Sunday, September 14, 2008
Chew Joo Chiat
I traced my family history from the following sources:
1. Family members
2. Family documents
Batu Pahat Bank Pte Ltd noticeof meeting
I found 2 personal documents of Chew Joo Chiat. One was his personal cheque book and the other Batu Pahat Bank Pte Ltd notice of meeting to the shareholders dated 27 March 1925. The documents showed that he was one of the banks' Board of Directors. Therefore, he was a banker and a major shareholder of the bank. His cheque book was with a French bank.
From the grave of the deceased, his tombstone would show the names of his children and grand-children as in the case of Chew Joo Chiat. The tombstone also indicated the date of death as well as the place his home place in China.
4. Books, Publications and Webpages
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
In May 2008, I was invited by the National Library Board to give a talk on 'how I traced my family history'. It was organised to coincide with the launch of the National Library's Singapore Information Research (SIR)- Local History Service. It was scheduled to be held on 30th August 2008 at the National Library. I accepted the invitation without much thought. Then, I realised that it was a mistake. First, I never give a public talk before and therefore, had no experience. Second, I had not enough materials to go on. Third, I need slides to make my presentations. My family members got excited. They were afraid that I'd stammer and tongue tied. I was very calm and started preparing my talk from the middle of July 2008.
For additional materials for the talk, I went to the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library for my research. It has a collection of Singapore newspapers dating from early 1800s and available on microfilm. I spent many days collecting facts and informations about my great-grandfather, Chew Joo Chiat. With the data collected I was able to put my presentation with 22 slides.
In early August 2008, I got a second invitation from the National Library. It was a life talk show with the Media Corp DJ on radio 93.8 FM. The topic was 'Joo Chiat' and was to go 'life' on the morning of 28th August 2008. I gave an affirmative answer and went on the air at the scheduled date and time. Many friends and relatives heard my conversation with the Media Corp DJ over radio 93.8 FM. They congratulated me for talking so clearly and calmly. The success over the radio morning talk show was an encouragement. I also treat it as a trial run for my talk at the National Library two days later.