Club for Revolution?


Seow Thoe Guan Club was originally located on 103 Balestier Road, founded in 1901 by Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon. They were succesful businessmen and were big supporters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen's revolutionary idea of China in Singapore. They were avid readers of Chinese history and were very concerned about the crisis in China. This club served as a meeting place for them to exchange their thoughts to about three to five like-minded people. Issues discussed here were often about the danger of foreign invasion, incompetence of the Qing Dynasty and how to save their motherland. 

In 1903, a newspaper writer in Shanghai wrote an article that strongly supported the revolution of China and was subsequently jailed. To save the writer, Tan Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon used the name of their club and pleaded for him through the British counsel.

In early 1905, a calendar that was published by Tan Chor Nam which bore words of encouragement for the China revolution fell into the hands of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. Dr. Sun immediately wrote a letter to request to meet him. When he arrived, he was escorted to the club which was used as a meeting place for Dr. Sun Yat Sen to give his instructions for the revolution to the revolutionary leaders in Singapore, mainly Tan Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon. There they sat in conclave until it was time for Dr. Sun to go off.