Nissim Nassim Adis



Nissim Nassim Adis (b. 17 May 1857, Howrah, India1–d. 5 September 1927, Mussoorie, India2) was a well-known Jewish businessman who arrived in Singapore in 1893. He was the proprietor of Hotel de L’Europe and the head of Adis & Co., a stock broking firm.3 He was also the owner of a grand mansion at Mount Sophia called Adis Lodge.4 The road leading to the mansion was named Adis Road.5

Early life
Son of a Calcutta merchant, Adis received his education at St Thomas’s School in Howrah.6 He began his legal apprenticeship with Messrs Templeton & Carapiet, attorneys-at-law and notaries public of Calcutta, but left after two years to establish his own exchange and stockbroking business in 1876.7 His business was a success despite initial struggles. However he lost some Rs 300,000 during a crisis in Calcutta. Undeterred, Adis left for Hong Kong in 1888 to establish a similar enterprise. History repeated itself when, after a period of success, his business crashed. With the little that he had, Adis came to Singapore in June 1893 to commence business as a stock broker.8 This time, his efforts paid off and he amassed great wealth from trading stocks and selling real estate.9


Business interests and properties
Adis bought and owned Hotel de L’Europe, also known as Grand Hotel de L’Europe.10 It was built in 1902 and furnished at a cost of S$1 million.11 The land where the Supreme Court now stands was previously owned by Adis.12

Adis was also known for building an imposing family mansion, the Adis Lodge, atop Mount Sophia in 1907.13 Five years after Adis Lodge was completed, it was sold to millionaire and philanthropist Eu Tong Sen.14

Adis also built stables behind the old race course to house other owners’ horses during racing seasons. He named the country road leading to the stables “Belilious”.15

Personal interests
Adis was the first Jew to be made Master of the Lodge of St Andrew’s in the Far East, in the order of the Free Masons. He was also a motorcar enthusiast. In 1918, for the Armistice Day Parade, he transformed one of his cars into a “Dove of Peace”.16 Adis married Leah Judah, daughter of A. N. E. Judah, a merchant from Calcutta, on 22 December 1895. Leah Judah was also the grand-daughter of E. R. Belilios (C. M. G.) of Hong Kong.17


Known as a man who enjoyed life to the fullest, Adis travelled widely and earned the friendship and respect of many.18

Family
Wife:
Leah Judah.19

Daughter: Gracia Adis.20



Author

Joshua Chia Yeong Jia



References
1. Bieder, J. (2007). The Jews of Singapore. Singapore: Suntree Media, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING 959.57004924 BIE-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 628. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
2. Page 7 advertisements column 2: In the estate of Nissim Nissim Adis, deceased. (1928, January 23). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 628. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
4. Bieder, J. (2007). The Jews of Singapore. Singapore: Suntree Media, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING 959.57004924 BIE-[HIS])
5. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 12. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
6. Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 628. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
7. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 628. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
8. Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 631. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
9. Bieder, J. (2007). The Jews of Singapore. Singapore: Suntree Media, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING 959.57004924 BIE-[HIS])
10. Bieder, J. (2007). The Jews of Singapore. Singapore: Suntree Media, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING 959.57004924 BIE-[HIS])
11. Bailey, J. P. (1989, September 1). Map shows former name of Cockpit. The Straits Times, p. 34. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, pp. 22–23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
13. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, pp. 22–23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
14. Bieder, J. (2007). The Jews of Singapore. Singapore: Suntree Media, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING 959.57004924 BIE-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Pub. Co, p. 631. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE); Lee, K. L. (1988). The Singapore house 1819–1942. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 187. (Call no.: RSING 728.095957 LEE)
15. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, pp. 22–23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
16. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, pp. 22–23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
17. Death of Mr E.R.Belilios. (1905, November 12). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, p. 23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
19. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)
20. Nathan, E. (1986). The history of Jews in Singapore, 1830–1945. Singapore: Herbilu Editorial & Marketing Services, p. 23. (Call no.: RSING 301.45192405 NAT)



The information in this article is valid as at 7 July 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Personalities>>Biographies>>Community Leaders
Community leaders
History>>Asia>>Southeast Asia>>Singapore
Jewish merchants--Singapore--Biography
Adis, Nissim Nissim, b. 1857--Biography
Jews--Singapore--History