Grange Road No. 25

Get Page Link

This link has copied to your clipboard:

{8C79C579-CF68-44D0-941D-C906D81ABDF1} -1 3
Profile Picture

This is a community-sharing platform for users to share stories, historical information and images
These could take the form of anecdotes, comments and/or photographs, which add human interest and help to spread wider interest and familiarity with our built heritage.

Wellington House: 25 Grange Road

profile photo

20 Oct 2013

12 02 AM

Many years ago, my mum had shared with me, her memories of this house in Grange Road which she called "Wellington House". Her grandfather, Chee Swee Cheng had commissioned it and the family were to move from their home in Devonshire Road to 25 Grange Road. I have just two stories to share because the family never got to live in this villa.

The first story is in its name: Wellington House

Her brother Bay Hoon and mum, Lak Neo would often accompany their grandfather to the site while it was under construction. One day he had pointed out the shape of the house to them and told them that it resembled the largest sea creature in the ocean, the whale, and when it opened its mouth, it would swallow any evil spirit from the graveyards below..( I assume he was referring to the old Teochew cemetery where Ngee Ann City is now situated).
When told that the villa was named after their father Chee Guan Chiang, she said it couldn't be! Her grandfather had named it ' Wellington House' and had explained that the name 'Wellington' begins with 'Well' which meant 'good' and sounded like the word 'wealth'. It was only very recently that I discovered the monogram 'WH' can be found all along the balustrades on the outside veranda of the house as well as on the grand staircase inside the house.

The second story is an unusual one:
The Spirit of Kong Cho (great grandfather) visits Wellington House

The Chee residence was in nearby Devonshire Road. It was 1938 and Wellington House, 25 Grange Road, was near completion. Invitations to a grand Open House to be held in the 8th month of the Lunar calendar, were ready. Mum said that even the fine table linen for the banquet had been delivered. An auspicious date had been selected. It happened one evening in the 7th month of the Lunar calendar. Mum was 19 years old and it was her duty after dinner, to sit beside her grandfather who would be resting in his 'balai balai' ( the rattan recliner, also called the planter's chair) to fan him. That evening, while she fanned him, mum noticed that he had passed out. He had had a stroke. Her father, Chee Guan Chiang called for the family doctor and family estate manager, who lived nearby in Killiney Road.
There was a security guard, a 'Sikh Jaga' employed to keep watch over Wellington House. He would have lived on the premises of 25 Grange Road. It was while the family waited for the doctor and estate manager to arrive that the jaga appeared at the gates of their residence in Devonshire Road, quite agitated. He had come to tell my grandfather, Chee Guan Chiang that the Tuan Besar ( referring to Chee Swee Cheng ), had come to see the new house, had felt ill and asked to lie down. The jaga said he had left Tuan Besar there in Wellington House and had come to get help. When told that my great grandfather was lying right there in Devonshire Road having had a stroke, the jaga became hysterical and fainted. When he recovered, he went on to describe that Tuan Besar had arrived at Wellington House earlier and had instructed him to turn on all the lights in the villa as he had wanted to be sure that everything was in good order. The jaga said he had done as he was told but that later, Tuan Besar did not feel well and asked to lie down. So the jaga had come running to Devonshire Road to inform the family.
So, my Kong Cho passed on, aged 70 years. The family was in mourning for 3 years. Tradition forbade any celebration during this period. War broke out in 1941 and the family lived out the war years in Malacca. According to mum, my great grandmother (Mrs Chee Swee Cheng) then declared that she would never move in to Wellington House.

I recall a conversation with my mother in 2004, after I had gone exploring the grounds of the villa and showed her pictures I had taken there. She asked if the 'beautiful stained glass' she remembered, was still there. I had said that I hadn't seen it because I had only explored the grounds of the villa and was not able to get in. It was only last year in 2012 that I was shown photos of the beautiful stained glass, 2 storeys high, taken from inside the villa. I wish that I had known it was still there. She would have been so happy to know that it survived the war.

When shown pictures of the villa, mum was even able to point out where her sister's and her bedrooms were to be. A year later in 2005 , mum and her brother, Bay Hoon passed away within 100 days of each other. Mum was 86 years old.

Yvonne Lee-Khoo (daughter of Chee lak Neo)

Read More


Terms and Conditions

1          This “Share” service portal (“Portal”) is a service is offered by URA as part of the My Conservation Portal Website (“Website”). In entering, viewing and using this Portal, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Website and the terms and conditions herein.

2          When you share, post or upload any photographs, video, graphics, images, information or comment text or any other material  (“user content”) in this Portal, you agree and do so on the strict legal understanding that the user content is shared, posted or uploaded  in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore and subject the terms of the Website and the terms and conditions herein:

a          you have the legal ownership to the said user content and the legal right and authority to share, post or upload the said user content in this Portal.

b          you  shall complete all required fields of information details requested at the webpage(s) of this Portal accurately and truthfully to the best of your knowledge.

c          you agree and accept that other users of the Portal may print, download or use any user content you shared, posted or uploaded on this Portal without your consent and you shall not hold URA responsible or liable for any use or misuse of your user content by other users of this Portal.

d          you grant to URA, a perpetual, worldwide, royalty free, non-exclusive licence to digitise, make available to third party(s) and/or members of the public via the Internet and/or other technologies for downloading and printing all user content you shared, posted or uploaded in the Portal and also grants to URA the right to reproduce and republish all user content you shared, posted or uploaded in any formats and platforms including print; electronic media; social media platforms; websites; publications; and for URA’s internal and external uses and for non-commercial purposes.

3          You agree that:

a          when using and viewing this Portal, you shall comply with the all the terms and conditions herein, the various formalities stated herein, complete the relevant forms and fill in all the information details required at the respective webpage(s).

b          the sharing, posting and uploading of your user content for any period of time on the Portal is sufficient consideration for the license granted to URA.

4          You agree not to share, post or upload on the Portal any user content or other materials whatsoever that is or could appear to be:

untrue, misleading, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive to another person's privacy or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

infringing or alleged to be infringing upon a third party's intellectual property rights, including any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party, including, without limitation, any user content that is the subject of any third party claim of infringement;

of a type that you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships;

unsolicited, undisclosed or unauthorized advertising;

software viruses or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;

data or information obtained through access that was not authorised by the owner of the data or information, or with respect to which such posting would constitute unauthorised use; or

in violation of any applicable law, regulation, or statute.

5         You agree not to do, or attempt to do, any of the following:

access or use the Portal in any way that violates or is not in full compliance with any applicable law, regulation, or statute, contracts, intellectual property rights or constitutes the commission of a tort, or for any purpose that is harmful or unintended (by URA), or other than in full compliance with these terms and conditions;

access, tamper with, or use areas of the Portal that you are not authorized to access;

alter any user content, materials, or information on or obtained from the Portal;

tamper with any user content or materials, postings, registration information, profiles or submissions of other users;

use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by URA to access the Portal or extract data or gather or use information, such as email addresses, available from the Portal or transmit any unsolicited advertising, "junk mail," "spam," or "chain letters";

frame any part of the Portal, or any link to the Portal, or otherwise make it look like you have a relationship with URA or that URA have endorsed you or your user content for any purpose except as expressly permitted herein;

impersonate or misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity;

reverse engineer any aspect of the Portal or do anything that might discover source code, or bypass or circumvent measures employed to prevent or limit access to any area, content or code of the Portal (except as otherwise expressly permitted by law);

send to or otherwise impact URA or the Portal (or anything or anyone else) with harmful, illegal, deceptive or disruptive code such as a virus, "spyware," "adware" or other code that could adversely impact the Portal, URA or any other user; or

take any action which might impose a significant burden (as determined by URA) on the Portal’s infrastructure or computer systems, or otherwise interfere with the ordinary operation of the Portal or the Website.

6          URA shall reserve all legal rights to delete and take down any user content (including comments, views, opinions, statements, written notes) that are deemed by URA to be offensive against any person, individuals, organisations, groups, associations, entities, third parties whoever or shared, posted or upload in breach of the terms and conditions herein from this Portal without any written explanations whatsoever to be provided by URA of the same.

7          URA is under no obligation to restrict or monitor the Portal’s user content in any way. You understand and acknowledge that URA does not regularly monitor the accuracy or reliability of content of the portal including any user content posted by any person or party. Notwithstanding the foregoing, URA reserves the right to modify or remove any Portal contents (including any user content) at any time. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including other users, are those of the respective author(s) and not of this Portal or URA. URA neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, advice, information, or statement made on this Portal.

Loading...Please wait...