Sep 5, 2013

Gan Heritage Centre Family Chapter

Gan Heritage Centre

Dating back to more that 2,500 years, the Gan Clan presently spans across 80 generations. Today there are 6 million Gans worldwide. While evolving the changing times, the singular Clan spirit unifies the Gans and keeps their heritage alive. What does the future beckon for the Gans?

Connecting Ties, Journeying TogetherWhen the sea-faring immigrants from South and East China arrived at the new territories in Southeast Asia, they had no assistance or protection from the local authorities or the colonial government. The fellow compatriots could only rely on one another. The Gan immigrants in Singapore stood united by kinship and descent. They enjoyed a closely-knit relationship governed by family rules and tradition. The Gan family spirit galvanised the immigrants who eventually formed the Lu Guo Hall Gan Clan Association.The Lu Guo Hall, Official Inauguration In 1926The Lu Guo Hall Gan Clan Association was established in 1926. One of the founders included Gan Say Hong who set up the Qian Mei Company in 1925 at a rented unit at 29A, Telok Ayer Street. The Lu Guo Hall co-existed on the same premises as the Company.
Re-registration Of Lu Guo Hall Gan Clan Association After War World II (1948)
After World War II, the Lu Guo Hall Gan Clan Association applied for re-registration in 1948. The Association resumed operations at the original location (on the second level of the Qian Mei Company) under the leadership of Gan Say Hong, Gan Hui Hoon, Yan Zhong Min, Yan Ke Ming, Yan Jin Gu, Yan Qing Si, Yan Gu Wu, etc. Every Qing Ming, they would visit Leng Kee Hill to pay respect to late Gans and dutifully swept their graves and weeded the grass-patches. Later a dispute among members over property purchase disrupted the growth of the Association. The Association failed to renew its licence and it led to a suspension of activities. In 1966, Gan Yue Cheng took charge of the situation and rallied his kinsmen to establish the Singapore Gan Clan Association.
Maintain kinship ties, fight for the rights and benefits for members THE TURNING POINT  When Singapore separated from Malaya in 1965, Gan Yue Cheng saw the urgency in establishing a Gan Association. He gathered a total of 11 like-minded Gans to form a fund-raising committee. The pivotal fund-raising meeting took place at Yuan Cong Mei Teahouse, on the 2nd level of 142, Jeeling Street, Gan Teng Chek officially registered the Association with the authorities. In 1966, the Clan was officially established.
Anticipating the future growth of the Clan, Gan Yue Cheng made the far-sighted move of persuading his committee members to purchase a permanent location. The Association eventually settled on a shophouse at 18 and 20 Bukit Pasoh for a sum of $135,000 that was donated by the committee members.
There is an interesting story behind the Chun Zi Hall, one of the halls located at the premises of the Association. On 18 November in 1967, Gan Yue Cheng and three other committee members paid a friendly visit to the Philippines Gan Clan, where they received a rousing welcome and a generous donation of $33,000 from Gan Kee Tang, a Gan from the Philippines. As a token of appreciation, the Singapore Gans dedicated one of the halls to the donor's mother, her maiden name was Chun Zi.                                                                           
The Yee Hoon Hall, which is located on the premises, was named after the father of Gan Yue Cheng who made a donation of $33,000. The two donation, coupled with contributions from other members, helped secure a permanent home for the Association.
Our Donors for Purchase of Gan Clan Building
Gan Yue Cheng, Gan Kee Tang,Gan Boon Hean,Gan Cheng Hoon,Gan Cheng Kway,Gan Say Hong,Gan Sing,Gan Keng Ku,Yan Hui Yun,Mrs Yan Hui Yun,Gan Hui Hong,Gan Kee Cheow,Gan Hui Chong,Gan Kee Cheng,Gan Tin Leong,Ngan Kiang Hew,Gan Ee Chiang,Gan Beng,Gan Boon Siong,Gan Cheong Or,Gan Kiong Pang,Gan Chin Teong,Gan Kok Leong,Mother of Gan Kok Hua,Gan Hua Beng, Gan Eng Huat,Gan Hoon Kian,Gan Teng Chek, Gan Kok Eng, Gan Koon Tek,Gan Kee Teng,Gan Chin Cheng
Gan Yue Zheng (1922- 1988) Gan Yue Cheng, Founder Of The Gan Clan Association
Gan Yue Cheng; alias Yan Zhang Bi (1922-1988)A native of Yongchun in Fujian province, China, Gan Yue Cheng was the founder of Gan Clan Association. He was born in Kuala Lumpur in March 1922 and was an entrepreneur based in Singapore and Malaysia. He was educated in English and Chinese. After completing his secondary education, he worked at his father’s company, Hong Bee Textiles Company Limited. At the same time, he also started his own business ventures. Gan Yue Cheng held the post of Managing Director in numerous companies in Singapore and Malaysia. He was active in the Chinese community and took on important roles in various Chinese community groups. In 1966, he founded the Gan Clan Association and was its President for 14 years. He also donated money to the building projects of Gan Clan Association in Singapore and the region as well as Taiwan and China. In October 1986, he led The Gan Clan Association on an expedition to the Yan Temple in China to pay respects to the revered ancestor Yanzi and to re-establish ties with other Gans. Gan also contributed financially to the construction of bridges and school facilities in his home town, Yongchun. His public service contributions to Singapore earned him the prestigious Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) (BBM). Gan Yue Cheng passed on in 1988 at the age of 66.
Gan Clan Building, Bukit Pasoh, 1935
Chan Tong Yew was an early pioneer of Modernist architecture in Singapore. He started out as a draughtsman around the end of the First World War, which was how most Singapore architects acquired their training in those days. Back then, there was no school of architecture to attend locally, and overseas study was beyond the reach of most aspiring architects. He was briefly in practice on his own in 1920, before joining the engineering firm of Lim & Seah who also practised as architects. Lim & Seah were themselves pioneer Modernists and this is probably where Chan Tong Yew picked up his Modernist influences. The Gan Clan Association at Bukit Pasoh from 1935 is one of Chan Tong Yew’s elegant modernised classical buildings with Art Deco flourishes in the form of fasces, a stylised bundle of wooden sticks which symbolises strength through unity. The building was commissioned by Mr Choo Lye Huat in 1935. Choo was a prominent businessman and Patron of the Beng Choon Kok Association, a benevolent society that catered for the needs of clerks in Singapore’s mercantile community. Originally the building had open verandahs on the second and third floors, but these were subsequently glazed in.Contents and Photos: Courtesy of Dr Julian Davison
Gan Clan Association Memorial Services
The Gan Clan Association launched its official Memorial Services on 5 April 1992. The words of remembrance on the memorial monument were penned by local calligrapher Master Song Nian. Members may inscribe the demise dates of their predecessors on the monument. The memorial services are normally conducted in the first week of Qing Ming Festival and flowers are presented as a mark of respect and filial piety. The ceremony has no religious connotation.
Establishing The Remembrance Ceremony
To enable members from different religions to participate in the memorial services, Gan Clan members have been paying respect with flowers. During Qing Ming Festival, the presentation of flowers and revisiting of the biography of early ancestor Yanzi are conducted. The ceremony brings us back to the importance of adhering to a proper code of conduct as we pay respect to our ancestors.
Formation of other Gan Clan Associations
Besides Singapore, Gan Clan Associations also sprouted up in different parts of Asia, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia. There are Gan Clan Associations in Penang, Malacca, Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Perlis. The Federation of Malaysia Gan Clan Associations was formed in 1999 to strengthen the bond amongst the associations in the various states, promote trade, exchange ideas and serve as liaison for the different state associations.The earliest Gan clan association established in Malaysia was the Yan Shi Lu Guo Tang. It was started by Gan Ngoh Bee in Penang in 1884. This was followed by other Gan clan associations set up in various states of Malaysia; such as in Malacca (1967), Selangor (1968), Johor (1970), Pahang (1972), Negri Sembilan (1999) and Kuala Lumpur (2001). Gan clan associations were also established in Penang, Kedah and Perlis. To foster closer ties and to encourage collaboration, networking and business opportunities, the Gan clan associations in these states were united to form the Federation of Malaysia Gan Clan Associations. The Federation of Malaysia Gan Clan Associations also plays a significant role in the political, economic, cultural and educational arena of Malaysia.  There are two Gan Clan Associations in the Philippines. One is the Philippines Banknotes Pit Yan Association formed by the Gans originating from Fujian Jinjiang Note Pit, now known as  Shishi City. It was named as Pui Ying School Council when it was formed in the 21st century and later renamed as Pui Ying Alumni and subsequently known as Chao Hang Yan Association in 1962.   The other association, the Tiu Gan Family Association formed by of descendants of Fujian An Hai. It was during the Yuan Dynasty that 张培谅 was adopted and took on the surname of Gan. This was how it became known as Tiu Gan Family Association.The Gan Clan Association in Taiwan was formed in Taipei in 1972. It was in 1974 that the World Gan Clan General Association in Taiwan was formed while the Gan Clan in Kinmen was formed in 1958.It was in 1962 that the Yan Lian Clan was formed in Hong Kong. It was renamed as 颜氏宗亲总会formed by those with the surname Gan, Lien and Hia.In the south of Vietnam, there are associations for the surnames Gan, Lien and Hia formed by their ancestors in Guangdong Chaozhou and Hainan. They even jointly constructed a Lu State National Memorial Hall (Luguo Tang) bearing these three surnames. This association was approved by the Vietnamese government as an association.   
As early as 1986, The Gan Clan Association was the first overseas Chinese group to visit their hometown and pay homage to their ancestor since the founding of the People's Republic of China. The Gans erected a commemorative monument for Yanzi. The whole process was featured in a Japanese movie Yellow Sea.     The Inaugural World Gan Clan Conference 1991 Stronger overseas relations were forged in 1991, when the association hosted the first World Gan Clan conference. The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, United States, Canada and Malaysia. During the conference, the Association organised academic forums and talks, set up the cyber centre of the World Gan Clan. The Association also established the World Gan Clan Cultural and Educational Fund and raised S$200,000 for it.   Yanzi Research Institute, China Qufu On 29 September 1990, the China Qufu Yanzi Research Institute was launched at the Temple of Yan, coinciding with the second Confucius Culture Festival in Shandong. The opening of the Research Institute was the initiative of 25 members of the public, who were dedicated to the pursuit of Yanzi's works and philosophy.   Yanzi Research Institute, Singapore In 1996, a local version of the Yanzi Research Institute was set up in The Gan Clan Association. The Centre is chaired by Gan Cheong Or, with Gan Eng Guan assisting in secretarial duties. The Centre generates great awareness of the Chinese culture through forums and seminars that revolve round Yanzi. The events are helmed by top representatives of The Gan Clan Association.    
World Gan Clan Conference 
For the past 20 years, the World Gan Clan Conference has been held in various countries and plays an important role in strengthening the ties amongst various Gan Clans.For the past 20 years, Gan Clans worldwide have worked hand-in-hand across boundaries to preserve the legacy of the Gans.                                                                             
1991 (APRIL 3) The 1st World Gan Clan Conference  
The lst World Gan Clan Conference was held in Singapore and the World Cultural and Education Fund was set up.
1993 (OCTOBER 24) The 2nd World Gan Clan Conference 
The 2nd World Gan Conference was held in Malaysia. The World Gan Clan Association Secretariat was formed.
1996 (MAY 11) The 3rd World Gan Clan Conference
The 3rd World Gan Conference was held in Singapore and accomplished the objective of selecting by consensus the organisers for the next two conferences.
1997 (MAY 17) The 4th World Gan Clan Conference
The 4th World Gan Clan Conference was held in the Philippines with establishment of the World Gan Clan General Association and regular publication of the World Gan Clansman as a form of update.
1998 (OCTOBER 5) The 5th World Gan Clan Conference
The 5th World Gan Clan Conference was held at Yungchun County, popularly known as the fraternal association of the World Gan Clan Conference.
2000 (MAY 22) The 6th World Gan Clan Conference
The 6th World Gan Clan Conference was held in Malaysia with draft of the Constitution of the Federation of the World Gan Clan Associations.
2002 (JUNE 10) The 7th World Gan Clan Conference
The7th World Gan Clan Conference was held in Qufu and approved the issue of Alley Chi to publicise the merits and teachings of Yanzi.
2006 (DECEMBER 6) The 9th World Gan Clan Conference
The 8th World Gan Clan Conference was held at Linyi City, China with focus group discussion on Yanzi culture conducted to enhance the attractiveness of this culture.
2008 (SEPTEMBER 17) The 10th World Gan Clan Conference
The 10th World Gan Clan Conference was held at Nanking, China when the China Yanzi Award Bursary Fund was set up as Yanzi Scholarship.  
2010 (OCTOBER 9) The 11th World Gan Clan Conference
The 11th World Gan Clan Conference was held at Chengdu, China. Presentation of special awards and Honorary Certificates were awarded to organisations and chairpersons who had contributed towards the Gan Clan Conference.                                                                                                                                                           
2012 (DECEMBER 9) The 12th  World Gan Clan Conference
The 12th World Gan Clan Conference was held at Guilin, China at the same time when the Kwangsi Yanzi Culture Research Forum and inaugural World Gan Clan Business and Economics Forum was held. 
Council Correspondence Book
A compilation of Council members’ local and regional contacts (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong).
Congratulatory Voucher
Congratulatory Voucher
Photo Album on New Resting Place for Mrs Gan Eng Seng
Descendants of Madam Ho Chwee Neo turned up to celebrate and hour her life at the Garden of Remembrance in Choa Chu Kang on 9 Mar 2013. Her grave was one of 3,746 that had to be exhumed from Bukit Brown cemetery to make way for a new road to ease peak-hour congestion on Lornie Road to Pan-Island Expressway.
Yan Zhenqing
Born in 1960, Wei Wu, Bozhou City in Anhui Province, descendant of Yanzi the Sage, descendant of the 34th generation of Tang Dynasty calligrapher Yan Zhenqing. Council Member of the Chinese Calligraphers Association, President of the Chinese Yan Ti Calligraphy Academy, Professor of Tsinghua University, Fine Arts Academy & Calligraphy Research, Beijing University’s  first Calligraphy Art graduate, Researcher of the Military Logistic Institute of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Senior Colonel.
The Legacy of Benevolence
Jin Sheng Yu Zhen Written by Yan Zhenqing
A classical Chinese music performance commences with an instrument, jizhong (击钟) and ends with another known as ji pan (击磐). Such a performance is pure, sublime and harmonious.The calligraphy text borrows the analogy of the sounds of the jizhong(击钟) and ji pan (击磐) to symbolise Confucius’ contributions to Chinese culture. This deserving tribute to Confucious is encapsulated in a boulder standing at the entrance of the Confucius temple in Qufu, Shandong Province.
1966-1974 Newspaper Cutting
The news coverage comprised association news, notifications, members’ news, congratulatory advertisements and condolence advertisements. Some of the highlights include the obtained approval for the registration of a Society, Council installation, announcement on scholarship and bursary award, National Day celebration and visits to other Gan Clans.Fun Facts:The importance of unity in shaping a lively association.
The papers prepared by Professor Yen Ching Hwang in 1991 offered the historical perspective on the development and future of Gan Clans in Singapore and Malaysia
Constitution1972 version and 1987 revised version
The Constitution of Gan Clan Association spells out a set of fundamental principles or established precedents which governs Gan Clan. These include the organisational structure, office bearers, meetings, election, financial management and prohibitions.
Reproduction Copy of The Indenture
Gan Clan Singapore was conferred the coveted accolade of 2013 Clan of the Year Award (Excellent category) by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA). The other distinguished winners were Kong Chow Wui Koon, Singapore Leong Khay Huay Kuan, Singapore Lam Ann Association and Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan.The judges commended the Association for its successful transformation, praising its move in appointing professionals and researchers to establish Gan Heritage Centre. The Centre has made an immense educational contribution to society. With its bi-lingual environment‚ the Centre provides a rich cultural context to the contributions of the Gans to Singapore’s society and economy. It also highlights the Gans’ vision for its future. The judges also lauded the Association’s landmark move to transfer its asset management to a public trust.  “CONTINUITY OF HERITAGE” TROPHY The trophy, which is designed by renowned contemporary glass studio Liuligongfang, was named “Continuity of Heritage”.It stands tall and majestic, proudly bearing the engraving of the winner’s achievement on its façade. The words are presented in an elegant typeface aptly chosen to reflect the prestige of the accolade.The perfect positioning of the logo and the glass pearl lends an exquisite touch to the distinguished design. Created from a blend of glass and wax, it is an ingenious work of art to marvel at.Inspired by the enriching message of the Chinese micro film “Door To Hope”, the design speaks of the optimistic and forward-looking philosophy of honouring the past while embracing the future. This visionary outlook on life opens up perspectives and creates possibilities. Sitting on a solid foundation, the trophy exudes a sense of stability and stateliness, establishing itself as a symbol of might. The pristine transparency of the glass material conveys the spirit to excel. The merit of its design lies in its very simplicity, which blends the styles of timeless sophistication and vintage glamour to channel a unique aesthetic.
Gan Clan Singapore
Credits: Story


Centre Director and Curator 馆长兼策展人
Gan Ee Bee 颜旖鋂

Researcher 研究员
Chin Vei Nyuk 陈伟玉博士

Copywriter 撰写员
Chew Mei Lin 赵美莲
Lim Huat Kiaw 林月娇
Ng Sin Yue 吴倩如

Designer 设计师
Genevieve Chia 谢美玉
Tang Kongdan 汤孔丹


Academic Advisory Board 教育顾问
Prof Yen Ching-Hwang 颜清湟教授
Prof Wong Sin Kiong 黄贤强教授

Advisor 顾问
Gan Eng Guan 颜荣源
Gan Siok Tjie 颜淑姿
Gan Seow Peng 颜少平

Donor 捐款人
Gan Cheong Or 颜章湖
Dr Gan See Khem 颜诗琴博士
The Family of Gan Kiong Pang 颜拱枫家属

Supported by 项目支持
National Heritage Board新加坡国家文物局
National Archives of Singapore 新加坡文物档案馆

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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