The Chew Museum, which houses the history of the Chews and their relatives including the Lims and Yeohs, received a visit from 82-year-old Dr Henny Yeoh Kian Hian from Singapore and his daughter, Dr Yeoh Chee Kheng from England on Thursday, March 14.
“It has been 40 years since I was back in Ipoh and my first time to this museum. It’s all very exciting. It would be nice to return here maybe next year,” Dr Yeoh Chee Kheng told Ipoh Echo.
“It’s fantastic and I get emotional whenever I come back. The museum is growing all the time and they have dug up some things about me there. I miss everything about Ipoh like its surrounding hills and Ipoh people are the best!” Dr Henny Yeoh Kian Hian, who calls St. Michael’s Institution his alma mater, enthused.
“Latest addition to the museum is further detail on Dr Henny Yeoh Kian Hian, the third generation of Yeohs. I’m doing all this to understand the family. The relatives are very excited about it and they are contributing all the time by bringing things thus the museum grows by itself,” Ignatius Chew, founder of Chew Museum said.
“The history of the Yeohs all began when patriarch Yeoh Khuan Joo from Fujian province, China came to Malaya in 1899. He started working in a textile shop and from there he learnt the trade. Then he started a shop of his own and his memory was so good he was able to remember the cost price of each and every textile in his shop in mind before quoting the sale price. He didn’t have to refer to the original accounts book. That way he built up his company and with the money he invested in different trades and built up a fortune for the family,” Chow Yoong Yue @ Chow Yung Yu (Mrs Yeoh), former headmistress of Ave Maria Primary School and wife of the late Dato’ Yeoh Kian Teik explained.
“I just really admire these forefathers who could leave home and love of family to come by themselves, alone, into a new place and start all over again. They had done so much and in a way help to bring prosperity to Malaya because of the hard work. If they had not worked so hard, the economy would not have grown,” the amiable 90-year-old Mrs Yeoh added.
Opened in 2013, the two-storey Chew Museum is located in a bungalow behind Ban Hoe Seng Auto showroom at Jalan Kampar (Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun).