Sunday, 3 July 2016

Chun Tin spiral -- and toothy tales

Here's a lovely spiral staircase that leads up to a roof garden, belonging to the corner unit at Chun Tin Road. The road was named after a dentist, Cheong Chun Tin. He was the first qualified* Chinese dentist (born in Hong Kong) to have settled in Singapore. Educated in the States, he opened a dental practice at South Bridge Road. He had two sons -- also dentists -- running the Cheong Bros dental clinic.  Cheong Chin Nam also had a street named after him in the vicinity.
Somehow, couldn't find a Chin Heng Road or Street in Singapore. But the brother, Cheong Nam,  was more than a dentist. He was a land owner, rubber plantation owner and merchant (according to Singapore Street Names by Drs Victor Savage and Brenda Yeoh).
Just some trivial: A corner unit at Chun Tin Road was selling for $2m -- in 2014. A terraced house in the vicinity, for about $3 m. It should be very cool to stay in the area -- with the new Beauty World MRT station just completed -- and interesting eateries and shops nearby.
BTW, Pearlie White, the only Singapore brand toothpaste, is a family heritage dating back to 1869 when Dr Cheong Chun Tin started operations in Singapore. He didn't leave his heart in San Francisco and came to Singapore after obtaining his dentistry qualifications there. 

*Another BTW, there used to be "unqualified" Chinese dentists in Singapore. My friend used to tell me about one who operated on the upper floor of a shophouse along 6th mile, Upper Serangoon Road. He used a thread, she said, looped it round your ailing tooth and pulled.

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