Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Memories: Home: By Ms CYLin

This National Day posting has been contributed by Ms CYLin. Thank you, Lin, once again for another nostalgic piece about our Little Red Dot. 
Fifty two years of nationhood.  That is middle-age by human standard.  Yet looking around me, the physical environment is forever rejuvenating with lots of 'nip and tucks', 'fillers', 'make overs'.  Unlike the human race, she is not allowed to age gracefully.  And as with ageing, memories fade.

My family of six used to rent a room in a huge atap roof bungalow in Paterson Hill. The kids of different races in that area came together in a big field for physical workouts -- climb trees; kick chaptek; fly kites; strike marbles; hop scotch; played police and thieves.  What is now at No.1 Paterson Hill?
My classmates and I would go to the National Library at Fort Canning/Penang Road.  We not only read or borrow books but also to extend the half day at school to enjoy one another's company.  I try to visualise the exact location of the building.  I see an underpass that allows vehicular traffic from Stamford Road to 'smoothly' flow through to Penang Road.

The National Theatre with its natural air-conditioning at River Valley Road was where local and foreign acts were staged.  The Singapore Girl Guides Association put up a concert in 1973 to raise funds to send some youth members to attend overseas events.  
It was in 1965 that my brother and some friends used this venue to raise funds to help a former classmate who broke his spine in a diving accident and became an invalid.  Today, all I see as a reminder of this beautiful building is a laughable structure of its facade nailed on a field at the junction of River Valley Road and Tank Road.

My present home of 44 years is in a public housing estate of some interesting design and labelled a heritage site.  Does this mean that I can remain here till my last breath?  Or as with many not only public but private property, it will have to give way to progress in a uniquely small spot.  I understand the constraint of size and accept grudgingly that most times things are done for the good of the majority.

I often feel and say that I'm of the lucky generation.  My migrant parents slogged to give me an education that saw me take up a profession that grants me fulfilment.  Today I'm enjoying my retirement years in ways that they were not able to.  I have good health.  

I use public transport to go to all parts of the island and reminisce... I have reasonable wealth to live comfortably by no one else's but my own standard.  I feel safe and secure in the knowledge that my family, friends, and neighbours in the vicinity are there for me in my hours of need as I am for them.
It's natural to yearn for the good old times.  With age, memories become less sharp and comparison between the past and present are less distinct.  This national day as with all the previous ones I thank God for blessing Singapore and pray that He continually does so.  I on my part will live 'one day at a time, for tomorrow may not be mine.'


To read other postings by Ms CYLin, click her name under Labels below.

Image: Google.
You Tube Video: Kit Chan sings Home composed by Dick Lee.


henri gann said...

What a beautiful essay ! A true Singapore experience. Very well written. Congratulations Ms Lin. I remember the playing marbles part and the flying or chasing kites and how about a game of rounders; all right in the Katong neighborhood. Oh ! don't forget badminton too. Fort Canning (especially the wall of history) and the Botanical Gardens are still 2 of my favorite places to reminisce about Old Singapore. Happy National Day to all !!!


Happy Birthday Singapore



LIM KUAN MIN said...

Professor Tommy Koh's recent article on Singapore's size, stature and influence among nations caused much reflection and comments on social media. I share the good Professor's pride of SG's world class achievements in many fields and caution for SG to always show humility, mutual respect and wisdom in relation with other countries.

Having experienced and lived through the birth of SG as an independent nation since separation from Malaysia I think we are quite fortunate that SG has over the past few decades, survived pretty well and has progressively, continually built a safe and harmonious community where people of different religious and ethnic back grounds can live peacefully.

Going forward there will always be ups and downs, good times and bad as local leadership changes amid the turbulence of global unpredictability. As we celebrate SG's 52nd National Day, I hope it will continue to survive well every year to reach SG60 and maybe70...

Finally, can we have some really talented song writers to compose some really great national days songs that are simple, folksy and catchy without being heavily loaded with motherhood statements??

So far HOME quite fits the bill.

Andy maybe you and some talented music people of yesteryear can do something?


Happy National Day




As usual, I cringe. Celebrating National Day showing the MPs clapping hand ON BEAT lamely and wiggling their bodies with absolutely no rhythm. EEK...


A very good article by CY Lin. Well written.

I have to mention: Singapore, only 52 years old? Even we are older. The word GOD in her article. What He created is not counted and included? His creation called the Universe and that includes our world and our tiny island.

What about our previous leaders before them: The British? Their decades of running Singapore not included in the number of years? Reminder, good or bad, if not for them bringing in the various other races here to help run our island we won't be what we are today. They put in the nucleus to what is now our multi, multi-racial country.


Hi Andy,

Wishing you a HAPPY AND BLESSED NATIONAL DAY to you too!

Lovely rendition from CYLin. Thanks.


Brother Andy and loved ones, let us share with pride, as we stand united to celebrate the 52nd birthday of our Little Red Dot called Singapore.

Lord Almighty to keep us safe at all times.

Cheers and God Bless.

LIM KUAN MIN said...

Friends whatever your political inclination in SG, as we watch the NDay Parade on TV or at the Float now, let's reflect on how SG has come along so far. Of course, there is still a lot more than the country can learn from others and improve upon. As long as we can see the effort being made by the power that is to make SG better yearly there is hope for this little Red Dot to continue to shine.😀

ISNANI ALI said...

No matter what..i still love my Singapore.

ISNANI ALI said...

No matter what..i still love my Singapore.

FACEBOOK said...

Thanks to the following for liking this post
Leow Pei Yin
Amelia Choo
Johari Bin Mohamed Rais
Thoo Mei Lan
Sharon Lee
Jiang Liyun
Wong Ling
1 mutual friend
Add Friend
Leong Oi Ching Veronne
Low Thian Sang
Sita Singh
Daniel Ng
Jo Ann Kuek
Magdalene Tan
Vani Gunasilan
Lin Ying Ying
Pooi P Chin
Reybellin Loh
Tick Watt Neo
Poon May Foong
Peter Cheng
Dennis Yap Swee Beng
Mohamed Nasir Rahmat Ali

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks again for the best wishes and different views about the National songs, the Parade itself and the total silence about British presence in Singapore.

Lin's posting has certainly interested many parties but whatever political inclination or ideas we have about Singapore, it's always loyalty first for the country.

Majulah Singapura.

henri gann said...

Finally great responses for CY Lin !
That should inspire her to write more for Andy's blog. Ha !
Well, let me add further of what I like about CY Lin essay on Singapore for someone who had left home over 50 years ago.
Her introduction to life growing up in Singapore had touched home for me. The games we played as a kid and the walk on Katong Beach and the Botanical Gardens were our exercises. We had our share of renting a room for a family of 6 and I am sure there are many in Singapore who had similar experiences. Singapore has developed into a beautiful and modern country although more can be done to preserve old Singapore and its natural habitats.
However I would like to add that the New Singapore is the result from the basic foundation laid by the British and that its development are from the energy of its people: the Chinese, Indian and other Immigrants and not forgetting the Eurasians and the Malays.
Without dwelling too much into politics, these were all possible because of the political stability in Singapore. However, Singapore had traded political stability for freedom and it will take years and probably generations for Singapore to enjoy full Democracy. In the meantime, what is important is that many in Singapore are happy and thankful for the new life in Singapore. Enjoying full Democracy is not missed because many do not know what it means and probably do not care or want to know. Sorry for the last remark !
"Mari kita rakyat Singapura....Cita-cita kita yang mulia" words I still remember from school :)

FL said...

To all Singaporeans, here and abroad, wishing Singapore a happy 52nd birthday and a happy National Day ! And more good and peaceful years ahead.


Was the guy who broke his spine the artist, Johnny Ang?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

According to Lin, it was another person. Thanks Stephen for your question but possibly similar to Johnny's who happened to be a friend.

Also, thank you to Henri (his article about Peggy Tann is coming up next) and FL (one of this blog's dearest readers) who write often to comment and say their piece.

Many thanks to Irene Hoe (former Straits Times journalist) who connected this blog to Gloria Chandy (former Straits Times journalist) who now lives in France.

FACEBOOK said...

John Cher
Leslie Wilson Joseph
Koh Sui Pang
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Monica Gwendoline Pestana Ho
Mohammed Ali
Peter Lim
Raymond Cho
Rose Khoo
Tan Soo Khoon
Kwandy Yao
Irene Hoe
Foo Jong Fook
Ann Rowena Lim
Gloria Chandy

Thanks to the above for reading and liking this post.

Ballroom said...

How do I contact CY Lin? I am co-writing a book about the mansion with the attap roof that used to be located at 1 Paterson Hill Road with one of the late Dr. Lim Boon Keng's descendants. He recalls many of the things CY Lin has included in her blog about Lim Boon Keng's kampong. Would be thrilled to get in touch with her. my email is plin123@gmail.com. Thank you.