Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

My Photo
Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Sep 30, 2010

Walk Down Memory Lane - 62nd Birthday

The photo of the birthplace taken on 28th September, 2010. Birthplace location: No. 608-A, Havelock Road, Singapore

The Colony of Singapore birth certificate to show the Place of Birth: Singapore. Street and Town: 608-A, Havelock Road. Did you notice that nationality as indicated: I was born a British Subject? However, due to an accident of history, I became a true blue Singaporean since the birth of our nation, the Republic of Singapore on 9 August, 1965. No longer a "subject". God's Will - "Majullah Singapura"!

The little red dot on this old map marks my birthplace.

Before construction of the new HDB estate site along Havelock Road.

Before construction of the new HDB estate site along Havelock Road.

The HDB Bukit Ho Swee Estate under construction in progress. Photo taken on 28 September, 2010

Google Map search for birthplace at Blk 608A, Havelock Rd.

Please try it out yourself if you haven't done it yet at Google Maps (formerly Google Local). It is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google, free (for non-commercial use) for almost everywhere in the world for "Google Map location" .

I was excited like a dog with two tails with this discovery!

Fantastic...this could be done on iPhone too! I am really 'suaku'. So I cannot stop learning techno stuff to keep up useful knowledge on the Internet.

Google Map is awesome. I learnt something new after my son, Wei taught me the Google Map thingy which I could show-off in this screen-captured photo above.

Isn't it wonderful that I could walk down memory lane by foot, via cyberspace and even Google satellite to blog on this! Of course, not to forget that I still need to use personalised time-machine for astral travelling and meditation to visualise by memories back to the past...not to the future ;)

Photo on left showing Blk 22, Havelock Road. Taken on 28 Sept, 2010.

Current HDB new estate in the background. Pointing towards Delta Primary School behind Ganges Road.

The Delta Primary School where I attended in 1956. The same building now known as the ASPN Delta Senior School at 20 Delta Avenue Apsn (Delta Senior School), Singapore 169832

Obviously this is a personal walk down my own memory lane on 28th September, 2010, my 62nd birthday. To avoid unwanted public attraction, the announcements were made in small, unbold, standard font size. Hahaha...just kidding!

I would also like to take this opportunity on this blog to acknowledge all my Facebook friends for their nice wishes and birthday greetings on my Facebook profile page. Early birds, dot on date, or belated greetings are much appreciated. Thank you very much, dear Facebook friends. Its the first unprecedented birthday greetings through Facebook which are reciprocated with "I Like" to everyone. Isn't Facebook great for reminding the birthdays of our Facebook friends and to remember them?

It doesn't matter to share it with whoever are interested for reading pleasure.

The "memory lane" on this blog to express the personal experience is in public domain. Certain private thoughts, unless expressed, are not blogged aloud though. The blogs which are welcome as I have enjoyed the many blogs by other fellow bloggers I frequently read and learn from.

People like to learn from others' experience and to enjoy an experience where they do not get elsewhere and everywhere.

After the physical walk down the memory lane, it is inevitable to take time to sort out an outline to juxtapose old photos of the same place to the current photos...just like a time warp. The sequence of the "memory itinerary" for the collection of relevant photos as posted.

The "walk down memory lane on my 62nd birthday" companions are Uncle Dick Yip, Peter Chan and Loh Kah Seng. My acknowledgement of thanks to them without which this experimental "birthplace on birthday memory tour" of mine spanned 62 years in "compressed timeframe"; and their personal "memory aids" with collective memories and recollection of our respective own places during our era. Different times, same places!

Photo (left to right) Peter Chan, Loh Kah Seng and Thimbuktu taken in front of Jalan Klinik.

This special "birthplace on birthday memory tour" is not a "memory travel package" is not customised for me alone. Everyone is invited to do it yourself for a sentimental walk down memory lane to your birthplace on your birthday.

There is a criteria for this special tour though.

Most young ones after the 1980s, including my children, were not born at home. They were mostly born in private hospitals or government hospitals (eg Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital ).

Thus the memory lane to a birthplace at a hospital would not have the significance of the sentimental appreciation as compared to the children born at home. Meaning, the birthplace will have to refer to birth records of the hospital's delivery ward at the date and time, not a home address.

In those early days when I was born 62 years ago and earlier, only the rich mothers will give birth their children in the hospitals. They are lucky to have the modern medical equipments and amenities, specialist gynecologist, nurses and treatments. They are considered "hor mia" (好命)("Good Life" in Hokien) to the young children today.

The blog topic on how children were born at home by midwives and traditional ways among Singaporeans at another time for discussion.

Please feel free to share your personal experience of birth at home by midwives on the blog comments are most welcome.

The "Bukit Ho Swee Walkabout" map. The single red dot is the birthplace at No. 608A, Havelock Road. Several blue dots on the map are the locations along the "walkabout" route from Tiong Bahru Plaza and completed at Blk 50, Havelock Road.

The itinerary (listed as old place names) of the "Bukit Ho Swee Walkabout" are:

1. Meetup at Tiong Bahru Plaza on 28th September, 2010 at 5:00 pm.
2. Delta Community Centre.
3. "Globe" playground facing between Blk 13, Jalan Bukit Ho Swee and the back of Blk 29, Havelock Road.
4. Bukit Ho Swee Primary School facing Blk 9, Jalan Bukit Ho Swee.
5. Taman Ho Swee (upgraded HDB flats built in the 1960s).
6. Seng Poh Primary School.
7. Tan Boon Liat Building along Zion Road.
8. Jade Emperor Temple at Havelock Road.
9. Hong Lim Pasat.
10. Kusu Island "Tua Peh Kong" Temple.
11. Pepsi Cola factory at Havelock Road.
12. Blk 29, Havelock Road.
13. Kim Seng Community Centre.
14. Blk 29, Havelock Road.
15. The birthplace at No. 608-A, Havelock Road (facing Blk 22).
16. Beo Crescent, at corner of Lim Joo Hin Eating House (Teochew Porridge).
17. MCA Shophouses (the prominent landmark on Havelock Road).
18. "Teochew Porridge" dinner at Lim Joo Hin Eating House
19. The oldest tenant - Chew Dispensary
20. Another loop of Beo Crescent which previously lead to Beo Lane before the Bukit Ho Swee Fire.
21. Completion of the Bukit Ho Swee "walkabout".

Blk 3, Jalan Bukit Ho Swee before demolition.

The cyclist on the right looking at "globe" playground.

The Jalan Bukit Ho Swee "globe" playground in 1962.

The "globe" playground at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, opposite Blk 13. Photo Credit: Mr Ng Toh Siong.

The old photo of the rear of Blk 29 Havelock Road which faced the "globe playground" at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. Photo Credit: Mr Ng Toh Siong.

This photo of Jalan Bukit Ho Swee "emergency flats" Blks 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 completed and occupied by the Bukit Ho Swee fire victims in 1962.

The Jalan Bukit Ho Swee former "emergency flats" demolished and replaced by the upmarket HDB apartments at Boon Tiong Ville in 2007.

Same place at Blk 9, Jalan Bukit Ho Swee in 1962. Different times on 28 September, 2010 at Blk 8B, Boon Tiong Ville where I stood.

Bukit Ho Swee East Primary School.

The former Bukit Ho Swee East Primary School converted to the building used as the "Singapore Examinations And Assessment Board".

The "Or Kio Tau 1949 Map"

Unk Dicko taking a photo of the tomb of the late Mr Tan Tock Seng (a successful businessman, philanthropist who offered funds for the construction of a Tan Tock Seng Hospital in 1843) at Outram Road.

I guess Unk Dicko will post the next blog about Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the British government set up as a "pauper's hospital" in the 1820s.

Photo in front of Poh San Dance Studio at Outram Road.

Peter posed in front of the drain beside Poh San Dance Studio.

Over to you for your next blog about this memorable drain, Peter. Please share with us.

Photo in front of the former Chung Khiaw Bank at Tiong Bahru Road branch.

The Apollo Hotel and Isetan along Havelock Road under construction.
Photo Credit: National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Jade Emperor Temple at Havelock Road

The stone lion sculptures (Left & Right) at the entrance of the Jade Emperor Temple.

The attap village behind the Hong Lim Pasat at Havelock Road.
Photo Credit: Mr Yong Robert

The attap village behind the Hong Lim Pasat at Havelock Road.
Photo Credit: Mr Yong Robert

The site of the former Pepsi Cola factory at Havelock Road.

Blk 29, Havelock Road. The first HDB which Kah Seng lived in.

Wondering why Unk Dicko playing a game of badminton with the residents at Blk 29, Havelock Road during the walkabout?

Photo of the MCA Shophouse at Havelock Road. Circ 1960.

Photo of the MCA Shophouse at Havelock Road today.

The photo of the ice-ball vendor (similar to this one) at the former location of the Beo Crescent (only a muddy path) before the Bukit Ho Swee fire.

Photo of the loop to Beo Crescent today.

Kheng Nam Lee Restaurant, an extension of Lim Joo Hin Eating House.

"Teochew porridge" dinner with (Left to Right) Kah Seng, Peter, Thimbuktu and Unk Dicko.

Photo of the "wet market" at the corner of MCA Shophouse. Circ 1960)

The corner of MCA shophouse to the entrance of Beo Crescent shown today.

The Straits Times news headline on 26 May, 1961.

Scene of the Bukit Ho Swee fire.

Another scene of the Bukit Ho Swee fire.

The 1961 map of former Beo Lane (sketched in red lines and added with location of Blk 50, Havelock Road and MCA Shophouse).

According to the Singapore Guide and Street Directory (1961), the direct soiled trunk road as I remember Havelock Road to Tiong Bahru Road was known as Beo Lane. After the fire, the Beo Lane was closed and re-constructed as a loop on one end (beside Lim Joo Hin Eating House) of MCA Shophouse to another end (former corner of the "wet market" opposite Blk 50 Havelock Road) as Beo Crescent. The Beo Crescent was subsequently replaced the former Beo Lane shown on the map.

The Beo Crescent entrance before the Bukit Ho Swee fire.
Circ 1960. Photo Credit: National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

The "Beo Crescent" signage in this photo is the same location as "Blk 50" in the colored photo below.

The Beo Crescent entrance today. Blk 50 is the location of the same spot now and then.

Beside the MCA shophouse, there was a vacant plot of land which was fenced up with zinc cover, wooden benches and a projection screen.

When night falls, the villagers of Bukit Ho Swee kampung would make a beeline to the "open-air cinema' running third-run movies after dinner to watch movies (mostly Hokkien-dialect movies of Hong Kong actors and actresses such as Ng Eng, Or Tong, Sio Kuan (later the Taiwanese actress was switched to Mandarin movie and her name later known as popular Ivy Ling Po).

Ivy Ling Po was best-known for Shaw Brothers' the Chinese classic opera "Dream of the Red Chamber" (梁山伯與祝英台)and cast as Liang Shanbo in Love Eterne (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai also known as Liang Zhu) in 1962 with Betty Loh Ti.

I remember how my mother had the happiest time in the evening for recreation and entertainment with our neighbors. The movie ticket at only ten cents each. When the limited benches are packed, we will bring along our chairs to the 'open-air cinema' and then return the chairs home after the movie show.

The evening entertainment scene at the Bukit Ho Swee kampung ended after the fire ways of life for the villagers.

The Delta Circus. Circ 1960.

The Singapore Steam Laundry. Circ 1960

Updated Related Posts:

"Chap Goh Meh" Celebration at Havelock Road in 1958 at: "here"

Memories of Bukit Ho Swee Fire at:: "here"