ROOTS
OUR FAMILY HISTORY

The Chong family roots and ancestory were clearly portrayed by the memoirs of Queeny Chang, my newly discovered grand-aunt, when she first published it in the Star paper in early 1977 and the second part in Feb 1980.  She was already 86 when I first got to meet her in Singapore in 1982 and from there obtained much information and records to help me trace my genealogy to the Sun Emperor in China dated thousands of years BC!

It was here that I first realized the aristocrats we had in our family line that my father never inherited from but never-the-less became a success in his own life.

My great-grandfather Tjong Yong-hian ('Tjong' is the equivalent of 'Chong' in Indonesia) of my father's side apparently had organized the Chao-chow and Swatow Railway Company near his home town, Mei Hsien, for which he was awarded the honorary title of Minister of Railways by the Manchu Government. He later became the Captain of the Chinese community in Medan Indonesia where the ancestral home still stands today. He was also a donor to the "Kek Lok Si" temple built on Penang Hill where a life-like sculpture of him can be found today among the other donors dressed in the Mandarin costumes of the pioneers with baggy black silk trousers and white jackets.

Above : Swatow Railway Currency
(front and back)

Photos:
On the far left : Father and his only sister Chong Phaik Suat who died young of cancer after marriage

Middle : My mother Cheah Kooi Sim with father married on 28 May 1938

Below : My Father's mother Cheah Suan Kee who raised my sister Moon Lean in Penang.

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