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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Oct 1, 2013

Primary School Autograph Books

A 1961 autograph book photos of front (above) and back (below).
 

This primary school autograph book which I started on 24 November, 1961.  The book covers are made of silk and oriental designs.  However, the schooldays memory treasures of my primary schoolmates and teachers of Delta East Primary School are still intact between the covers.  These are the "memory aids" stored in my personal "memory banks".

I had long forgotten where this autograph book was kept and just found it last month.

On a previous blog "Schooldays Autograph Books" was posted here .
 
I couldn't remember where I bought the autograph book or how much it cost because yours truly just had my 65-year birthday on 28 September, 2013.  I guess it was bought at the Pacific Book Store at Blk 22 at Havelock Road, Singapore.  I used to buy stationery such as pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners there during my primary and secondary schooldays.  The book store closed business later and was taken over by the present coffee shop.

I hope my nostalgic friends could revive their fond schooldays memories and not throw away primary school autograph books.  These are precious memories which we can remember them after decades.  They are the friends who grew up with us together since early schooldays.  I did not know whether those autographs I have written on their books are still there, or remember me as former classmates at Delta East School.

Please turn on the speakers and listen to this sentimental "evergreen" song and TV ad from SC Global.:



On the last few days at Delta East Primary School after our Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in 1961, my schoolmates and I brought an autograph book of various cover designs but mostly are standard ones which cost less than $2.00.  The material of the pages were rather thick and the conditions are still durable after 5 decades ... as durable as the memories of these friends who autographed on the books.


The first page was written in my best handwritings ... but I believe that my cursive handwriting has improved over the decades.  Most homework exercises submitted to the school teachers were handwritten, not type-written or printed with computers. I did not have home computers until I left schooling about a decade later.

Did you notice that my address at 389-C, Jalan Bukit Ho Swee (omitted the Blk 9.  The single digit postal district No. 3)?  This is the 1-room "emergency flat" which we were the first batch of Bukit Ho Swee fire victims to move into the HDB estates within 6 months, not the 9 months completed for the remaining tenants.


Ajit Kumar who stays at Brahmaputra Road near Delta East School was one of my best friends and we did not meet again after our PSLE.  His mother was very kind to me whenever I went to accompany him to school.  She is a good cook and often offered me Indian food for lunch before classes in the afternoon session.  He is taller than me and speaks very good English which he used to correct my spoken English.


Soh Cheow Poh is a long friend and classmates from Kai Kok Public School, Delta East Primary School for 6 years and we went together at Outram Secondary School.  We were childhood playmates and we often played after school at Covent Street, in a kampong near the former Pepsi Cola factory at Havelock Road.

I met him a few times when we started work and again lost contact with him.

Autograph by School Teachers


Mr Han was my Form Teacher in Primary 6A and was informed that he had passed on some years ago.

He was a heavy chain smoker (teachers were then not banned from smoking in the 1960s) and wears a thick moustache above his lips.  I still remember his advice on this autograph to this day.  Rest in Peace, Mr Han.


Mr Foo Chee Kai was my English Language teacher who once stayed in a bungalow in Nathan Road.  It was near Jervois Road where there were many private properties and bungalows.  My friends and I went to this area to catch spiders during our schooldays.  Mr Foo invited us to his house during school holidays and offered us nice drinks and tid-bits with Hainanese cooking by his parents.  Mr Foo once allowed a former classmate, Ah Moy to stay in the house after the Bukit Ho Swee fire.  Another very kind and generous teacher to care after his students.


Jessie Wee was my former arts and music teacher whom I would always remember.  She was my neighbor at Bukit Ho Swee with a big house in front of my kampong at Beo Lane.  I only found out where she stayed when she was married and I had mentioned in my previous blog "Just Married" .

She is a gentle, soft-spoken lady.  During a school concert when I was in Primary 5,   Ms Wee directed a script and composed a song for me to act as a monkey or hat seller I think.  She gave me make-up to powder my face and put lip-sticks on my lips.  That was my first to act in a school play.  It was fun ... but I was never good enough to perform on TV  ; )

Many years later, I discovered that Ms Wee's first illustrated books published in 1980 as a collection of 10 titles, The Adventures of Mooty the Mouse series for children.


Miss Tan was my Chinese Language teacher in Primary 5 and 6 who started teaching at Delta East Primary School in 1960.  As a "newbie teacher", she found our students in those days mischievous and noisy in her class.  She often had to shout at the students to keep quiet and reported to the school principal to maintain school discipline.  Thanks to her advice on my autograph to work hard on my studies and to improve my education.


This autograph "己所不欲, 勿施於人"  ("Do unto others.  Do not impose on others")  was written by my Chinese teacher, 潘柳芳老师 in Primary 2 to Primary 4.

潘老师 is my favorite Chinese teacher who inspired me to learn Chinese and I will update more news on this blog when I meet her this week.  Its wonderful that she had tried to contact me after watching my interview on Frontline - 前线追踪" catch-up special feature on "Mid-Autumn Festivals 2013 in Singapore here .

 
Photo of 潘柳芳老师, my former primary school teacher who taught me Chinese in 1958.

Surreal.  Meeting 潘老师 for the first time in 55 years brought back fond nostalgic memories of my schooldays.  It was a rare personal experience for me to share with her and to thank her for our encounter. Thanks for the memories, 潘老师.

How many more primary school autographs as the "memory aids" to revive the schooldays memories at Singapore Memory Portal Portal.

The related blog is updated with the courtesy of my nostalgia blogger friend Philip Chew on Good Better Best . Thank you for inspiring and sharing the bonding of the younger generations, Philip.

More contributions at the Singapore Memory Portal to share here .

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Good post An interesting discussion is worth a comment as in this age group children learn quickly and as they grow older they start exploring.
Regards
Primary School in India
Best Playgroup In Pune

October 10, 2013 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Hui Hwang Sim said...

One leg up one leg down one leg goes to chinatown.

February 7, 2016 at 10:54 PM  

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