|The old Novena Church|
My Good Friday and Easter Sunday Posting
3-5 April 2015
Redemptorist Brother Casimir Godebye (1922-2006), whose artistic talents contributed to the work of attracting many to the faith in Singapore, arrived in Singapore in July 1956 from Australia. He studied art and music before joining the Redemptorists in 1940.
In the 1960's Brother Casimir took over the Novena church choir and started a youth group called *The Primitives. They gathered each Saturday evening to clean the church after the last Novena session and had fellowship and sing-along sessions. He used to say that music is needed to attract and hold the young people to religion.
In the mid-1970's he left the world of bands, choir and pop music, lived as a hermit in a retreat in India where he learned Christian meditation. He conducted classes when he came back to Singapore. He passed on since at 84 years.
|Extended Play Record Cover of The Primitives|
Some Sleeves Speak:
Glad that I found a vinyl copy of the youth group recording entitled, Sing-A-Long With The Primitives. It is the only one by this choir if I am right, and it is a rare recording on the small Extended Play (EP). I was on my usual shopping around in a little town in Singapore.
The short literature on the back cover reads, "Our Folk Group is known as The Primitives, and we have come together, not with the intention of singing for fame, but simply to project the image of Christ. This image is very much part of our work and prayers which we offer together.
In this album, we have chosen four numbers, one of which Cumbaya is our most loved song because there is always someone somewhere, pleading searching, praying. 'Come by here, my Lord come by here.' We hope that after hearing our record you also, walk a little closer with Christ."
Side One: Rock My Soul In The Bosom of Abraham and Cumbaya
The Primitives with altogether 60 teenagers (part of the choir at the redemptorist group) took three weeks of hard work to build a giant 50-foot by 20-foot Nativity Scene on 23 December 1968, to help project the real message of Christmas.
The church is now closed for a $45 million upgrade.
Information: A Catholic News Article: 2006 (Edited).
An SG50 Memory Trail Posting.
Images: Private Collection and from Mr Francis Oei.
This posting is original.
16 September 2017.
|The new Novena Church @ 300 Thomson Road, Singapore, 307653.|
Novena Church at Thomson Road will re-open on 29 September 2017 @ 6.30 pm. after a 3-year renovation.
2nd Recording found:
After two and a half years and putting up this post again Mr. Francis Oei wrote to me (16.09.2017) on Facebook, and sent me the covers of his second vinyl. Thank you, Mr. Oei.
|Mr. Francis Oei on Facebook.|
"Hi, Andy, where you got this record... done way back in late 60's. I am in the recording with my wife Doreen before we got married... we did a second EP with Havana Gila... etc... awesome... thanks for sharing.
The second EP is The Glory Road. We were the original Primitives with Brother Casimir... great memories."
So there you are my dear readers. I shall try to interview Mr. Oei and try to get a history of these two recordings.
Back Sleeve Print:
Songs: Side One: Christ My Friend, Let's Pray. Side Two: What Now My Love,
The Glory Road.
"This is our second release and we hope that our music and songs will again bring to you the joy and happiness that was ours when we recorded it for you. Together with the Folk Singers we introduce The Primitives' band known as The Associates whose main aim, like ours is to bring souls a little closer to Christ, and we pray that one day you will work with us, ON THE GLORY ROAD."