Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bridge over smelly waters

Long time readers of this blog will recall that I had blogged several times about the tributary of the Kallang River which flowed through my kampong not far from my house. I have also included it in my book Good Morning Yesterday; Growing Up in Singapore in the the 1950s and 1960s. We called this tributary the Dead Chicken River of “Sei Kai Hor” in Cantonese (死鸡河).

Recently, I found two old photos of my late father and his friends taken at an unnamed place. After some discussion with my brothers, we have good reason to believe that this place is indeed the Dead Chicken River.

I believe these photos were taken in either 1947 or 1948 because I found other similar photos of my dad and his buddies, and written at the back of these photos were the dates 1947 or 1948. This explains why the waters in the photos look rather clean compared to what I remember. My memories are from the late 1950s and early 1960s when I was in primary school. These photos were taken more than a decade earlier. It was probably a new kampong with fewer residents then. My guess would be that my dad had already decided to move to this kampong because his parents had bought some land here. He must have been hosting a visit to his new home. In fact, when we were growing up, my siblings and I – especially my younger brother Chun Meng - often had our friends stay over in our kampong.

Coming up next – Photos of my dad and his buddies at a place called Paradise Island.

My earlier posts on the Dead Chicken River:

1)    Our kampong  (posted on 19/10/2005)
2)    Nomore dead chickens (posted on 24/2/2006) 

1 comment:

Zen said...

The bridge over the smelly river is presently part of the 'fragrance' bishan park canal, and for sure no more stinking. Last week my daughter spent time with her friend over a cup of coffee at a fast food joint in the park. She came back home, excitedly reporting that many people were catching small fishes in the canal. She even urged me to go there to catch a few fishes for her. I believe the relevant authority must have come up with a clever idea of promoting the park by introducing lot of small fishes into the canal, enticing kids to go there and their respective parents accompanying them (for safety reason).