As I passed by National Museum of Singapore Today
|Photo courtesy: National Heritage Board|
|Photo courtesy: National Museum of Singapore|
This is an intuitive, snappy blog as I passed by the National Museum of Singapore today. I happened to be at the bus-stop in front of the museum and was still early for another appointment. So I thought why not do a fast one before the next bus arrived. As this wasn't an unscheduled, unplanned visit to the museum, I snapped some photos to fill in my blog with memories of the National Museum (former Raffles Museum) and dream about it tonight.
My first visit to the museum was 58 years ago when my mother brought me there in 1956 during my Primary Two school holidays.
The archived photos with courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) to juxtapose the location of the Raffles Library and Museum’s building at Stamford Road was opened on 12 October 1887.
In the above photo behind the "Living World" sculpture by Ju Ming was "bridge staircase" was the entrance to the first library I visited and joined as a member was the Raffles Library, which was located at a small corner of the present Raffles Museum of Singapore building.
I think my first visit to the museum was on the same day I joined the Raffles Library. Entrance was free.
Hung on the ceiling of the corridor on the second floor of the museum, I noticed the humungous whale skeleton. It was awesome!
As my mother couldn't read the descriptions in English on the showcases displayed and I was only in Primary Two to understand the meaning of the words, I just stared at the exhibits in wonder.
There were rows and rows in different rooms of the museum, I remember the display of stuffed butterflies, birds, animals, colorful stones, old coins and other antique stuff which did not interest me at the museum. The place had an eerie feeling which I did not like, and persuaded my mother to get out of the museum. Maybe that is the reason I would never become a historian or archaeologists dealing with prehistoric artifacts, corpses or dead stuff. That's just me and would like to express my apologies to historians and archaeologists who are my friends.
Outside the building in the museum compound, I could smell of satay barbequed and the stalls. There were pots of gravy shared by the customers and sat on low stools. My first taste of satay here .
|Along the fence opposite the former Raffles Library|
According to the NAS descriptions of the above photos, the satay stalls were outside the National Museum during Hari Raya Puasa on 18 March, 1961.
The People’s Collection – A Special Exhibition is a collaboration between the National Museum of Singapore and MediaCorp Pte Ltd (Channel NewsAsia) following the telecast of the documentary series titled Treasure Hunt. The documentary, produced by Channel NewsAsia, centres on the idea that “there is a little bit of history in all our homes”, and involves a call to Singaporeans to bring out the objects that they hold dear. The items showcased in the documentary, ranging from intricate memorabilia to the cherished heirlooms of individuals, families, collectors and institutions across the country, will be presented at the National Museum of Singapore as part of a special exhibition highlighting our collective heritage. Featuring the personal stories behind each of these objects and their collectors, this exhibition is a testament to how everyday items, which may otherwise be left unappreciated, could be significant to understanding one’s heritage. (Source: National Museum of Singapore).
Thanks to my curator friend Tan Teng Teng providing the lead to National Museum of Singapore and MediaCorp, I had the privilege and pleasure to loan my family treasures to the "The People's Collection" and share my personal experiences about Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961.
With the courtesy of Teng Teng, Episode 4 Part 3 of "Treasure Hunt" is available here .