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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Oct 25, 2016

Ways Done in the Past - Ice-Cream Man

The ice-cream man is still found in Orchard Road and many places of Singapore.

When I was a child in Bukit Ho Swee kampong, the best sound to hear is the ringing of the bell when the ice-cream man arrived at the kampong.  

This was the sound of happiness which all the children in the kampong would stop everything to run to the ice-cream man, with excitement and happiness written all over their young faces.

I was one of these kids once upon a time when growing up in Bukit Ho Swee.

On this blog to share my childhood memories and how I was a young boy in the kampong.

Not paiseh :)  That was me as a child almost 60 years ago and many would be surprised that I am still slurping on a cone of ice-cream at Orchard Road.  Some people told me a grandfather cannot have fun to play games with grand kids. Nonsense ..... enjoying our favorite ice-cream is not for kids only.

Ways I have done in the past are not the same I do today though.  However, there's a chance for me to experience so-called "second childhood" if it is the truth.  So my friends would be able to understand my change of behaviour in my childish habits, like craving for ice-cream :)

I am not shy or self-conscience to enjoy an ice-cream feast with the kids. Have fun!

My primary school teacher, Mr Soo Mok Sung, gave my classmates and I an ice-cream treat at the Magnolia Milk Bar (next to Cold Storage).  It was our first time experience and an unforgettable memories on Chinese New Year day in 1959.

On 12 October, 1963, I was invited to Istana Negara to attend the Appreciation Tea Party for voluntary workers and officials of the Singapore Red Cross Society.

With the First Lady Puan Nor Aishah sitting beside me (left of photo above), she offered me delicious ice-cream cups after cups.  I had never slurped so much ice-cream in my life since a child, I thought.

Anyway, back to the blog postings to share the selected archived photos as "memory-aids" with thanks to the contributors at the National Archives of Singapore.

The "Ice-Cream Potong" which was locally manufactured in Singapore and sold in the kampong by the Ice-cream man.

Another photo of the "Ice-cream man" on bicycle.  Did you notice a small wooden plank attached to the ice-cream container?  It was a "tikam-tikam" for the kids to play on it to win a free "potong ice-cream", a toy or something.  Big sister also joined them in the game.

Facebook friend Betty Tang shared her memories of the "Ice-Cream Man" in Chinese:

"看到这张照片就会想起过去在小时候,住在店外的小alley卖冰淇淋的老伯。到了下午4-6点的时候,他会拿起手中的bell就喊。一听到铃声,每个小孩子都会跑出来跟他买。有时候还我也会参加一份,来个tikam tikam 看会不会重。要两只一样的颜色才会有免费一只给你。只要你有买就有机会给你玩 tikam"

Milk Ice Cream on Bullock-cart

This NAS photo taken in 1940.  Grandparents or Great Grandparents also enjoyed ice-cream sold from a bullock-cart.

Food historians tell us the history of ice cream begins with ancient flavored ices.  The Chinese are generally credited for creating the first ice creams, possibly as early as 3000 BC.  Marco Polo is popularly cited for introducing these tasty concoctions to Italy.

Why do we call it "ice cream?"

Excellent question!

Centuries ago people started making freshing summer-time desserts by taking sweet cream (the richest part of milk) or custard (egg-based puddings) and cooling them down with ice.  The chillier the cream, the more solid the product.

In sum:  the first "iced creams" were so named because of the process described.

"Ice-cream Man" on Motorcycle

Brit Brat friend, Paul Hockey shared the above photos of his sister and friends in Sembawang. Springs in 1965ish.  Photo Credit: Paul Hockey with acknowledgement and thanks.

"Ice-cream man" at Chancery Lane in 1968

Thanks to Facebook friend, Sharon GJ Ong to share this photo of her (as a baby in 1968) with her parents posted in the comments:

[Hello! Here's an early encounter between me and the ice cream man. The year is 1968 and I'm the baby! 

Yes, Chancery Lane was on the ice cream man's beat. I used to wonder how it could be worth it for him as the neighbourhood wasn't dense. 

In those days there was no proper pavement, only a narrow strip of grass between the fast traffic winding through the lane and... the very deep longkang! :) ]

Photo Credit:  Sharon GJ Ong with thanks and acknowledgement.

Spastic Children's Association's Childrens Party

This photo shows schoolboy James Goh with a helping hand which made his less privileged "brother" Chan Kim Hwa, while he ate it.  Kim Hwa, an inmate of the Spastic Children's Association, could never have done it on his own.

This is a newspaper clip from Singapore Monitor, 31 January 1984 to share on this blog.  Courtesy of NewspaperSG, National Library Board.

It is amusing to watch home-made videos of children from all over the world enjoying ice-cream.

Kids sharing ice-cream

Please watch this entertaining video on YouTube with thanks to Basile Kuo who contributed this video.



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