Recently, I received two wonderful gifts in the mail.
The first is Derek Tait’s latest book; More Memories of Singapore and Malaysia. Readers would probably know that this is Derek’s third book about Singapore. I have not read it yet, but flipping through the pages and seeing all those wonderful photos of the old Singapore is already a great fun. I gather that much of what is written in this book is a compilation of stories sent to him by friends; British folks like Tom O’Brien, John Harper and Brian Mitchell who spent a few years of their childhood here when their parents were stationed in Singapore as military personnel in the sixties.
I am much inspired by Derek’s books and have decided that I too would like to compile stories from this blog into a book. I take this opportunity to thank guest bloggers and readers for their stories.
The second gift was in the form of an old photo album sent to me by Russ Wickson who earlier sent me this email.
"Dear Lam Chum See
I have had much enjoyment reading through 'Good Morning Yesterday'. I was stationed with the Royal Air Force firstly at Tengah and later at Changi between May 1965 and November 1967 when I was returned to the UK. Like so many of your readers and subscribers I have a plethora of fond memories and I have never given up the hope of returning one day to root around old haunts, although I suspect many have disappeared as your site suggests.
Anyway, the purpose of this email is to say some years back now I was given a small photograph album by an RAF chap who served in Singapore 1946 to 1948. The album contains small black & white prints and I'm wondering if it might be of use to you.
I'm sure with all the modern technology available these days those prints considered suitable could be reproduced and may give pleasure to others, but of course that would be up to you to decide.
I am quite happy for you to have the album, assuming you would like it, if so can you give me an address where to send it.”
And thus this mouldy but precious old album arrived in the letter box together with a small book entitled, History of Changi - original 1960's print. Russ explained in his cover letter that this photo album was actually given to him about 10 years ago by an elderly gentleman by the name of George Shaw. George loved his time in Singapore but was sad that his own children had no interest in his past and thus “would love someone like yourself to have the remains of the album and to do what you will with it”. (He said ‘remains of the album’ because some photos were missing from it.
Besides Russ Wickson, I have also received photos from people I have not met before like Robin Brewster who emailed me those photos of the elephants exercising at Seraya Crescent, Gordon Carle who emailed me several photos of Chestnut Drive, Bukit Gombak and Bukit Panjang. And then there is Michael Frost. I tell you more the next time.
I have said many times in this blog that I wished I had more photos of the old Singapore to illustrate the topics I blog about. Thanks to these generous and thoughtful friends from the UK, I will have plenty of things to blog about and can take on lots of “2nd Shot” (Then and Now) projects in the future.
On behalf of friends of Good Morning Yesterday, Thank you very much, 谢谢, terimah kasih.
Have a blessed Lunar New Year everyone.
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