Photo of a family at Lower Pierce Reservoir courtesy of Flickr member Soapstar
We walked to the front end of the reservoir towards the part where huge pipes stood. These pipes seemed to come out of the ground and spanned across a man-made channel about 25 to 30 yards wide. Most times the channel was empty but I assumed that they will be filled with water during a heavy rainfall. To a little child, these pipes were massive structure that must have carried huge amounts of water from the reservoir to another place. The older kids and adults were able to walk on these huge pipes across the channel to the other side.
In the 60s you don’t see many monkeys in the forest reserve, especially at the front entrance of the reservoir. If you ventured deeper into the forest you may get an occasional view of monkeys. I once spotted what appeared to be a wild boar, from a distance. I think they were virtually extinct by then. A friend of mine has seen an anteater, another animal thought to be extinct.
Once we hiked the entire perimeter of the reservoir, along the water’s edge. It was a tough 8-hour hike for a young teenager. Sometimes we had to cross over the water because the tracks became inaccessible. We received many cuts from the reeds in the water which had sharp edges, like the lalang grass. At the end of the long hike, when we reached the Island Club golf course, we congratulated ourselves heartily for completing the mission.
Pierce was very much undeveloped in the 60s. It was essentially a forest reserve in its “raw untamed state”. There were no developed tracks for running or cycling, exercises or trekking. Except for the front entrance, no one but the adventurous ventured into the interior. Before the construction of the new Upper Pierce reservoir, it was simply know as Pierce Reservoir (now renamed Lower Pierce Reservoir). It was this old Pierce reservoir that was the playground of my childhood days. As Freddy said, Pierce Reservoir was a place where you “roughed it out”. Only men and boys do that in those days.