Saturday, June 23, 2012

The P.M. visits P.E.E.

In May 1963, together with all my schoolmates from P.E.E.School, we were lined up along the roadside of Princess Elizabeth Drive (now known as Elizabeth Drive).
We each were given a tiny little triangular flag made of coloured crepe paper on a bamboo stick. We were supposed to wave our flags as hard as we could when given the cue by our teachers.
The occasion was the formal visit of the then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, to our little estate.

It felt like we had stood by the roadside for hours, fidgeting and being constantly scolded by our teachers, telling us to keep our positions and 'shut up!' It was all a big show because when the convoy did arrive, it passed us without even slowing down.

The only happy thing I still can remember about this occasion was that after the convoy passed, we were trooped back to school and each given a small pink and brown layered cake and a bottle of Green Spot!

I was then too young to realise any significance of that ministerial visit.

The PM visited Princess Elizabeth Estate as part of his 1963 constituency tours to soft sell his idea of the merger of Singapore with the Federation of Malaya. Beside the politics, he was also there to lay the foundation stone for the new community centre built by the People Association. The new community centre was located in front of block 17, beside the bus terminus carpark.

This is a montage of some thumbnail pictures of that visit. Sorry for the low resolution.
You can see the PEES schoolchildren lined along Elizabeth Drive in the left photo on the third row.


  1. Hi James, one incident I remembered from LKY's visit to PEE was when he came upon my sis, Shoen Li and our neighbour, Anthony See, waiting for him along Clarence Walk for his autograph. The security details and officials were blocking them, so he motioned them to stand aside to sign his signature on the "autograph book" that each of them were holding. The location is at the edge of the football field, just before old market. (from Yum Shoen Liang)

  2. Hi Tarraleah
    How nice if they would still have that autograph book with LKY's signature as a momento.
    One of the pictures (5th row left) shows the back of your house quite clearly (blk 20).
    Pls send my regards to your bros, SY & SK.

  3. Hi James, yes, my sis still has the autograph book with her. She also has a photo of LKY signing her autograph book. That photo from the media was displayed during an open house at Bukit Batok Community Club. Pl send my regards to Josephine.