Henry Goh’s tribute to ChuaCC

Wong Swee Lim recently sent me Henry’s tribute to Chua CC which appeared in the Methodist Church Malacca’s Newsletter August 2009. Here is his full text.


Greetings & Shalom!
Brothers & Sisters-in-Christ & Friends,

I have been asked to write an article on the Hon. Capt. Chua Cheng Chye of the 1st Malacca Boys’ Brigade (BB) Company who passed away on 7th November 2008, ten days short of his 86th birthday.

For many months, I have been looking for my old photos and thinking about what to write about him. I am sure there are many who have their own stories on how they enjoyed his talks and encouragement, and most of all, his glorious food especially the ‘Rumah Puteh’ barbeque cuisine.

This humble former headmaster of the Primary Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Malacca, had since the1960s or even earlier, touched the lives of many thousands of boys especially the Scouts and the BB members not only those from ACS but also those from other schools. He was not only my Hon. Captain, but also my mentor who helped me to improve my English language during my fifth form way back in the 1970s.


During the 17th National Day (Merdeka) parade, I saw my Gajah Berang School classmate Wong Peng Kuen, playing cymbals in a band. The next day, I asked him about the BB 1st Malacaa Company and he then invited me to attend the next BB meeting which would be held on the next Saturday at 1.30 p.m. in Wesley Methodist Church. Being eager, I reached the church grounds before the designated time. There, I saw that there were other boys not only from my school (Gajah Berang), but also from other neighbouring schools such as ACS, SFI, Tun Tuah, St.David, Malacca High School and several Chinese schools too. Peng Kuen introduced me to the BB Captain, Mr. Chua Cheng Chye, the ACS Primary Headmaster. He was sitting next to the Ranger Hall, watching the boys practising on their musical instruments. What struck me about Mr. Chua and the other BB officers was that they were volunteers and were not paid salaries or allowances, but they were willing to sacrifice their time and services to this great youth movement called the Boys’ Brigade.

I rose from rank and file, being first double promoted to corporal, then from sergeant to colour sergeant. Disappointed at having to play side drum or bugle, the flute was my last choice and to everyone’s surprise, I played pretty well in the band. Besides the band, we also had camps at the MGSS field with the Girls’ Brigade at one end and the boys at the other end. During the duration of the camp, the captains and officers from both the boys’ and girls’ companies were there to supervise the activities which ranged from reveille, roll-call, flag raising, camp inspection, food decoration, singspiration, and tying of knots and gadgets. We really enjoyed Mr. Chua’s singing and sermons during those camps.


Besides the compulsory meetings on Saturdays, we had extra band practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every Sunday morning without fail, Mr. Chua would be waiting and sitting along the ACS Secondary main corridor conducting the Bible Knowledge class. Normally about 8 to 10 boys would attend his classes and even if only one boy turned up, he would still conduct his class. As time went by, Mr. Chua taught us that we should start serving others rather than be served. Soon, we the boys grew up and many including me left Malacca. Captain Chua had taught us well about serving others and so we served in other churches, reviving and starting new BB companies in PJ & KL. Due to Captain Chua’s influence, some of the BB old boys are still serving the Lord in the BB.

Whenever I came back to Malacca, be it from KL, or Sabah or London, I would always visit Mr.Chua in his ‘ Rumah Puteh’. I continued to visit him when he moved to a flat in Tengkera and later on, the Graceful Nursing Home.


When people think of Captain Chua, they will always remember his black Austin A-35 which bore the number plate M 7175. When I came back from London in 1988, I used a motorbike to go to work and to the church grounds on Saturdays where I was serving as a BB officer. Captain Chua asked me to use his Austin to drive some of the BB boys home as they had missed the town bus. Those boys came from as far as Terendak Camp in Sungai Udang. This went on for many months and then finally, Captain Chua decided to sell his Austin to me. I bought over his Austin because it was safe on the road and solid in make like its owner, Captain Chua himself.

Upon the demise of my father on 1985 and my mother in 1986, Captain Chua became a father figure to me. Soon, he turned matchmaker and introduced me to a young, no- nonsense lady GB officer, none other than Miss Lim Ai Ling. After a two-year courtship, Ai Ling and I got married, thanks to the efforts of Captain Chua who had always been a bachelor boy until his dying day.

Many of us from within and without the BB have been blessed by the life of Captain Chua, and we have been very privileged to have known him. He was my mentor, counsellor, confidante and friend, always simple and generous in spirit. He is my inspiration although he is gone. I shall always miss him.


2 Responses to “Henry Goh’s tribute to ChuaCC”

  1. October 27, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Hi Henry. So, you are the lucky guy who bought Mr Chua’s Austin. Good to know it’s in safe hands. I had always wondered where the car went as it’s a classic and Mr Chua’s signature icon.
    Your ex-BB mate
    Tiam Keng

  2. 2 Rev David TC Loo
    February 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Henry, I was introduced to this Site by Tedin via another Face Book page.
    These are apt and meaningful words of tribute to a great man who chose to live a very humble life till the very end.
    I remember wonderful people like Tony HP Khoo and Victor Chin who arranged for Uncle Chua to move from his dilapidated kampung house to a flat near the Church, and finally, when he could not take care of himslef anymore, to the old folks’ Home in Klebang where he lived till his last days.
    Thank you, Guys, for the gestures of caring respect you all showed to Mr CC Chua.

    Btw, in the two pictures you posted here, showing the BB Boys in uniform, I (with the moustache) am seated together with the leaders and advisers as I was then the BB Chaplain and Pastor of Wesley Church – from 1991-2003.

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Please join in this fund raising project.
Donors to date:
1. Wong Yunn Chii - '71 (RM2000)
2. Lim Kim Tay - '71 (RM2000)
3. MACSIAN74 (RM2000)
4. Vic's Art Prints Sale (RM2500)
5. Tedin Ng - '71 (RM1620)
6. Class of 1971 (RM1038)
7. Woon Tai Hai - '74 (RM1000)
8. Paul Cheok - '76 (RM1000)
9. Chua Beng Own - '70 (RM1000)
10. Class of 1985 - (RM1000)
11. MACS '74 '09 Dinner (RM850)
12. Bien Hock Nien - '55 (RM500)
13. Victor Chin - '67 (RM500)
14. Jimmy Chiam - '80 (RM500)
15. Peter Yap - MES '71 (RM500)
16. Eng Kim Leng - '76 (RM500)
17. Heng Chin Lai - '78 (RM500)
18. Loy Kwee Keow - '76 (RM500)
19. Chin Kai Wah - '55 (RM500)
20. Albert Chan HL - '55 (RM500)
21. Dennis Ee - '76 (RM200)
22. Oh Kim Leng - '77 (RM200)
23. Wong Swee Lim - '56 (RM200)
24. Wee Hock Guan - '76 (RM200)
25. Raymond Ong - '73 (RM100)
26. Anonymous - (RM100)
27. Tommy Chen - '85 (RM490)

Total: RM21,998.00

Tedin Ng -'71 (RM5000)
Donation in kind to ACS primary

In Memoriam

Chua Cheng Chye 1922-2008
October 2009

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