26 January 2009

Old Singapore Quiz (5)

1. Who used to occupy the premises behind this pair of forlorn-looking gates?

2. Where is this location? (Give the road name.)

3. In which housing estate are the flats in the background located?

4. Where did the former occupant move to and when? (Give the address and year.)

Update on 2 Feb 2009 - Answers to Quiz

1. Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (SILRA).

2. Lorong Buang Kok.

3. Buangkok estate.

4. SILRA Home is located at 80 Buangkok View, Buangkok Green Medical Park, Singapore 534191 since 1 Oct 2005.

Although the letters had been removed (no photoshopping at all) and were worn by time and weather, a cross and the words "SILRA HOME" are still faintly visible on the wall near the gates.

Leprosy is called ma2 feng (痲風) in Chinese. During the period from 1962-67, the average number of newly registered leprosy cases in Singapore was slightly more than 200 each year. The number of new cases is steadily declining and now there are about 30 cases a year.

You can find out more about the disease from SILRA website here.

24 January 2009

Woman Hit By Killer Litter

This is not a hoax. A person really did fall down this time. Sigh, it is only 2 days to the Chinese New Year and this unlucky incident has to happen.

At about 7.45 pm tonight, while I was driving in the carpark near Blk 608 of Bedok Reservoir Road, I saw a crowd of people gathered below the block. After I parked my car, I walked over to the block to investigate. I found a middle-aged Chinese woman lying on the ground. She was bleeding from the head. Luckily, she was still concious and could still move her hands.

At first I thought it was a case of attempted suicide. It was only when I saw a broken 16-inch standing fan lying nearby that I realised the woman was hit by killer litter while walking below the block.

The ambulance arrived a short while later. Two officers attended to the injured woman and carefully placed her onto a stretcher. They taped her head to prevent it from moving and then gently carried her into the waiting ambulance. Not long after, the police came and carried out their investigations.

I hope that the woman was not seriously injured and the culprit would be caught soon.

Here's wishing all of you a Happy Chinese New Year. May you 出入平安 (chu4 ru4 ping2 an, meaning "be safe when going out and coming back").

Related post

My younger son's article on a killer-litter incident that happened opposite our block last July.

21 January 2009

Surprise Letter From Son

Today I received a surprise letter from my younger son by post. It was addressed to Mum and Dad. In it, he described some of his experiences at the recent 3-day Sec 1 Orientation Camp:

Q: Some of the memorable and exciting things that happened during the camp were:

A: Kayaking, abseiling, flying fox and sleeping.

(What? Sleeping is memorable and exciting? Son, are you sure you got your priorities right?)

Q: During the Camp, I learnt that ...

A: We should work as a team and never give up on what we do. We should also share everything we have with compassion.

(Okay that's fair comment.)

Q: Mum and Dad, for the many years that you have spent bringing me up, I would like to thank you for:

Providing me with food and shelter, supporting me with all the things I do and buying mini-cakes for me on my birthday.

(That's funny, I don't remember buying mini-cakes for your birthday - I always bought big ones enough for a family of four. Hmm ... must have been Mum.)

Q: Finally, I would like to tell you that ...

I really love you.

(Aww that's really sweet, Son! Mum and Dad love you very much too. Muack.)

11 January 2009

Who Issued MAD Notices?

Who in his right mind would issue MAD notices?

Here are some clues:

1. The notices were issued a long time ago.

2. A series of notices were issued. (This fact is rather obvious from the serial numbers on the notices.)

3. The notices were not issued by mad people or for them.

Update on 15 Jan 2009

1. I think Fr's request to show readers a part of the notice is quite reasonable. So here it is:

2. Judging from Yg's latest comment, I suspect he knows the answer but is just playing along (as he always does). I think if I offer a prize for the right guess, he would know what brand of underwear the Japanese soldiers wore. ;)

3. Today I saw a mad notice of another kind at the Holland Drive Food Centre:

Sorry that the photo is a bit blur. (Got to take a hurried snapshot before the mad chef notices me and throws her wok of boiling oil on me. :p )

Update on 19 Jan 2009 - Answer to Quiz

Apparently, nobody attempted this quiz although I am quite sure that Yg knew the answer. Why? Because he knew that the notices had to do with "Japanese soldier" (read his comments in this post) and he knew that the photos were taken in a museum (see his comments in Icemoon's post).

Below are the uncropped photos:

MAD Notice No. 27

MAD Notice No. 3

MAD Notice No. 3 - MAD stands for "Military Administration Dept"

The 2 notices were notifications of compulsory inoculation/vaccination (although I don't know the difference between the two). The inoculation/vaccination were for "all persons in Syonan-to" and were to guard against infectious diseases prevalent at that time, like typhoid and dengue fevers. The notices were issued by the Japanese Military Administration Department.

The British surrender to the Japanese took place in the Old Ford Factory. The Japanese Occupation of Singapore lasted from 15 February 1942 to 4 September 1945. During this period, there were chaos, hardship, fear and suffering; the Japanese conquerors renamed Singapore as Syonan-to, meaning “light of the South”; the year 1942, was changed to 2602 to follow the Showa calendar and even the local time was moved forward by one and a half hours to follow Tokyo time.

An old photo of the Old Ford Factory

The Old Ford Factory is now a museum. Here's how it looks like from the outside:

Some museum exhibits:

More museum exhibits:

Below is a brief history of the Old Ford Factory. (Click photo to read.)

Photo of a soldier indecently exposed, maybe it was just a "pipe that spurts water":

I asked my sons what words were in this sculpture and they told me that it looked like "ford". Hmm... indeed there's some resemblance to my untrained eyes.

But it's actually 和平 (he ping) which means "peace":

Let's hope that Singapore will enjoy everlasting peace.

06 January 2009

History Repeats Itself 40 Years Later

It all started with an SMS notification on 18 Dec 2008.

In my time exactly 40 years ago, I had to report to my primary school where a hardcopy "secondary school posting result" was handed to me personally. Oh my, how times have changed!

The school motto is "Nil Sine Labore" - "Nothing Without Labour". Why, even a human life begins with (a mother's) labour.

So we had to to report to school on 19 Dec 2008. I think it was just to find out which class my son belonged to and also to buy books and uniform.

Then we had to be in school again on 30 Dec 2008. This time, there were briefings about the school's programmes as well as the upcoming Orientation Camp for all Sec 1 pupils. The principal, Mr Low Eng Teong, gave a briefing too. If I remember correctly, he emphasised to the students 4 "do nots" (don't steal, don't cheat, don't lie and don't bully) and 2 "C's" (character and cognition). I don't know how many students really heard him but I certainly did, didn't I?

Before school starts, I have already visited it at least 3 times. Then there will be at least two parents-teachers' meetings during the school year. Now I don't remember my parents ever coming to my school at all, except when I got into trouble.

Forty years ago, it was Mr T P Naidu at the helm. At that time, I didn't live by the motto, "Nil Sine Labore" but "Do anything, just don't get caught". (Sorry, I don't know how to say that in Latin.)

There was also a showcase of the various CCAs which the school offers. The Arrow Scouts were still around, although they didn't know that they belonged to Group 1501. Their uniform was of a different colour from when I was a scout. Even the colours of their scarves were different - red with white stripes while mine was white with red stripes. It's a topsy-turvy world now.

The school was at Tyrwhitt Road from 1932-1984. From 1984-2003 it was at Geylang Bahru and in 2003 it moved to its present location in Siglap Link. The school certainly has moved house more frequently than I did.

From 2-4 Jan 2009, my son attended an Orientation Camp at MOE Changi Coast Adventure Centre.

He tried walking on fire wire.

Walking on a log.

Flying like a fox. (No, he didn't just climb out of the chimney.)

Rock climbing.

And kayaking.

How come I don't remember doing all those fun things when I was in Sec 1 in Victoria School?

01 January 2009

Feeling Nostalgic Is Good For Health

Did you read this article titled "Feeling Nostalgic Is Good For Your Health" which was published in the "Mind Your Body" supplement of the Straits Times today?

(Click on the above image to read the report.)

The article was actually reproduced from a Los Angeles Times report titled "Nostalgia Viewed As Therapeutic". In fact, The Times Of India also published a similar article, "Being Nostalgic Can Be Good For Health" recently.

In my opinion, this is certainly better than exercise as no physical effort is required, only thoughts and feelings. But be sure to think only of positive nostalgic thoughts not how much money you lost in wrong investments last year.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. Think positive nostalgic thoughts and live a long and healthy life.