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Towkay Lee Kwee Foh
Lee Kwee Foh came from Wuhua, Guandong China, where he had been born, the third of five sons of Lee Qi Lian. On arrival in Malaya he travelled to Menglembu and started as a hard-working apprentice in the Menglembu Tin Mines. He had a humble, honest and persevering nature and was a very careful spender, saving what ever he could afford towards his future. Consequently after a while, like a number of other of the hardworking Chinese mining coolies and apprentices, he was able to purchase his own mining land at Silibin. He soon became wealthy. The purchase of this favourable site paid off allowing him to develop five or six other mines at Lahat, Tapah and Malim Nawar.
At this stage of his life in a similar manner to several of the other Chinese Pioneers, he became a true philanthropist, particularly remembering the poverty of his youth and the home town he had left behind, but not forgetting his new home town of Ipoh.
He is best remembered for the High School he built in Wuhua, extended classrooms in Jongsan University of Guangzhou, his contributions to the social welfare of the Chinese people during World War II and the shoplots that he built for the people of Wuhua.
In Ipoh, he was involved in many organisations and associations, in particular, The Chinese Chamber of Commerce (as Director), The Yuk (Yoke) Choy High School (Treasurer and donor of two classrooms), Perak Girls School (as Treasurer), Vice Chairman of the Perak Ka Yin Association (1952-1953), Ipoh and Honorary Chairman of the Ipoh Hakka (Khek) Association.
Lee Kwee Foh passed away in June 1953 aged 71. To honour his contribution to the community of Ipoh and the surrounding area the town council named a road in Canning Garden after him - Lee Kwee Foh Road, known today as Jalan Lee Kwee Foh.
To read more about Perak Girls School, Ipoh, click here.
To read more about Yuk Choy Primary and Secondary Schools, Ipoh, click here.
To read more about the Perak Khek Association, click here.
To read more about the Perak Ka Yin Association, click here.
To read more about Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce, click here.