Monday, May 30, 2005

26. Waterloo Kuan Yin Temple, 1884, rebuilt

Yu Shan Teng, 1885, demolished

Founding dialect group - Hakka; main diety - Tua Pek Kong; status - demolished

Founded in 1885 and situated at Holland Road (Bukit Timah 10km), Yu Shan Teng was a cemetery temple set up by clansmen of three Hakka counties( Foong Shoon, Eng Teng and Dabu). The cemetery was refurbished from 1901 to 1902. It ceased to operate in 1971 after being acquired by the government. At present, the remains of the cemetery have been rehoused in the columbarium of the Fong Yun Thai Association.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

27. Giok Hong Tian, 1887, needs conservation

My dad used to come to this temple with his mother when he was a kid. He remembers the place was commonly known as Tee Kong Tua. This Tee Kong Tua is very different from the Foochow style Tee Kong Tua in Penang. Anyway, he also vividly recalls that there was a dentist on the same row of shophouses adjoining the temple whom he had visited once in a while. This particular dentist apparently was blind in one eye! There was also a rice shop nearby that my granny used to frequent.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

29. Peck San Theng, 1891, rebuilt

Founding dialect group - Cantonese ( Guangfu, Huifu, Zhaofu); Main deity - Kuan in; status - rebuilt

My maternal grandfather was cremated here and my great-grandmother's ashes are housed in the columbarium. It was in my university days that I first saw the old temple, amidst the burning incense papers & smoke. The second time I visited this place, hoping to see more of 'Cantonese' architecture, it had already been rebuilt. The last time I visited it, it has become a spanking new temple. It was during this last visit that I witnessed my first encounter of a marriage ceremony for the departed. Two paper effigies were made to bow to each other and the heavens like in any traditional Chinese marriages. The paraphernalia that came with the wedding ceremony was grand - there were cars, dvd players, clothes TVs, etc I am sure the couple will be quite happy below, or up there, wherever lah. Just wondering if they burnt any marriage contract, just in case.
The initial setting up of the temple could really be made into a Hong Kong movie. Story goes that much trouble were made by the local thugs when the Kwong Wai Siu Clan decided to build a burial ground and temple here. Volunteer vigilante 'guardians' protected the vicinity from these malevolent forces.A grand memorial in the compounds was erected to commemorate these '7 heroic gentlemen'. Gradually, a primary school, a market, a tea house, a factory and even a factory sprung around the temple compounds. This was how Kampong San Teng came about. Bishan was named after Bek San, the Mandarin version that is. For more info, go to