31.Hoon San Temple, 1903, needs conservation

Nobody would have guessed that there is this beautiful temple nestled in the midst of expensive bungalows in 6th Ave. Of course this was only a Malay and Chinese kampong when this temple was built. The was also a permanent wayang stage in front of this temple across a road which was named after the patron diety of this temple – Lim Tai See.

A street named after a deity

Text by Raymond Goh

Do you know there is a road in Singapore that is named after a deity?

Here to share a bit about this road and the beautiful temple still standing there.

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Lim Jie Chun

1537 – 1604

Lim was born in the province of Fujian, Yun Xiao Province.

From young, his father recognised his brillance and taught him personally.

In 1561, he was the village scholar. Four years later he became an imperial scholar, and worked in the Hanlin Academy.

in 1573, he became a Tai Shi 太師, a top grade civil servant in the Ming Imperial court.

However in 1575, he offended the then powerful premier Teo and was demoted and sent to a faraway place. Dejected, he went home.

When Premier Teo died, he was reinstated in 1584 (reign of Ming Wanli 12) to become the education head of two provinces.

However,he refused to be bribed by corrupt officials, and again was forced to leave for another post.

Diillusioned with political life, he went to his hometown and remain there for 16 years. During these 16 years, he helped the village people, corrected social injustice, and even petitioned against

unfair taxes for his people and friends at great risk to himself.  He died a well respected man in 1604, at the age of 68 years old.

He left behind a collection of essays entited 云山居士集 (The collected works of Yun Shan Resident).   The essays touched on Ming politics, economy, military and social affairs, and provide valuable research

data on Ming dynasty period.

During the late Qing period in 1883, he was deitized. Currently there are some temples in Fujian, Taiwan and South East Asia worshipping him.

In 1902, a Lim family built the current temple in a small hill in Singapore called Feng Hill at a kampong near Holland.  It was rebuilt in 1920. It also used to have a wayang stage.

The temple was named Yun Shan Kong. (Yun Shan Resident is what Lim Jie Chun used to called himself).  Lim Tai See  (林太師 – Grandmaster Lim) is what the people respectfully called him due to his position in the Ming court.

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Yun Shan Kong

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And a tablet for Lim Tai See based on his model life – a path of righteousness, empathy and service for the masses

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Signage at Lim Tai See Temple

上风清吹及民
The Pure and Righteousness Wind of the Lin touch and extend to the people

中采色又添新

His House gathers colour and renews itself

极无边随感化

The Way has no borders and follow the feelings and emotions

尊有道足由因

But The Master knows the path that leads to the way

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Opening of Street Lights at Kampong Road (Jalan Lim Tai See) in 1965 by Parliment Sec Ho Cheng Choon (Picas Pictures Archives)

In 1965 the then Parliment Secretary Ho Cheng Choon opened the street lights at Kampong Road where the temple is located.

Today, the kampong near the temple is gone.  The wayang stage is gone. Only the temple remains. The street lights became brighter.  And new houses sprang up.

But for Lim Tai See devotees, He has already lighted up their hearts.  Kampong Road has became their Lim Tai See Road.

Reference:

See article on this temple in SOH memories

History of Hoon San Temple (Chinese)

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