Last Monday, I fetched my daughter to NTU (Nanyang Technological University) where she is doing her 2nd year in Biological Sciences course. It was actually a public holiday, the previous Saturday being Hari Raya Puasa. I decided to pay a visit to the Nantah Lake to see if it was still the same.
Looking at the two photos below, you would agree that this is one of the few spots in our tiny island that has been untouched by time. In fact, Nantah itself had undergone two name changes; first to Nanyang Technological Institute and later Nanyang Technological University.
In comparison, the surrounding area has undergone tremendous changes. The road that once led from the Nantah Arch at Upper Jurong Road has disappeared. The kampong-like environment has been replaced by high-rise HDB apartment blocks. A new highway has even emerged right in front separating the NTU campus from its previous entrance. And a replica of the famed Nantah Arch has been constructed in the Yunnan Garden.
The top photo is of my late parents taken in 1970.
The iconic Admin Building and the Yunnan Garden in front of it have also been preserved. I believe they now call it the Chinese Heritage Centre. The top photo is scanned from the book, Singapore, An Illustrated History, 1941 ~ 1984, Information Division, Ministry of Culture.
Previously there was a garden clock on the ground in front of the Admin Building. Now there’s a fountain. The guy in the photo is my old friend Simon Chu. We took this photo in 1969 during our crazy cycling trip around Singapore.
I saw a group of well-dressed people posing for a group photo in front of it. They must be former students back to capture some old memories.
The Yunnan Garden too has not changed much. In fact, it has improved because the pavilions and other structures look very well maintained. The Yunnan Garden looks rather empty. The students are probably too busy to utilize it. Maybe this is a good place to visit for some peace and quiet and exercise. Below are two photos taken in 1970 or thereabouts of me and my brother Chun Chew (Zen) in front of this structure (I don’t know what you call this).
We never dreamed at that time that our photos can be displayed on the internet for the whole world to see. I don't think even the futurologists ever imagined that there would be such a thing call the internet back in 1970.
Check out Dr Tan Wee Kiats posts about the Nantah Arch here and here.
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