In 2019, I will be launching a reprint of my book, Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times, with a new and improved look and feel. This second edition has been published and will be released soon! It will go on sale in 2019.
Copies of the first edition are also available at the Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum. A kind volunteer, Alan, helped me link up with the museum and take the books to Malaysia after they showed a keen interest in selling the book.
Also, I will be publishing a second book, Leader and Legislator – Seah Liang Seah, in 2019 during the Singapore Bicentennial – stay tuned for more news and exciting events! In the book talk and launch events throughout the year, I will be talking not just about Seah Eu Chin and his famous second son, Seah Liang Seah, but also about the lives of other Singapore pioneers like Sir Song Ong Siang, Tan Jiak Kim, and Dr Lim Boon Keng. I will also be sharing about the economic, social, and cultural history of the times they lived in, and the games played at Seah Liang Seah’s beautiful Bendemeer House.
With your support, writers who record and reflect on our history will thrive. Thank you for your kind support, which is always appreciated.
“Visiting the Pioneers and Notable People” on 19 August 2018
On 19 August 2018, I went with the kind people of the Singapore Teochew Group (STG) Trekking to visit Seah Eu Chin’s grave at Grave Hill. This Sunday morning visit, graciously guided by Brownie Beng Tang, started from Blk 154 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh, near the MRT station.
At Grave Hill, I talked about Seah Eu Chin and his life and times, and was happy to answer questions and comments about him and his family.
After visiting Seah Eu Chin’s grave, we also visited nearby Bukit Brown and learnt about Tan Kim Cheng, Cheang Hong Lim, Lim Nee Soon, and many other famous pioneers and notable people who contributed to Singapore. We also learnt about the differences between Teochew (e.g. gentle curved look) and Hokkien tombstones (e.g. angular look). It was an interesting learning experience for everyone.
A special and big thank you to the kind people of STG Trekking for their encouragement and support!
Hi kind reader,
You can read about past events below – they were interesting and engaging, and definitely worth a read!
(1) Book Launch at the Peranakan Museum – This event was successfully concluded on 19 August 2017. The books at the launch were sold out!
The successful book launch of Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times at the Peranakan Museum, on 19 August 2017. Apart from the insightful and engaging sharing, there were interesting conversations on history, culture, and identity. And in addition to enjoying the talk, book reading, and book signing activity, participants also got the chance to visit and tour the Peranakan Museum.
I had a Book Launch for Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times at the Peranakan Museum’s Ixora Room on 19 August 2017 at 2:30pm. Admission was free and this event was open to the public.
I talked broadly about my journey of discovery, research, and the process of writing the book. There was also a book reading and signing. There were also interactive and engaging discussions, which were very well-received.
Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times was on sale at the event, and those who already had the book brought their copies along for the signing. The books on sale at the event were totally sold out even before the event was completed. One piece of feedback I received from someone who attended many book launches that was that this was a first for her!
A special thank you to the Peranakan Museum for their kind support!
(2) Closed-door Engagement with Some Defence Executive Officers (DXOs) and Officers, 29th September 2017
I engaged around 40 DXOs and Officers who work on National Education and Total Defence at 2pm on 29 September 2017. Sharing about my book, Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times, I talked to them about the importance of history and heritage in building a strong and cohesive Singapore national identity, and how in each family and community story is the larger, national Singapore Story. I also shared some thoughts and reflections on the challenging trade-offs between economic development and heritage, and how we as Singaporeans can better remember our own local history.
A special thank you to the Conversations team for their kind support!
(3) Invitation to the 88th Anniversary of the Founding of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, 30th September 2017 at 3pm
On 30 September 2017, the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan celebrated their 88th anniversary with the launch of a historic gallery at Marina Bay Sands. (Earlier, the Huay Kuan had asked me for permission to share some of the images from my book, Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times.) In this exhibition, Seah Eu Chin was featured prominently throughout, with panels about his life and contributions in both English and Chinese. In this event, he was given his due recognition and respect as the leader of the Teochew community in Singapore’s early history, the founder and leader of the Ngee Ann Kongsi, and one of the earliest and most prominent Teochew settlers in Singapore.
In addition, I was deeply honoured to be invited to attend the Huay Kuan’s dinner at 6:30pm, where there was Singapore’s first dialect-based Miss Teochew beauty pageant. Such activities will go a long way towards promoting Teochew culture in Singapore as well as keeping clan associations engaging and therefore relevant to the young.
The successful launch of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan’s historic gallery, which featured prominent Teochew community leader Seah Eu Chin, at Marina Bay Sands, on 30 September 2017. The image on the right is of the Miss Teochew beauty pageant, which helps to keep the clan association’s activities engaging and relevant to the young in Singapore.
尊敬我们的祖先，是我们华人的优良传统 – 佘有进是新加坡19世纪初的领袖人物，也是义安公司的创办人。
It is a meaningful and significant Chinese tradition to honour our ancestors, and it is great that the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan honoured the Singapore pioneer Seah Eu Chin, one of our earliest Teochew community leaders in Singapore, and founder and leader of the Ngee Ann Kongsi.
A sincere and grateful thank you to the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan for the kind invitation, hospitality and generosity, and the honour and respect given to Seah Eu Chin.
(4) Talk on “Seah Eu Chin – His Life & Times” at Eu Chin Street
On Saturday, 7 April 2018, I finally held my book talk and engagement session at Tiong Bahru Community Centre, located at Eu Chin Street – it was significant, because the street was named after him. The talk was kindly organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) at Tiong Bahru CC’s Multi-Purpose Hall, Level 2, as part of the larger Singapore Heritage Festival, an island-wide celebration of Singapore’s heritage and culture.
More than 70 people registered for the free morning talk with URA, but several others just turned up directly at the venue which catered for 200. My three volunteers and I counted about 85 in total, with several coming in after 11am, the starting time. Many were historians and docents, including an Australian lady from the Asian Civilisations Museum and a gentleman from NHB. And according to some others, they turned up because they were interested in finding out more about our local history. A few Brownies came to the talk. There were also two Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students who asked me questions – I hope I managed to help them – and a young 17 year old student who was very interested in the history of the Teochew community in Singapore.
Engaging the audience through the use of personal stories, reflections, and anecdotes
During the talk, I shared anecdotes about Seah Eu Chin’s life, as well as the stories behind several streets in Singapore – Seng Poh Lane and Road, Liang Seah Street, Peck Seah Street, Seah Street, and Purvis Street. I also talked about my journey as an author writing about local history, and my thoughts and reflections about preserving our history; the Singapore Story; and issues of cultural identity.
The dialogue session was interesting (at times a little bit intense and passionate) and many views were exchanged – and I learnt a lot, as I was not an expert. In fact, there were many experts in the room, especially experts on land use and housing, and to a large degree I learnt from them. Some historians and experts argue about history a particular way, and others another – and I meant to tell a larger story and hopefully spark conversations.
And spark conversations I did – and the conversations even lasted beyond the end of the talk. I enjoyed sharing my views and perspectives with my audience, and I sincerely hope I raised some awareness of the importance of understanding, and writing and reflecting on, our own Singapore history.
As for the books at the launch, they were once again sold out – even though I brought about 40! Some buyers had to be referred to BooksActually and Select Books directly, and one even gave my volunteers his contact details as he wanted to buy even more. That was a very pleasant surprise and I was very happy about it!
(As at the time of writing, my book can also be bought at the full retail price at BooksActually, Select Books, and The Peranakan Museum. Thank you very much for your support.)
Overall, I think the talk came along very well and some kind participants said that it was engaging, passionate, and interesting – that really made my day. I appreciated that.
Thank you all for your generous support, one way or another!
I hope you have enjoyed browsing through the photographs and reading about how the events came along.
Thank you for visiting this website or supporting my talks, seminars, and book launches. In fact, thank you for even visiting this website.
Many people have given me kind advice and assistance along my journey, and I would like to thank them – I could not have done without the help of NHB, TPM, URA, Tiong Bahru CC, the Brownies, STG, and other agencies and individuals as well. A whole list of acknowledgments can be found on this website. And a big and personal thank you to my volunteers for the invaluable help, kind understanding, and incredible presence as well.
To contact me for questions on the book, or talks on Seah Eu Chin, or talks about Singapore’s history and heritage in general, do please use the Contact tab on this website to reach out to me and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
As I am often busy on several projects, I seek your kind patience and understanding if there are any delays in my response to you. Thank you very much!
Shawn Seah (updated 25 December 2018)
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