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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jan 12, 2012

Great Grandfather's Road

Photo Courtesy: The Straits Times, January 12, 2012. ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

If my blogger friend Philip Chew were to jaywalk in Joo Chiat and an irate motorist shouted loudly at him, "Hey, you think this is your great grandfather's road ah?"

Philip could retort just as loudly: "I am right!"

Just kidding on this personal blog to express...

Of course, Philip wouldn't do that because there's no special treatment against Singapore traffic laws and jaywalking is against the law even though Joo Chiat Road belongs to his great grandfather.

Modestly, Philip told us that the newspapers headlines splashed over the newspapers today about his great grandfather's road just a 15-minutes of fame and makes him "malu" (shy in Malay).

I blog:

Not fame for a moment... Philip Chew's great grandfather, Mr. Chew Joo Chiat, brought his name famous to his descendants for generations in Singapore. Anybody who has a 'great grandfather road' deserves to be proud for streets dedicated to them as a mark of appreciation for their contributions or services rendered to the community, society or state.

Singapore Municipality Offices c 1900. Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore.

Around 1916, the motor dirt roadway on an existing dirt track known as 'Confederate Estate Road' which stretched from Geylang Serai to East Coast beach owned by Joo Chiat was renamed 'Joo Chiat Road' by the Municipality to mark Chew's generosity when he gave up his land for free in 1917. Thus 'Joo Chiat Road' as a famous name for posterity of the family, including Philip, deserves to be famous for the great
philanthropist Mr Chew Joo Chiat.

I would be just as proud with a road named by my great grandfather too.

Photo of our blogger friends with Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew at "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" Exhibition at National Library Building on 11 January, 2012. Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

Most of my blogger friends were at the "Stories behind Singapore Streets" Exhibition at the Promenades, Levels 7 & 8, National Library Building on 11 January, 2011.

Here below, Chun See, Tuck Chong and I at "Memory Lane". We were walking down Memory Lane with a fond nostalgic memories of Singapore streets.

Excerpts with courtesy from Channel New Asia on 11 January, 2012:
"Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition opens at National Library. Posted: 11 January 2012 1434 hrs

SINGAPORE: An exhibition showcasing the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions has been launched.

The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library also highlights stories about people, their lives and achievements, and roles they played in making Singapore what it is today.

The National Library says the exhibition aims to create a greater awareness of Singapore's early history, journey through nation building and unique multicultural heritage.

It also traces the history of Singapore through the street naming conventions from the pre-colonial era to modern day Singapore.

More than 100 street names are featured, such as during the 14th and 15th century, pre-Raffles Singapore, the Raffles Town Plan and the post-colonial period after Singapore's independence in 1965.

The different categories of street names, such as descriptive street names, those dedicated to prominent people, streets named after local personalities and street names reflecting the imprint of British colonialism, are featured
For instance, the Raffles Town Plan, one of the key exhibits, depicts the urban plan of Singapore according to Sir Stamford Raffles' instructions.

The exhibition displays maps, photographs and old street signs from the National Library's donor collections and materials from supporting partners.

Highlights include the National Library's legal documents and maps from the Koh Seow Chuan collection, PictureSG1's photographs of street scenes of early Singapore from the Lee Kip Lin collection, and a video on ten unusual street names such as Kay Poh Road, Rotan Lane and One Tree Hill.

To reach out to more Singaporeans, three roving exhibitions will be held at the Woodlands Regional Library, Marine Parade Public Library and Jurong West Public Library, from June 30 to September 30, 2012.

In addition, the National Library will also organise a talk on street names, learning journeys, a guided tour of the exhibition and the Curator's Walk which covers Toponymics, the study of street and place names in January and February 2012.

National Library Board's CEO Elaine Ng said: "I hope that Singaporeans will enjoy learning about history and heritage through the evolution of our street names. We are also conducting guided tours of the exhibition for students and community groups, and learning journeys to areas such as Chinatown and the Civic District over the next few months."



Blogger Philip Chew said...

wah! you covered almost everything about the exhibition. You forgot to mention who ate the most kueh kueh there. I was watching. No lah, just a joke. Well done James!

January 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Yah! I wallop the variety of kueh kueh too shiok lah! Had a great teatime!

January 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM  

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