊墓背后的故事,重現歷史!
吳安全是名藥劑師,過去10年來,長年累月毫無忌諱地穿梭在他人祖先的墳場,不僅為這片土地保留歷史文獻,更為族群找回集體的歷史,因此獲得英國廣播公司(BBC)選為全球50位最具啟發性的人物之一,在榜中位列前15名。
目前,吳安全涉足的墳場是新加坡武吉布朗地區的墳場。新恆山亭是由福建會館管理,只要他有空就會走入墳場內清理,並分析老舊墓碑,拼湊出墓碑的歷史背景與死者生平。


他形容這些墳場,雖被人遺忘,卻是珍貴的歷史寶藏,是一座活生生的博物館。在他能力範圍下,不斷為新加坡找回被人遺忘的歷史。
吳安全至今尋得的古墓當中,最古老的可追溯到1826年。他說,“目前這座大武吉布朗地區的墳場,有四百多依格大,裡頭有約20萬座墳墓。在園內長眠的,不少是新加坡的開拓者和抗戰英雄。”
換句話說,古墓背后還有許多等待被挖掘和被喚醒的故事。
雖說這是吃力不討好的工作,但對吳安全而言,尋墓工作很有意義,尤其是當一段段歷史出土后,這種感動,難以用筆墨形容。
備注:根據資料,目前新加坡武吉布朗華人墳場、王氏太原堂墳場(姓王山)、新恆山亭(老山墳場和咖啡山墳場)形成一個大武吉布朗地區墳場(Greater Bukit Brown),新恆山亭是由福建會館管理。
雜草叢生,步步驚心
因為墓園是一片叢林,許多墳墓都被雜草覆蓋,難以發現。基于沒有草圖可以參考,尋墓都是走一步算一步,觀察力要強。
吳安全說,不曾夢見這些“長眠者”託夢要求為他們尋墓或安排后代來認墓,一切冥冥之中,自有安排。“但當一座墳墓被尋獲時,這可能就是一種緣分。”
在尋墓過程中,一切仿佛上天自有安排,當成功尋獲一座墳墓時,另一座有關聯的墓碑也會隨即出現。
與吳安全一起尋墓的有好幾人,但這工作一點都不簡單,有時必須深入叢林探索。吳安全試過被蜘蛛和黃蜂叮咬,也要懂得“打草驚蛇”,避開爬蟲類。但他從不退縮,反而越戰越勇。
挽救歷史,助人找祖墳
新加坡武吉布朗華人墳場,在早期本來是由市政府管理,結果在1973年封山后,缺乏維護保養,墳場變成“叢林”,野草叢生,寸步難行。清明掃墓時,后人走入這墳場都步步驚心,更有一些后人棄墓不理,任由先人墳墓荒廢。
直到新加坡政府于2011年宣佈在武吉布朗墳場進行建路工程,受影響的4000座墳墓必須遷走,引起民間組織和吳安全的關注。
國家有發展是好事,但在發展和歷史起衝突時,必定引起關注。新加坡政府作出上述宣佈后,也引起反彈,許多歷史維護者能做的就是挽救歷史,紛紛站出來抗議,不希望歷史被發展洪流給沖走。
吳安全天生愛冒險,對古靈精怪或鬼魂之說特別感興趣,多年前創辦亞洲超自然偵探協會(Asia Paranormal Investigators),經常與弟弟吳安龍穿梭于鬼屋探險,兩兄弟無畏進出墳場, 百無禁忌。
因為政府宣佈要把武吉布朗墳場的其中一個地段供作發展后,許多人開始在週末或公假時,加入義務導覽工作,盡一份力,讓公眾及年輕一代認識武吉布朗的歷史。
在導覽過程中,吳安全發現了不一樣歷史背景的墳墓,甚至讓一些后人知道,他們的祖先就葬在這裡。他也表示,陸續接到一些人的求助,希望幫忙尋回他們祖先的墓碑。吳安全也義不容辭幫忙了!
填補百年歷史斷層
新加坡武吉布朗墳場埋葬了十幾萬新加坡華人移民先驅,其中有早期的社會名人如周文禮、林忠邦和章芳林等。新加坡早年是同盟會和鬥士展開革命的基地,因此這些人在過世后,也把歷史埋入墳墓內。
吳安全與尋墓志工從2011年,不斷從這墳場內找尋許多古墓,在眾人合力下,他們于兩年前意外尋獲建國總理李光耀的外曾祖父、外祖父與外祖母的墓碑。
另外,120年前曾修建的馬六甲富商謝安祥私人墓園被叢林掩蓋多年后,也在2012年被吳安全等人尋獲。謝安祥于1832年出生在馬六甲,后來到新加坡經商。謝安祥除了是新國知名富商和大地主,在華社也有巨大影響力。謝安祥于1892年逝世,遺體葬在武吉布朗華人墳場附近的一處私人墓園,但因墓園年久失修,史料記載不詳,連后人也找不到了。
吳安全說,尋墳一切靠緣分,一些墓碑遭破壞,墓碑上的字也相當模糊,想辨識,難上加難,因此不能太心急。
他曾在閱讀一篇《童年回憶》的文章,作者在文中提到幾個已故長輩的名字,和自己五年前尋獲的一群古墓上的立碑人名字一樣,而證實了墓主身分,即清代五品官員周開先,逝世年份是同治七年(1868年),同時也找到他的第五代后人周錦蓮。
通過電子圖書館找后裔
新加坡武吉布朗墳場面積相當大,每當吳安全找到一座墳墓,就會依據墓碑上的資料,找尋其后裔。
幸運的是新加坡電子圖書館的資料完善,讓吳安全通過資料核對,聯絡上這些后裔。
吳安全說,成功聯絡后,一些人才驚覺祖先的下落,並擇日前來“認祖歸宗”。這些后知后覺的后代,多數是因為上一代沒有清楚交代祖先葬身之地,才與祖先“失去聯絡”。
這些后裔會前來膜拜,也有些把祖先安置在廟內,與其他祖先作伴。
相反的,一些后代被告知祖先的墳墓所在地后,根本沒興趣去理,任由祖先繼續被遺忘在發展洪流裡。
“世間事太複雜,可能他們也有自己的苦衷,我也不會因為他們不理會祖先的墳墓而感到不開心。”
上義山,聽墓碑說故事
當新加坡政府宣佈將開發一部分的武吉布朗墳場,許多民間組織都挺身而出,在網上推動“武吉布朗百科”(All Things Bukit Brown),主要是讓新加坡人關注文化之外,也讓新一代年輕人認識歷史。
吳安全表示,這些非政府組織,包括他本身屬于義務性質,為了保住歷史而自掏腰包,將墳墓資料記錄在案,並將之美化,打造成一個休閒公園。
目前,這座墳墓共超過1萬5000人到訪,其中包括老中少和海外人士。吳安全說,一些學校還會組隊前來,讓學生從中認識新加坡的發展歷史和偉人事跡。
目前在志工們推動下,這墳場已成為一個熱門景點,週末,志工們都會義務充當導游,依據不同的主題,如世界第二次大戰、同盟會會員墓碑等,帶訪客們前往義山探索名人古墓,聽墓碑說故事。


公眾走進墳場,仔細聆聽導覽志工分享故事。


墳場雕像陪伴長眠者,見證歷史。

Source:

http://www.chinapress.com.my/20160828/%E5%BF%83%E8%A6%8B%E8%81%9E%EF%BC%8E%E8%B6%81%E6%B6%88%E5%A4%B1%E5%89%8D-%E5%B0%8B%E6%9C%AC%E8%BF%BD%E6%BA%90/

2016年8月14日 星期日
联合早报

by 谢燕燕 chiayy@sph.com.sg


林怀玉医生(右)把林路的大型彩照和林谋盛的黑白照片捐给南安会馆,由会馆常务主席陈奕福接收。南安会馆历史走廊还介绍林谋盛的抗日事迹。(徐颖荃摄)

早期富商林路和抗日英雄林谋盛父子,在新加坡建国史上留下不少值得绘述的事迹。林谋盛的儿子林怀玉医生,最近把在澳大利亚叔叔婶婶家中找到的祖父林路大型彩照捐给新加坡南安会馆。这是继林家在2008年把徐悲鸿所画的林路油画肖像捐给新加坡美术馆后的又一次捐赠。

历史总是充满诡谲,当抗日英雄林谋盛被日军囚禁在怡保附近的华都牙惹监狱,遭严刑拷问后病逝狱中时,他几个天真无邪的年幼儿子正在他父亲林路所盖的大宅院里,与正在那里挖防空壕的日本兵玩耍。

其中一名日本兵特别喜欢林谋盛的长子林良玉,周末还带他到麦里芝蓄水池划船。谁也没想到战争在隔年结束时,年少的林良玉却和母亲颜珠娘北上霹雳州迎回父亲遗骨,在盛大庄严的葬礼后把英年早逝的父亲葬在麦里芝蓄水池畔。

这段尘封70多年的往事,最近由林谋盛长女林蕴玉(84岁)和三子林怀玉医生(79岁)向记者回忆和讲述。林谋盛是在1944年6月29日病逝狱中,但家属那时全不知情。林怀玉医生记得日军占领新加坡时,母亲带着他们一大群孩子四处避难,直到1944年才搬回林路位于实龙岗路门牌855号的大宅院。

林医生说,战事接近尾声时,住着上百人的大宅院突然来了数十名日本兵,每天在院子里挖地道,傍晚便回巴耶利峇军营。他记得当时一些年轻士兵很好玩,上级一不在便和孩子们玩成一堆,上司一回来就变得很严肃。

林怀玉儿时曾随日本兵到军营

士兵还征得他母亲同意,周末带他们出去玩。他就曾跟随日本兵到巴耶利峇军营“玩”,年仅六七岁的他,看到营内士兵都光着上身,腰间围了一条毛巾。他们的午餐是在热腾腾的白饭上掺入生鸡蛋。

日本兵在林家大院挖防空壕时,曾导致屋后厨房坍塌。好奇的孩子们总是趁日本兵收工离开后,跑进地道去探个究竟。
1931年10月在林家大院出世的林蕴玉,记得祖父林路所盖的大宅院由三栋房子组成,当中两栋很大,第三栋比较小。林路的曾外孙、本地著名房地产商张东孝1943年便是在较小的那栋屋子出世的。

对家族史颇感兴趣的张东孝说,他外公是林路所领养的第七儿子林金桔,母亲林玉冰是林金桔的第三女儿。他小时候也是在林家大院长大的。2008年把徐悲鸿所画的林路人物肖像捐给美术馆,正是他游说林家后人那样做的。

林蕴玉则记得父亲林谋盛搬离林家大院后,一家人曾住过巴西班让、加东、东海岸等地,父亲最后在后港棕树林道(Palm Grove)盖了一栋大房子。林蕴玉和林怀玉都记得后港邻居家遭日军轰炸后,父亲便匆忙带全家躲进直落亚逸街门牌4A的福安公司办公楼,并在那里与家人道别。林谋盛离开前曾嘱咐妻子不要留在后港家,也不要住进林家大院,深怕日军上门找人。

曾搬到圣约翰岛避难

姐弟俩记得母亲带着他们四处投靠亲戚,最早投靠母亲表姐一家。表姐夫是陈笃生医院的医生,当颜珠娘带着孩子来投靠他时,他觉得留在新加坡不妥,于是就带着妻小和颜珠娘一家搬到圣约翰岛。

林蕴玉记得他们住在岛上时,最大的问题是缺乏食水。他们尝试凿井但没成功,只能向附近岛屿的马来渔民买水买鱼。颜珠娘的表姐夫后来发现圣约翰岛也不安全,于是决定回返新加坡本岛。

没想到在回本岛的船上,也有几名日本人。林蕴玉说,他们当时非常害怕,担心暴露身份,幸好没被发现。这之后,颜珠娘便带着孩子投靠自己哥哥一家。1944年,林谋盛的妹妹叫他们搬进林家大院,因为在那里不愁没有食物。林家园地很大,当时还雇了人种菜,每星期还会向林宅后面的农户买一头猪宰杀。

话说回来,林谋盛当初不要妻子留在林家大院不是没有道理的。林蕴玉说,日军刚占领新加坡时,确实曾到林宅抓人,一些男性亲戚从此一去不复返。不过他们在1944年搬进那里时,也许因为林谋盛已被捕入狱,日军不再寻找颜珠娘和孩子们,即使院子里来了一大群日本兵,他们也不再感到惶恐害怕。

她记得自己一家住在中间的大屋,林路的第六夫人、十三叔、十四叔和十五叔也住那里。十五叔和十六叔是双胞胎,其中一人年幼时去世。十七叔林大琛战前到香港求学,战争爆发时跑到重庆,却在那里巧遇哥哥林谋盛。林谋盛把他送到印度继续求学。林蕴玉不记得十八叔,而十九叔也住在那里。

她还记得日军投降后,母亲把父亲骨骸运回新加坡,还在祖父位于Woskel路的饼干厂停柩一个月。福安饼干厂在日据时期便停产,原因是机器全被日本兵运走,但是福安砖窑在战后依然运作。

英殖民地政府是在1946年1月13日为林谋盛举行盛大葬礼,地点就在市政厅前。林怀玉医生至今还收藏了出殡时的不少旧照片。他所收藏的旧文物中,最难得的是林谋盛所留下的一本亲笔日记。

林怀玉医生说,父亲之所以会葬在麦里芝,或许是母亲向英殖民地政府要求的。他父母亲谈恋爱时最常去的地方便是麦里芝蓄水池。

作为长女,林蕴玉对父亲有不少温馨的回忆。她说父亲很喜欢孩子,周末会带孩子们到水仙门的Polar Cafe吃蛋糕和冰淇淋,再到书店买书。父亲喜欢诗,也喜欢音乐,还让蕴玉学钢琴,良玉学小提琴,有朋友到家里作客,就让姐弟俩演奏给客人听。林谋盛曾告诉蕴玉,战后要送她到国外学音乐。

她记得父亲也喜欢园艺,在花园里种了番茄和不少蔬菜。林怀玉医生则记得父亲喜欢摄影,母亲的几张个人照都是父亲拍摄后冲洗和彩绘的。
林谋盛兄弟迎娶一对姐妹

林谋盛和弟弟林再生娶的是一对姐妹颜珠娘和颜明娘。颜珠娘(1908-1980)是土生华人,自小就是孤儿,被一个基督教组织收养,后来成为一所女校的英文教师。
为了赚取额外收入,她当起林谋盛妹妹们的补习老师,经常出入林家,因此结识林谋盛。林路去世后,林谋盛放弃学业接掌家族生意,过后就与颜珠娘结婚。

两人生了四男四女,按长幼分别是蕴玉(长女)、良玉(长子,已逝)、玲玉(次女,夭折)、振玉(次子)、怀玉(三子)、南玉(四子)、爱玉(三女)和秀玉(四女)。振玉移居加拿大,爱玉和秀玉住在澳洲,蕴玉、怀玉和南玉在新加坡。

林蕴玉说,阿姨颜明娘(1919-2016)从小就送给人抚养,母亲知道养父母待阿姨不好后便带她回家一起生活,叔叔林再生和阿姨颜明娘就此认识,后来结为夫妇,阿姨从此成为婶婶,亲上加亲。

林再生几年前在澳洲阿德莱德去世,颜明娘今年1月23日也离开人世。林怀玉医生说,婶婶辞世前,曾希望把家中文物送回新加坡。他和张东孝原本希望把林路的牌位带回新加坡安置在林氏大宗祠。不过林再生的儿子林玉成认为,自己有责任遵循父亲遗愿,照顾祖父牌位,此事因此被搁置。

不过林医生从叔叔婶婶家取回一张镶在铜框里的林路大型彩绘照片,他决定把这张珍贵的照片捐给南安会馆,因为林路与南安会馆渊源深厚。今天隶属于南安会馆的国家古迹水廊头凤山寺,当年正是由祖籍南安市美林镇满山红村的林路主导承建的。

另一方面,南安会馆一直以林路、林谋盛这些南安先贤为荣,不仅在会馆的历史走廊介绍林谋盛的抗日事迹,会馆近几年还定期安排人义务清理位于麦里芝蓄水池的林谋盛坟墓。
林路承建不少标志性建筑
新加坡早期许多标志性建筑,包括目前已被列为国家古迹的维多利亚剧院及音乐厅(前称维多利亚纪念堂),坐落在莫罕默苏丹路的水廊头凤山寺,已成为受保留建筑的林氏大宗祠等,都是林谋盛的父亲林路承建或倡建的。
林路(1852-1929)又名林志义、林云龙、林露等。根据学者颜清皇所搜集的资料,林路曾于1897年和1900年两度捐官,1900年被清廷封为福建花翎道。祖先牌位上就标明他是“荣禄大夫”,这在清代是二品官。

举足轻重先驱人物

林路虽不及儿子林谋盛名气大,但他在我国早期历史中同样是个举足轻重的先驱人物,除了是一名成功建筑商,他也在实龙岗布莱德岭一带经营砖厂和饼干厂,并拥有那里的大片土地,可谓富甲一方。

林怀玉医生说,祖父林路一生娶了六房妻妾,总共育有19名儿子和9名女儿,前面10个儿子是领养的,父亲林谋盛是第11个儿子,也是林路第一个亲生儿子。林路1929年去世时,便由林谋盛接掌家族生意。

林路生下林谋盛时已57岁,最小的儿子林七四是在他74岁时所生,故名七四。林路75岁高龄时还生下小女儿林清霞。

林路就葬在武吉布朗,本地著名寻墓人吴安全曾记录墓碑上的各种资料。墓碑上列了15个儿子的名字,分别是金泰、金顺、金鹤、金桔、金庆、金恩、金章(林谋盛)、金森、金灯、金炎、金星、再生、大琛、菊生和七四。墓碑上只有15而不是19个儿子的名字,可能是有些儿子早逝。


林路的墓原本在武吉布朗,墓碑上列了15个儿子的名字,但他实际上有19个儿子。(吴安全摄) 

墓碑上列出的女儿名字是:却治、须治、碧霞、秋霞、碧月、少霞,文霞,锦霞和清霞。
林路的墓由他的一名儿子起坟后,骨灰安置在碧山亭,祖先牌位则由另一名儿子林再生带到澳大利亚阿德雷德,目前由林再生的小儿子林玉成收藏。

后人都说林路亲生的九个儿子和九个女儿,主要由第五和第六个妻妾所生。林谋盛的母亲方牡丹是林路的第五个妻妾,从她的墓碑看,她总共为林路生了七男六女。儿子分别是金章、金森、金星、再生、大琛、菊生和七四。女儿是碧霞、秋霞、碧月、文霞、锦霞和清霞。方牡丹在林路去世后一年与世长辞,享年44岁。



林谋盛(左五)和颜珠娘(右五)在林路去世后不久成婚,这张结婚照摄于林路所倡建的林氏大宗祠。(林怀玉提供)



喜欢诗歌、热爱阅读的林谋盛,也喜欢把自己的见闻感受写进日记里。(曾坤顺摄)
林怀玉医生(右)把林路的大型彩照和林谋盛的黑白照片捐给南安会馆,由会馆常务主席陈奕福接收。南安会馆历史走廊还介绍林谋盛的抗日事迹。(徐颖荃摄)林谋盛(左五)和颜珠娘(右五)在林路去世后不久成婚,这张结婚照摄于林路所倡建的林氏大宗祠。(林怀玉提供)


热爱摄影的林谋盛,亲自为妻子颜珠娘拍摄、冲洗和彩绘这张肖像



Source:

http://www.zaobao.com.sg/news/singapore/story20160814-653832


The Straits Times  Aug 8, 2016
by Meloday Zaccheus, Heritage and Community Correspondent

Cemetery's cast-iron gates reinstalled after 6-month conservation project


The cleaned and repaired gates were put back on their old posts at their new location - a new access road near Lorong Halwa.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FO

The historic 1920s cast-iron gates of Bukit Brown Cemetery have been carefully reinstalled after six months of conservation and refurbishment work.

The gates, perched on gateposts, now boast a shiny coat of black paint, a far cry from their previous state as badly corroded structures caked in layers of rust.


Years of exposure to the elements had resulted in paint deterioration, plant growth and corrosion.

The gates were reinstalled last week following the refurbishment project by a team from Fusion Clad Precision - a contractor hired by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

Fusion Clad Precision's conservation manager Serene Lee said the gates were carefully hoisted onto their old posts at the new location - a new access road near Lorong Halwa.

Ms Lee said other precautions taken included securing the gates with specially designed frames that came with strips of padding before installation.

"The gates were loaded and then off-loaded using an overhead crane vehicle."

The refurbishment was an initiative by a multi-agency work group that the Ministry of National Development chaired.

The group includes the NHB, the Land Transport Authority and civic organisations All Things Bukit Brown and the Singapore Heritage Society (SHS).

The heritage community is glad the gates have been reinstated.

SHS executive committee member Yeo Kang Shua said the structures were among the few historic public gates still standing.

He said: "Gates and doors demarcate and delineate boundaries both physically and conceptually. This is a symbolic entry way for Bukit Brown Cemetery, which does not have a fence or boundary wall."

All Things Bukit Brown co-founder Catherine Lim said that while the gates' fresh, new look will take some getting used to, reinstating the structure "is the first step in restoring visitors' sense of arrival".

The whole structure is made up of two cast-iron gates through which cars used to pass, two side gates for pedestrians and four free-standing square columns.

About 20 per cent of the structure has been replaced to fix damage to its structural integrity and functionality.

The NHB said the original structure was likely prefabricated in Britain and shipped to Singapore, while its square columns were cast on the spot.

Bukit Brown Cemetery opened its doors in 1922.

The NHB also uploaded the second video documentary of a three-part series about the refurbishment project on its heritage website Roots.sg on Saturday.

The board said the documentary will provide viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the steps and techniques used at each stage of the refurbishment process.

NHB's assistant chief executive of policy and community, Mr Alvin Tan, said the refurbishment project is part of NHB's ongoing efforts to safeguard and preserve the country's tangible heritage.

Some parts of Bukit Brown have been razed as the LTA constructs a major eight-lane road through the cemetery to connect the MacRitchie Viaduct to the Adam Flyover.

This project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Straits Times  News, Aug 7, 2016, 5:00 am SGT
by Melody Zaccheus



Choa Chu Kang Cemetery on April 15.PHOTO: ST FILE
Tombstones, memorials from part of Choa Chu Kang Cemetery to be preserved, relocated

Some historical memorials and tombstones from a part of Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will be documented, preserved and relocated by the authorities, before the National Environment Agency (NEA) carries out the latest grave exhumation exercise there.

The research and preservation effort follows an appeal by tomb researcher Raymond Goh, who had conducted his own survey of the site last year and highlighted its noteworthy structures to The Straits Times in April. These structures include a 46.5 sq m World War II tomb memorial housing the remains of several Chinese who died during the Japanese Occupation.

With 35,000 graves in the cemetery slated for exhumation this month under Phase 5 of the NEA's exhumation programme there, the structures were initially in danger of being lost.

But the National Heritage Board, NEA and the Ministry of National Development will now be working together to research and document selected graves and historical structures there.

When asked, they told The Sunday Times they recognised the historical significance of the WWII memorial and "will work together to retain and relocate it".

The memorial is in memory of Chinese "patriot victims" killed in 1942, in a village in Little Bamboo Lane at the 5 1/2 milestone in Bukit Timah.

Other structures that will be studied are the mass Yeo family grave flanked by statutes of four Sikh guards and Chinese warriors, and more than 70 graves from the family burial ground of Straits-born merchant Tan Jiak Kim. Tan died in 1917 and has a street in River Valley named after him.
Mr Goh said he welcomed the move to study and preserve the tombs. He said the graves are remnants in memory of Singapore's early occupants and represent different eras of burial practices.

Many graves in the affected area were moved to Choa Chu Kang as a result of redevelopment. They were re-interred from defunct graveyards between the 1940s and 1970s with the aid of old clans, including those of the Huang, Chua and Lim lineages. Some graves date back to the 1840s.
Similarly, Mr Goh believes the WWII memorial could have been part of the private and now defunct Hock Eng Seng cemetery off Sixth Avenue, which housed the graves of many Chinese war patriots. The cemetery, which was close to the site of the 1942 massacre, was relocated to Choa Chu Kang in the 1990s.

Mr Goh said he hopes the authorities will consider retaining the structures in their original locations. If they have to be moved, he suggested clustering them within the cemetery in a memorial park.
Ms Jean Yeo, 61, who used to work in sales, had unsuccessfully appealed for the on-site preservation of her family's mass grave. She was disappointed by the outcome but said she is glad that the authorities are at least recognising and studying the history of her ancestors "so that all our present and future descendants will remember and cherish them through time in memory".
Due to land scarcity, NEA introduced a burial policy in 1998 to limit the lease of graves to 15 years. Graves which are 15 years or older are exhumed in phases. The latest phase was announced in July 2014.

Other graves in the study are: the Nanyang Huang Shi Chung Hua Graves; Loke Yah Teng Cemetery pavilion and communal grave; Kui Long Tong Hall; Yoke San Teng Cemetery pavilion; and Seh Yeo Cemetery pavilion.

The study aims to capture the ownership, architectural style, notable architectural, ornamental and religious features, and the physical condition of the structures and graves there, among other things.
The report will also record the tombs' inscriptions and epithets.

Source:

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/new-life-for-cemeterys-historical-structures

联合早报 2016年8月1日
by 谢燕燕


蔡厝港华人坟场大约3万5000个迁葬墓即将起坟,多数受访会馆将出面认领无人认领的坟墓,安顿先辈的骨灰。(林泽锐摄)

蔡厝港华人坟场●将起坟

环境局发言人说,环境局两年前曾和各个会馆公会沟通过,公众登记认领截止后,会再联络各会馆公会,了解他们的意愿。如果没有后人或公会出面认领,受影响坟墓在起坟后三年,骨灰将撒入大海。

蔡厝港华人坟场的大约3万5000个迁葬墓,因土地使用年限期满即将再次起坟,至今有后人认领的迁葬墓只有1300多个,占受影响坟墓的不到4%,但绝大多数负责照顾这些迁葬墓的公会组织已表示会挺身而出,认领先人骨灰。

受这次起坟工程影响的绝大部分坟墓,是源自本地其他老坟场的迁葬墓,包括福德祠绿野亭、亚历山大双口鼎坟场、直落不兰雅协源山、中峇鲁福建九龙堂塚山,汤申路上段的琼州玉山亭、荷兰路的丰永大、实龙岗上段的潮州广义山等。

会代宗亲族人出面认领受影响迁葬墓的,包括由广客人士组成的福德祠绿野亭,海南人组成的琼州玉山亭,福建林氏的九龙堂塚山,以及丰永大公会。黄氏总会和济阳蔡氏宗祠也会替宗亲出面,处理迁葬事宜。

部分公会交政府处理

不过也有公会不打算为族亲出面,准备由政府处理一切事宜。义安公司受询时说,他们尊重由后人照顾祖先坟墓的华人传统,也相信政府会妥善处理没有后人认领的骨灰。

环境局发言人说,环境局两年前曾和各个会馆公会沟通过,公众登记认领截止后,会再联络各会馆公会,了解他们的意愿。如果没有后人或公会出面认领,受影响坟墓在起坟后三年,骨灰将撒入大海。

负责照顾福建杨氏协源山的星洲福建杨氏公会还在观望,总务杨玛赞告诉《联合早报》,公会要看后人认领的最终情况才做出决定。协源山共有1946个迁葬墓受影响。

杨玛赞说,他们下来会和环境局沟通,了解后人认领情况。他反映说,有些受影响的墓没有墓主人名字,又或者档案记录与小碑石的号码有出入,也有人在私人起坟时,发现上面小碑石的号码与地下瓮号码对不上,可能已经移位。他表示,公会还未决定是否要出面认领那些无后人认领的墓。

丰永大公会在7月26日召开会议时,董事决定要代先辈出面,认领已无后人认领的坟墓。丰永大副会长曾宪民说,这些都是开埠时期的先辈,如果没有后人认领,我们理当出面,这是基本原则,毕竟华人强调的是慎终追远。

黄氏总会不仅出面认领两个受影响公坟,还发现其中一块石碑的题字出自潘受之手。会长黄葆华说,为了让这次起坟的先人骨灰能和之前已起坟的88位先人放在一起,方便日后公祭,黄氏总会决定花250元选龛位。他们还考虑把潘受题写的石碑捐给国家文物局。

济阳蔡氏宗祠主席兼信托人蔡克网说,他们有一个葬着40多名先辈的公墓受影响,宗祠会出面办理认领手续。宗祠的前身是创立于1866年的济阳蔡氏公塚,原本位于中央医院附近的“龟仔山”,1970年代受迁坟影响,当时的宗祠负责人便把40多名无后人的先辈迁葬蔡厝港坟场,每年清明节祭奠这些先人。

绿野亭公会:认领所有开埠先驱

这次起坟工程中受影响范围最大的福德祠绿野亭公会,已决定出面认领所有无后人的迁葬墓。执行秘书李振玉说,他们很早就和环境局沟通过,并表明了立场。

李振玉说,环境局告诉他们,政府会负责起坟和火化工作,之后把无人认领的骨灰放进袋子,每10个袋子共用蔡厝港骨灰塔的一个龛位。绿野亭共有1万1400多个迁葬墓受影响,即便10人共用一个龛位,也需要千多个龛位。

2003年时担任过绿野亭一届会长的李振玉,因翻查过各种文献而对绿野亭的历史很清楚。绿野亭1840年启用,1870年便葬满,之后才有碧山亭、双龙山和三邑祠。

从年代来看,绿野亭葬的都是开埠时期人物,因年代久远,绝大部分已无后人祭拜。1958年从原址迁到蔡厝港后,绿野亭董事部的20名会馆代表,每逢清明和重阳节都会举行公祭,称春秋二祭。

绿野亭当初是由广州、惠州、肇庆、嘉应、丰顺、永定和大埔七属联合成立。今天,广州部分由七个会馆组成,加上惠州和肇庆共九个广府社群代表,第10位代表由九个会馆轮流委派。客家人方面,同样有10个代表,应和五个,丰永大五个。
李振玉说,绿野亭在1887年制定的上述管理模式,刻在一块石碑上,目前还嵌在直落亚逸海唇大伯公庙的墙上。

琼州天后宫:盼建海南灵骨塔

琼州天后宫主席符永平说,琼州玉山亭共有5828个迁葬墓受影响,天后宫会出面认领。

他强调,这些都是最早到我国开天辟地的先辈,因年代久远已无后代拜祭或认领,作为管理琼州玉山亭的负责单位,琼州天后宫有义务和责任出面安顿这些先人,因此会和环境局沟通联系,办理认领手续。

他表示,琼州天后宫其实是希望找一块地,建海南人自己的灵骨塔,他们已委托海南会馆顾问马宝山帮忙,但尚无眉目。

福建林氏九龙堂:提两项要求

福建林氏九龙堂副总务林玉品说,他们有1828个迁葬墓受影响,那些没有后人认领的,九龙堂肯定出面认领。

林玉品说,这次再迁葬,九龙堂只有两项要求,第一是希望由九龙堂认领的骨灰,在重新获分配骨灰塔龛位时能被安排在一处,让九龙堂负责人祭拜时不用跑很多地方;第二是希望能有个亭子或公祭的地方,方便祭拜时所用。

九龙堂目前在蔡厝港设有亭子。林玉品说,每年清明公祭,总会有几十人出席,他们会请人搭帐篷和预定自助餐,每个月月底也有公会代表前去拜祭。

先辈立的石碑,日后将搬到林氏大宗祠。九龙堂希望已登记认领先人遗骨的后人,能和九龙堂联络,知会他们一下。

华族殉难义士纪念碑:纪念遭日军屠杀村民

受影响的“华族殉难义士纪念碑”,碑上的资料显示它葬着1942年遭南侵日军杀害的武吉知马五条石半竹仔巷村民。

本报读者谢亚久从庄惠泉上校出版、许云樵教授主编的《新马华人抗日史料:1937-1945》中,翻出武吉知马大屠杀的更多史料。据说日军曾将躲在龙兴米粉厂防空壕的村民赶出,把妇孺赶到华中后面森林,男人则在龙兴米粉厂遭集体屠杀。

纪念碑上的文字显示,该墓碑是在1962年秋由公众建立,立碑者应该是“东海有限公司”。

寻墓者吴安全说,旧资料显示这个殉难者公墓原本设在罗弄班查的私人坟场福荣山,在武吉知马第六道与荷兰路之间,离武吉知马五条石半不远。公墓应该是在1995年前后迁到蔡厝港坟场。

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