Saturday, March 31, 2012

Iremember goes to Toa Payoh

Last night, I was at the Iremember goes to Toa Payoh event organized by the Singapore Memory Project team. They had kindly permitted me to display my new book, Good Morning Yesterday, at the venue. Visitors to the carnival were encouraged to share their memories of Toa Payoh via a variety of means.

Actually, I have lots of memories of Toa Payoh to share with them. I lived in a kampong in nearby Lorong Chuan up to 1974. Travelling along Braddell Road almost daily, I had literally seen Toa Payoh take shape before my eyes. Also, I had worked in the Philips Audio Factory in Lorong 1, Toa Payoh for 5 years up to 1984; and hence had many memories of Toa Payoh during that period; especially the eating places. But because I had to man my ‘station’ – since my book distributors were not able to attend – I did not have a chance to do it last night. But never mind; I will do it later at the SM Portal. In any case, I prefer to write my posts in an systematic manner. But I did share some memories verbally in front of the video camera because most of the visitors were too shy to do so.

Below are a couple of photos taken at last night’s event. The first photo is taken with my fellow nostalgia bloggers and Memory Corp members, James Seah and Jerome Lim. You can see lots of old photos of Singapore at James’ blog, Blog to Express, and Jerome’s Facebook page, On a Little Street in Singapore.

The second photo is taken with the Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen. I presented him with a copy of my book. In this photo, I was directing his attention to page 168 of my book which was about National Junior College. I remember seeing his name in the college’s Hall of Fame. He was probably a few years my junior in NJC. (I just learnt from Widipedia that he was also from ACS).

Congratulations to the Singapore Memory Project team for an excellent programme. They must have worked really hard to organize such an event. For those who missed it, I heard from reliable sources that the next one will probably be in Tampines or Jurong.


Thimbuktu said...

Well Done, Bro!


Edward said...

Hey Chun See, from the above photo Dr Ng Eng Hen looked a lot older than you. I’d never have guessed that he is a few years your junior!

Edward said...

A friend of mine gave me the keys to his Toa Payoh flat after his family shifted to a more up-market apartment in Thomson Road, sometime in the 70s. Their 2 bedroom flat in Toa Payoh was left vacant for several months. The idea was for me to have a quiet place to study. To get to this flat I had to walk up the steep bitumen road towards Thomson Road General Hospital. Once I reached the top I negotiated a narrow slope down, besides a building (part of the hospital) and then turned right towards his block of flat. I stayed in the flat for a couple of weeks. Whilst there I studied and cooked instant noodles for dinner. I felt a real sense of freedom, having the whole flat to myself. Several times I opened the bedroom windows and could see the rear of a building only a few metres away. There were some shrubs between the bedroom and this building. It was always dark and quiet in this area. You get this serene and peaceful feeling here. During my two week stay I have never seen a light on the ground floor of this building switched on. Perhaps its windows were blocked out. Anyway one morning I asked my friend about the building behind his flat. He told me that it was the hospital mortuary. OMG I returned the keys to him immediately! I had no wish to continue sleeping in a room only a short distance from a mortuary. Call me chicken if you like, but this is way too eerie for my liking!

Lam Chun See said...


Edward said...

Thank you Chun See ... said...

You might be the rare male who shared in front of the camera. I observed those who shared were females!