Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jul 25, 2013

Memories On The Bus

Memories on the bus ... watching out of the bus windows to educate "The Ultimate Philosophy School" on a photo posted on the Internet.  Hmm ... its a good pastime for our daily "brain exercises"!

The best time for everyone while travelling on the bus and watching out of the windows to think, to dream,  to learn new stuff of old places which have changed.  A note of caution though.  Motorists and drivers are advised to concentrate on the road for traffic and driving safety; not to dream or watch the passing scenes for memories.

Is our mind's eyes like a camera which capture our childhood memories in our "memory bank" to remember places, people, events, long forgotten familiar scenaries of the streets and buildings in the past?

Please contribute our collective memories of the passing scenes in Singapore over the decades to share at the Singapore Memory portal and My Story for iremember.

The archived photos curated from the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) with acknowledgement of thanks to share on this blog while the latest photos from Google map to juxtapose the photos of the same place, different times for the daily bus route I took from work (Maxwell Rd OPD at Kadanayallur St) to home at Jalan Rumah Tinggi over 45 years ago.   As I watched out of the bus like the little girl in the photo above, my memories on the bus are shared in the Google map and NAS archived photos by contributors then and now to share.

The daily bus trip was short, but the memory is long.   To reminisce the familiar landmarks and the little streets in Singapore over four decades ago.

While blogging on this topic, I was travelling in my mind over the same few places from home to work, work to home by bus along the same route every day after day, after day, after day for about 5 years working at the Maxwell Rd Outpatient Dispensary (OPD) HQ at Kadayanallur St. as a routine to capture the memories of the past ...

The Malaya (馬來亞) Coffee Shop on the left of the photo (above) taken in the 1990s is the location of the shop No. 277 under renovation (below).  The location of the traffic light beside Ann Siang Hill was unchanged.
South Bridge Rd one-way street in 2013 (above); same location in 1962 (below) on a two-way street

The original location of the bus-stop outside Eu Yan Sang without shelter
The traffic light and bus-stop outside Eu Yan Sang
(Photos updated on 28 July 2013)

A bus-stop with shelter for the convenience of the commuters

I travelled on the same type (photo above) of Hock Lee Amalgamated Bus Company Service No. 4 on the bus routes below:

South Canal Rd along South Bridge Rd, Upp Cross St, New Bridge Rd, Outram Rd, Tiong Bahru Rd, Seng Poh Rd, Outram Rd, Kim Seng Rd, River Valley Rd, Delta Rd, Alexandra Rd, Rumah Bomba Circus,Queensway up to the circus at Queensway/Holland Rd/Farrer Rd.

Return from the circus at Queensway/Holland Rd/Farrer Rd along Queensway, Rumah Bomba Circus, Alexandra Rd, Delta Rd, River Valley Rd, Kim Seng Rd, Outram Rd, New Bridge Rd, North Canal Rd up to South Canal Rd.

A few years later, the bus service was changed to Service No. 62 which plied between South Canal Rd and Jalan Rumah Tinggi.

The same traffic route in 2013 (above);  the same traffic route in 1975 (below):

The building at the junction of Neil Rd and Cantonment Rd was on fire on 28 Feb 1977, saved by firemen.

At the corner of the building, traffic flows to turn (left of the above photo) down on a slope towards the junction of Outram Rd and New Bridge Rd..

The white car (in the photo above) turning down the slope at Cantonment Rd.
The photo (above) of traffic in the direction of Outram Rd and Tiong Bahru Rd.

The overhead bridge to link the Outram Park MRT Station (right) and the Singapore General Hospital (left).
Memory - Barbra Streisand


Jul 23, 2013

Bukit Ho Swee Fire Survivor

On Sunday 21 July, 2013 at 3:00 pm at the Tiong Bahru Community Centre, I had an opportunity to meet an 80-year-old lady, a survivor of the Bukit Ho Swee fire on 25 May, 1961 whom I have never met her before.

She sat quietly at a corner of the hall and we were not aware that she was a non-English speaking participant at the "Great Fire 1961 of Bukit Ho Swee" public talk initiated by Kelvin Ang, who created the event on Facebook as:

[In 1961, a great fire consumed the nearby Kampong Bukit Ho Swee, one of Singapore's largest squatter settlements. The fire made 16,000 people homeless, creating a national emergency that led to the first big public housing project of the new Housing and Development Board (HDB). HDB flats now house more than four-fifths of the Singapore population, making the aftermath of the Bukit Ho Swee fire a seminal event in modern Singapore. AP Loh Kah Seng grew up in one-room rental flats in the HDB estate built after the fire. Drawing on oral history interviews, official records and media reports, he describes daily life in squatter communities and how people coped with the hazard posed by fires. His examination of the catastrophic events of 25 May 1961 and the steps taken by the new government of the People's Action Party in response to the disaster show the immediate consequences of the fire and how relocation to public housing changed the people's lives. Come find out more about this fire. AP Loh is the author of the recently published book on the fire: 'Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore'].

Towards the end of the talk,  the lady was walking out of the hall and told us: "Everyone are speaking English and I do not understand".

Kelvin and I then quickly invited her to take a seat in front of the hall to share her story in Mandarin.

Thanks to my blogger friend Lina-Catcat who produce this inspiring video to share everyone to watch the story of the Bukit Ho Swee fire survivors; and the active participants to tell their own stories, each with their own perspectives and memories. Photos with credit and acknowledgement of thanks to Lina for her photos.