Sun Sze Ting (Sun Si Ting, Sun See Ting)
founder of the Tai Thean Kew Circus.
天竺 Thian Chok
雙庚 Sang Keng
三寶 Sang Pow
仕英 See Eng
史炳生 Peng Sang
楊少柏 Su Pai
明權 Ming Chuan
明利 Ming Lee
Tombstone of Mr. Sun Si Ting , Propeirter(sic) of Tai Thian Kew Circus. Nanking, China. Erected by his sorrowful sons, Thian Chok and Sang Keng | Daughters, Sang Pow and See Eng, Sons-in-law, Peng Sang and Su Pai and Grandsons, Ming Chuan and Ming Lee. Year died 10th day of the 4th moon 33 year of the Chinese Republic. (1945)
This essay, in a book of stories from old Singapore that were originally published in Lianhe Zaobao, tells the story of how Sun abandoned his business selling fabrics in China to travel around looking for his abducted son. When Sun got to Hong Kong, he met a group of acrobats and they travelled to Southeast Asia together. After seeing a western circus perform, Sun thought it was neat and decided to form his own circus.
During the Japanese invasion, his equipment was destroyed and the animals either died or ran away. Before Sun passed away, he asked his descendants to revive the circus, which they did after the war. The article states that Sun died in 1942, which doesn’t match the date on the tombstone.
南洋商报, 22 March 1937, Page 6
Contributed by Catherine Lai