I wonder how many of my readers know that next to the Jurong Stadium that I blogged about recently, is a public swimming pool called Jurong Town Swimming Complex. This pool holds special memories for me. Before my wife and I got married, we used to come to this pool after work to swim. At that time, she was teaching the afternoon session at the nearby Jurong Secondary School.
As you can see from the photos, this pool has closed down. In recent years, many of the older public swimming pools that my generation used to go to when we were young have suffered the same fate. Two examples that bloggers have reminisced about are the Yan Kit and the River Valley pools. Nowadays, the only public pools that survive in Singapore are found in the densely-populated HDB heartlands like Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh.
So where have all the public swimming pools gone? Answer – Gone to the 2C’s everyone; namely the Condos and Country Clubs. Over the past couple of decades, because of Singaporeans’ fondness of the 5C’s – Cash, Car, Credit Card, Condo and Country Clubs, many new swimming pools have popped up all over the island in the new condominiums and country clubs. In fact, many schools nowadays have their own pools. In my school days, this was quite unheard of. I remember, in 1968, when I was in Secondary 4 in ACS, we had to help sell fun fair tickets to raise money to build what must be one of the first schools’ swimming pools in Singapore.
When we were young, the only pools that we can go to were public pools like Yan Kit, River Valley and Farrer Park. My own favourite was the Farrer Park. Besides these three, there were probably a few more; but offhand I cannot recall the names. As for country clubs, the most famous one in the sixties was probably the Chinese Swimming Club in the Katong area. I have only been there once. It was unique for its salt water.
I guess, in a couple of years, after the bulldozers move in, few people will even know that once upon a time, there was a swimming pool in this quiet corner in the western part of Singapore. Who knows? The only place that Singaporeans of the future can learn about the Jurong Swimming Complex may well be Good Morning Yesterday.
I guess the younger readers may be a bit puzzled by my language; I mean the question and answer bit. Actually, I am adapting the words of a famous song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
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