Cheang Hong Lim (章芳琳; 1841–1893) was born in Singapore, the eldest son of Cheang Sam Teo (章三潮), a successful businessman and philanthropist. Cheang was a leading licensed opium and spirit merchant. He was also a major property owner and had developed new houses along Havelock Road.
In 1876, Cheang donated funds to convert an open space into a public garden known as Hong Lim Green (present Hong Lim Park). He funded the Cheang Hong Lim Market in 1882 as well as a Chinese temple, Geok Hong Tian (玉皇殿), at Havelock Road in 1887. He was also known to be generous with his friends who did not always pay him back when he loaned them money. When he died, it was found that he had a total of $400,000 owed to him. Cheang was made a justice of peace in 1873, and was a committee member of Po Leung Kuk (保良局) for many years. In 1891, the government recognised him as the leader of the Hokkien community. He passed away on 11 February 1893. Places such as Hong Lim Park, Cheang Hong Lim Street, Cheang Wan Seng Place, Hong Lim Market and Hong Lim Complex are all named after him.
Selected books on Cheang Hong Lim
柯木林. (主编). [Ke, M. L. (Ed.).] (1995). 《新华历史人物列传》 [Who’s who in the Chinese community of Singapore]. 新加坡: 教育出版公司, pp. 166–167.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 959.570092 WHO -[HIS].
This book contains the biographies of 1,175 Chinese personalities in Singapore, covering the period from 1819 to 1990. Each biography contains information on the birth and death dates, dialect group, occupation and affiliated organisations of the Chinese personality. Cheang Hong Lim’s biography is also included.
庄钦永. [Chng, David K. Y.] (2007). 《新甲华人史史料考释》. 新加坡 : 新加坡青年书局, p. 15.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 959.5004951 CDK.
Historian David Chng has examined the ancestral tablet （神主牌）of Cheang Hong Lim, and mentioned that Cheang’s birth year should be 1841 (道光二十一年). Chng also noted that《新华历史人物列传》had indicated a different birth year (1825).
陈荆和. [Chen, Jing He.] (n.d.) 《新加坡华文碑铭集录》. 香港 : 香港中文大学出版部.
Call no.: RSING Chinese C814.12 CCH
Compiled by Chen Jing He and Tan Yeok Seong, this book on epitaphs included one on Cheang Hong Lim which was created by the Chinese Consul General Huang Zunxian.
林天蔚. (主编). [Lin, T. W. (Ed.).] (1991). 《亚太地方文献研究论文集》 [Collected essays on local history of the Asian-Pacific region: contribution of overseas Chinese]. 香港: 香港大学, pp. 287–291.
Call no.: RCO Chinese 909.04951 COL
This book contains a collection of essays on the roles and contributions of overseas Chinese in the Asia-Pacific countries. The chapter on Cheang Hong Lim elaborated on his charitable acts, and also analysed his life through the epitaph written about him by Huang Zunxian (黄遵宪), the consul-general of Singapore.
林孝胜. [Lin, X. S.] (2010). 《新华研究：帮权、人物、口述历史》 [The study of Singapore Chinese]. 新加坡: 新加坡青年书局, pp. 169–184.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 959.57 LXS -[HIS].
This book contains a compilation of articles mostly about research into the Chinese community in Singapore. One chapter describes the life of Cheang Hong Lim, his charitable acts, and the important role he played in the Chinese society.
陈聪毅. (主编). [Chen, C. Y. (Ed.).] (2010). 《新加坡英杰》 [The Sons of Singapore]. 新加坡: 大众书局, pp. 28–38.
Call no.: JRSING Chinse 959.57 LXS -[HIS].
This book presents the stories of 11 personalities in Singapore, both past and present. Cheang Hong Lim’s life and his contributions to the country and people are also included.
Selected articles on Cheang Hong Lim
李国樑. [Li, G. L.] (2013). “芳林溯源” in 《源》 [Yuan], No. 105, 4–7.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 369.25957 Y
This article traces Cheang Hong Lim’s life as a wealthy businessman in Singapore in the 19th century, whose charitable and patriotic spirit was respected by the Chinese society and Qing government.
唐蕙韻. (主編) (2015.) 《2015 閩南文化國際學術研討會》. 金門縣文化局出版, pp. 32-39.
An English translation of the epitaph/eulogy by Huang Zunxian, then consul-general of Singapore, can be found in a paper presented by Professor Kenneth Dean in this 2015 conference on Min-nan culture.
Selected newspaper articles on Cheang Hong Lim
Death of Mr. Cheang Hong Lim. (1893, February 11). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
A short write-up on Cheang Hong Lim who passed away on 11 February 1893 from rheumatic fever.
Ramachandra. (1959, May 17). The story behind Hong Lim Green. Sunday Standard, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
This article describes the history of Hong Lim Green (present Hong Lim Park), which was named in honour of Cheang Hong Lim.
慧如. [Hui Ru] (1988, March 20). “有章芳林的富，无章芳林的厝”. 《联合早报》 [Lianhe Zaobao], p. 34. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
This article features the life of Cheang Hong Lim and his charitable acts.
吴启基. [Wu, Q. J.] (1990, December 11). 乐善好施的章芳琳. 《联合早报》 [Lianhe Zaobao], p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
This article focuses on the life and contributions of Cheang Hong Lim.
许永顺. [Xu, Y. S.] (1996, July 7). 纪念章芳林的两条街道. 《联合早报》 [Lianhe Zaobao], p. 38. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
This report highlights the two well-known streets (Cheang Hong Lim Street and Cheang Wan Seng Place) named after Cheang Hong Lim.