Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Magazine of 1962

Princess Elizabeth Estate School produced its first annual school magazine in 1962.
It became the forerunner for the usual format of subsequent annual magazines, with photos of staff, students, sports events and compositions by students.

The following is a sampling of what was in the first issue.

The School Staff (Sch I & Sch II)

Back (L-R): Mr Chua Poon Guan, Mr KL Venugopalan, Mr Foo Hoe Han, Mr C Seevaratnam, Mr R Sittampalam,
Mr Tan Cheng Kwang, Mr Peter Sundra, Mr Mohd Yazid Pilus, Mr Siow Chair Yuan, Mr Wang Ah Soon,
Mr R Dorairaj.

Centre (L-R): Miss EP Ortega, Miss Koo Woon Chan, Miss N Santha Bai, Miss Christine Chew, Miss Chew Yong Hwi, Miss Yong Lai Chue, Miss Cheng Sock Chou, Miss Hong Hong Tee, Miss C Armstrong, Miss Tan Chey Joo,
Miss Noraini Ismail, Miss Foo Ngin Kiow, Mr Koh Soon Chua.

Front (L-R): Mrs Irene Chee, Mrs R Brampy, Miss Tan Gek Eng, Mr Bernard Fernandez (Sr Teacher Sch II),
Mr G Catherasoo (Principal), Mr J Aeria (Sr Teacher Sch I), Mrs P Pancharatnam, Mrs K Lee Yin Oi, Mrs Wong Noi Hor

Primary 6A (Sch I)

Primary 6A (Sch II)

Primary 6B (Sch II)

Primary 6B (Sch I)

Primary 6C (Sch I)

Compositions by students.....

More photos...
I remembered this Garden was entirely covered with mud flowing from
the development of the housing estate and was off limits to all around 1965.
P.E.lesson at the school field.

Sports Day march past at the estate football field.
In this magazine, I also discovered something surprising which I didn't know till now.
It was from the reports about the Sport Houses. I will share this with you in a future post.

Hillview seen from Bukit Timah Hill

I found an old picture of the Hillview/Bukit Gombak area taken around the late 1960s.
Unfortunately, the quality is not too good but several landmarks can be seen.
This was taken from Bukit Timah Hill just behind the malay kampong (foreground) at Fuyong Estate.

Click on photo for an enlarged view.

A. Princess Elizabeth Estate
B. RAF radar station on Bukit Gombak summit.
C. Popular Estate. (Jalan Zamrud/Intan/Batu Nilam)
D. Bukit Gombak slope being cleared for building of Bamboo Grove Park
E. Rheem Hume (Hume Industries)
F. KTM railway truss bridge over Upper Bukit Timah Road.
G. Fuyong Estate (fronted today by Rail Mall)
H. Union Carbide (Eveready battery) factory

Directly under letter 'D' is a tall white structure which was a windmill at Hume Industries.

Bukit Gombak below the radar station was not as forested as it is today.
There were many small farms on the slope of Bukit Gombak in 1970.

The rubber trees above 'D' still exist today but is now within the Mindef security fence.
It may the the last remnant of a rubber estate found in Singapore.

In the foreground of the photo is the malay kampong at Lorong Chamar which was behind Fuyong Estate. There were several tracks that led up to Bukit Timah summit from here (May still be there today).

Related link: Aerial view of Hillview

Friday, August 24, 2012

The French Connection

This post is a follow up to my earlier article about the century old cemetery at Chestnut Drive.
I want to focus on the early pioneers living around Upper Bukit Timah area from where eventually my old village Princess Elizabeth Estate would be a part of.
In particular this is my tribute to Father Anatole Mauduit and Father Jean Marie Belliot, two giants who built the pioneering community around the area.

In the early days of Singapore, even before the Raffles founding of 1819, there were already Chinese immigrants working on gambier and pepper plantations on the island. Gambier was a plant that was used with the chewing of betel nuts and was also used for dyeing and tanning of leather.
It was the cash corp of its day.

A gambier plantation.
Gambier and pepper plants grew on the same vine and had a symbiotic nature.

This is an antique map of Singapore in 1852 showing areas of pepper and gambier plantations around the northern Upper Bukit Timah region.
Click on map for a detailed enlarged view.
The plantations were organised under a land tenure system called "kangchu"(  港主 ) in the Chinese Teochew dialect. Each kangchu (translated as 'river master') was led by a headman whose name gave rise to the area. The kangchu obtained his grant directly from the Temengong of Johor, which gave him the right to farm the river side lands.

In the above map you can see kangchus marked and named as Leem Chu Kang, Chu Chu Kang, Lau Chu Kang, Tan Chu Kang, Nam To Kang and Chan Chu Kang.
Some of these areas are still known by these names today like Yio Chu Kang, Choa Chu Kang and Lim Chu Kang. That was how the term 'chu kang' ( 厝港 ) meaning kangchu settlements came about.

While Raffles was a visionary who planned for the commercial success of the island, there was another group of men who had an equal vision for the betterment of the populace. These were the French missionaries from the society called Missions Etrangere De Paris or MEP.

Besides evangelisation, they reached out to the early settlers through building of churches and schools. Father Jean Beurel, who was head of the local mission then, built the Church of the Good Shepherd at Bras Basah, St Joseph's Institution, the Church of Ss Peter and Paul at Queen Street and the CHIJ Convent at Victoria Street.

He sent Father Anatole Mauduit to set up St Joseph Church at Kranji in 1846 where there were about a hundred Catholics working in the gambier plantations.
Initially, Father Mauduit, with the assistance of Fr Adolphe Issaly, started the church at Kranji at a village called Boko Kang but moved to the present location after Fr Beurel bought 30 acres of jungle land from the English East India Company. This new location was about 3 miles south from Kranji along Bukit Timah Road.
The title deed from the East India Co. for the purchase of the Bukit Timah land, 26 Aug 1851.

They built a church of wood on the hilltop, which was known locally known as Tek Ko Swa, with space reserved for a cemetery at the rear. (Tek Ko Swa is Teochew for bamboo hill). The church was completed in 1853.

The 1st St Joseph Church in Bukit Timah built by Fr. Mauduit and completed in 1853.
( Photo c.1901 - Source: Rev Fr Rene Challet MEP)

It was to this small wooden church (pictured above) that the famous explorer and naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, came to in 1854 to study the fauna and flora of the region. Alfred Russel Wallace was later to co-found the Theory of Evolution with Charles Darwin, based in part on the studies he made around Bukit Timah.

Father Mauduit died in 1858. For the next twenty years, the french MEP missionaries continued the work of ministering to the people in the rural northern regions. In 1878, came Father Jean-Marie Belliot, who was to stay on for the next 54 years at St Joseph.

In 1905, Father Belliot re-built the church, replacing the wooden building with a new paladin style church that would last till 1965.  Fr Mauduit and Fr Belliot both died in Singapore and were buried in the small cemetery behind the church that they built.

The church built by Father Belliot in 1905. ( Picture taken around 1960.)

Here is an extract from the book "The French in Singapore" by Maxim Pilon & Daniele Weiler. It tells of the hardships faced by the early missionaries in the tiger infested and Chinese gang controlled region of Bukit Timah.
"Life on the plantation was harsh: the workers were poor, and the dangers constant. An MEP report states: At Singapore, the Chinese Church is within the forest. The zeal of Father Mauduit had overcome all the obstacles and his little flock is increasing everyday. His catechumens are admirable, full of simplicity and fervour. They are poor, and their priest even poorer than them all; he considers himself lucky when he gets enough rice and plantains for his meals."

MEP missionaries who served at St Joseph Church
Dates indicate period at St Joseph Church Bukit Timah.
Anatole Mauduit, 1846-1858*
Adolphe MF Issaly**, (curate),1847 - 1853,
Ambrose Maistre, 1858-1860
Augustin Perie, 1860-62, 1868-1870
Adolf Issaly, 1864-1866 & in1871
Jean Pierre Remes, 1863-1864
Peter F Sorin, 1866-1868
JM Eugene Roussereau, 1870-1871
Elisee F Delouette, 1872 – 1876*
C J Saleilles, 1877-1881
Jean-Marie Belliot, 1878-1934*
L J Galmel, 1883-1885
Rene Challet, 1972-1977
Felix Brygier (curate), 1974-1982***
Louis Amiotte-Suchet, 1982-1986.

Other MEP Missionaries buried at St Joseph Church cemetery
Christopher Mazery *
Joseph Alibert*
Gustave Derenne *
Alexandre Blanchet *
Claude C Tisserrand *
Rene Girard*

*   Buried in the Cemetery at St Joseph Church Bukit Timah.
** Fr Issaly is buried at Church of Ss Peter & Paul,Queen Street.
*** Fr Felix Brygier is interred at the St Teresa Church, Kampong Bahru.

Related links: The cemetery at Chestnut Drive.
                       The Anti-catholic Riot of 1851
                       St Joseph Church Bukit Timah 1965
                       Alfred Russel Wallace
                       Photos of St Joseph parish cemetery

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Estate Footballers.

Princess Elizabeth Estate was blessed with a regulation size soccer pitch built within the estate compound.  Lovingly referred to by residents as  the Big Field”,  the football field was the focal point for residents who gathered in the evenings to watch football matches or team practices.

Having a communal field led to many informal teams formed by groups of residents and some became very proficient in their skills. E Shanmugaratnam was a national player who honed his skills playing with the estate teams. The 1st inter-constituency football championship was won by a team from P.E.E.

In the 1960s, the pitch was the home ground for the Union Carbide factory teams. They had staff players like Mahat Ambu, who was the Singapore Centre Forward and Quah Kim Choon from the famous local Quah football family (brother of Kim Lye and Kim Song). 
Large crowds would gather whenever the Union Carbide teams played. The Union Carbide ‘A’ team won the Singapore Business House Football League many times and was a renowned powerhouse in Singapore football in those days.

Here is a photo of one of the resident football teams.
Photo was taken during a competition at Boys Town in 1975.

Back row L-R: Ah Kiong (blk 17), Aswan (blk 10), Miswadi (blk 10), Mohd Anwar (blk 18),  Ratnam (blk 18), Leong Weng Soon (blk 9)
Front L-R: Whye Nyan (blk 23), Rahim (blk 19), Yusoff Rahmat (Blk 18), Aziz (blk 23), Binhan (blk ?), Selamat Ali (blk 6).
Photo was contributed by Baharudin Anwar.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The new neighbours.

I guess it's a bit of a misnomer as the old P.E. Estate is no longer there.
The original site of P.E.E. is still lying in fallow today even after the demolition since the mid 1990s.

However, the surrounding areas have seen tremendous changes.
Hillview has become one of the more sought after 'mass market' condominium belts.
It will get livelier with the coming on-stream of the Hillview MRT Station and the new mall being built.

This was in today's Straits Times newspaper.

Click on photo fo enlarged view.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photos from ex-residents (8) - Teo Joo Hong

These are pictures of the graduating kindergarten class of Princess Elizabeth Estate Community Centre taken in 1970.  They were on an outing to Haw Par Villa.

Teo Joo Hong is the fifth boy on the right from the front.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The old Gombak Nature Trail.

When I was a youngster living at Princess Elizabeth in the 1960s and 70s, there were no such things as Nature Trails then. Instead, the entire Gombak hillside was our nature trail. Climbing up Bukit Gombak was part of our routine and exploring the hillside was just a game to us kids then.

I was lucky because our family washerwoman, Mrs Cheng, lived up on the slope near the RAF radar station. It was common for us to visit and spend the day at their kampong house simply because it was fun. Their house was surrounded by fruit trees. There were durian, mangosteen, rambutans, buah kelondong, putosan, sugar cane and star fruits. Papayas and pineapples were growing wild everywhere! It was like a Garden of Eden.

The former RAF radar Station on the summit of Gombak.

I only dread the times when I had to attend to the call of nature. The outhouse was smelly and full of flies. And you really only had newspaper to finish your business with ! The outhouse was about 30m away from the main house and had a small cement cess pit. A farmer would come everyday to collect the waste to use as fertiliser!

Somewhere up on the Gombak ridge there was a natural spring that gush forth magically from underground between huge boulders. I remember we called it the Moses Well. The spring gave out so much water that the hillside residents ran bamboo pipes and hoses from it and piped water directly to their houses. The spring created a stream that flowed right down towards the Taluki kampong. There was so much water from this spring that small fishes and crabs could be found in the stream that flow through the kampong.

For those who lived at the estate, you might remember the stream that flowed through this kampong.
It ran beside the shortcut track (Lorong Taluki) from the estate towards Boys Town direction.
There was also a Guan Yin Temple up on the slope of Bukit Gombak behind block 23.
You can't see it from the estate as it was blocked by trees, but there was a well worn path leading to it.

I was reminiscing about these things today when I went exploring the old Gombak Nature Trail.
When the HDB built Bukit Gombak precinct as part of Bukit Batok, they converted the old Gammon Quarry into a lake and named it Little Guilin because the granite formation looked a bit like its famous namesake in China. The park that surrounds the lake is called the Bukit Batok Town Park and has the Gombak Stadium and Sports Hall incorporated as part of the entire park.

Though many may not know it now, there was a Gombak Nature Trail created as well as part of the recreational facilities. This Gombak Nature Trail started from the Stadium and went across the Gombak ridge towards Hillview. The trail ended at Chu Lin Road at Bamboo Grove Park.

This Gombak Nature Trail, though less than a kilometer in length, is no mere walk in the park. Compared to the Bukit Batok Nature Park Trail, this winding Gombak Trail can be said to be for the fittest. It's a tough hard climbing trail. But why it is that the Gombak Nature Trail is not so well known?

This sign says it all.....

Unfortunately, due to landslides in 2006 at the Chu Lin Road end, NParks decided to close the trail rather than spent money repairing or creating a new trail. The entrance to the trail is boarded up and the signs says " permanently closed. "

Despite this, crazy fellows like me know that the trail still exists. Only that officially the authorities will not be responsible if you go there yourself! You can get through the boarded up entrance with a bit of ingenuity.

The sad part is that ever since it was closed, the jungle has started to reclaim the trail but it is still passable today. I went to the cliff edge to take a photo of the Little Guilin lake but unfortunately the view is now completely blocked by shrubs. Luckily I still have an old picture of the view from the time it was open.

You can see photos of the old Gombak Nature Trail that I took today. Click here.
If you are contemplating on some adventure, I suggest you bring a friend along for safety.
It's a bit creepy going alone. haha.

The view of Gombak Stadium from the top of the trail.

Photos from ex-residents (7) - Teo Joo Hong

This is a group photo of the teaching staff from Princess Elizabeth Estate School in 1976. (1979?)
Photo was contributed by Teo Joo Hong who lived at Blk 19 (Unit #115) from 1970 to 1980.
Joo Hong graduated from Pri. 6A in 1976.

Princess Elizabeth Estate School, teaching staff.

Related posts: Class of 1979
                       Princess Elizabeth Estate School

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Places around P.E.E.(6) - The Cemetery at Chestnut Drive.

The St Joseph Church Cemetery. 1846 - 1984.

Few people know of this small cemetery at Chestnut Drive.
It was created in 1853 with the construction of St Joseph Church at Bukit Timah.

This cemetery is actually the second oldest Christian cemetery in Singapore, predated only by the Fort Canning Cemetery. It is much older than the former cemeteries at Bidadari and Kandang Kerbau.
Though still in existence today, it is no longer used for burials. It was closed in 1984 after nearly 140 years in use. It was estimated to have more than 400 burials there but no one knows for sure.

In fact, ever since Fort Canning Cemetery had been completely exhumed and is no longer a cemetery, this small burial ground at Chestnut Drive is now the oldest existing Christian cemetery in Singapore.

Forgotten graves at the old cemetery.

One reason it survived till now is that it is located on privately owned land. Another being that it was used solely for church members (i.e. for the parish community) and was not opened for public burials. Sadly, developments have been creeping up and it is probably only a matter of time before Singapore looses yet another heritage site.

The land was bought from the English East India Company by the Catholic Church in the 1840s.
This was still jungle territory at the time and the only road that led to the area ended at Bukit Timah Village (near today's Beauty World). To reach the church at Upper Bukit Timah meant trekking a further 5km through forested areas. These areas were being cleared at the time for gambier and pepper plantations. Among the plantation workers, there was a large number of Catholics who had migrated to Singapore to escape the persecutions in Indo-China.

The french Catholic priest who built St Joseph Church, Fr Anatole Mauduit, was a missionary from Indo-China, and was assigned to look after the growing Catholic community in the then tiger infested jungle area of Bukit Timah.

The first recorded burial at this cemetery took place on 7th November 1846. The grave is probably still there. The last burial was in 1984 under the tenure of Fr Simon Yim who was the parish priest at the time.

In my youth during the 1970s, I was a fervent parishioner at this church and used to visit the cemetery very often. I really liked the ambience of a small parish cemetery and even had a wish to be buried there at the end of my life! I guess that won't happen now that the cemetery is closed.
At that time, the church had employed a kebun (groundsman) whose duty partly included digging the burial graves and maintaining the cemetery where possible.

Yesterday, I visited the old cemetery. I was there to see the renovations that were done to St Joseph Church and decided to look at the graveyard where once my grandfather and uncle were buried.

St Joseph Church Bukit Timah, Aug 2012. After the renovations.

The cemetery today is in a very sad state of deterioration.
After its closure in 1984, many graves were exhumed for re-interring at columbariums. These included my grandfather and uncle's graves as well.
What is left are presumably those whose relatives are no longer around. These forgotten graves are starting to deteriorate and crumble. I noticed that even some of the graves near the entrance to the cemetery have been exhumed and the land turned into car parking spaces! It was quite sad to see that, i.e. losing our heritage in the name of progress.

A century old grave at the cemetery.

What saddened me most was something I saw while exploring through the graveyard.
It was the grave stone of Fr Anatole Mauduit hidden under some grass.
I was lamenting the fact that it was not being preserved or even looked after with better care.

I remembered that there was once a special monument made for him. This monument had his tomb, together with the tomb of another priest, Fr Belliot, who was a long serving parish priest from 1878 to 1934. This monument had also contained the remains of Archbishop Michael Olcomendy, the 1st Archbishop of Singapore and that of another missionary.

The remains of Archbishop Olcomendy were exhumed many years ago and re-interred at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd at Bras Basah Road.
I suspect that during this exhumation, the other tombstones were removed and re-sited as the monument can no longer be found. Fr Mauduit's grave marker lies forgotten at the cemetery. I tried locating but couldn't find the tombstone of Fr Bellios.

The grave stone of Fr Anatolius Mauduit, 1st parish priest at St Joseph. He died in 1858.
Sadly, this monument is weathering badly in the open and was covered by overgrowth.

To see more pictures of the cemetery which I took during my visit, please visit my photo blog here.
Sadly, the pictures shows the deteriorating and neglected graves, some of which are more than 100 years old. Some of the tombstones of early missionaries are also badly strewn around.

I do hope if any parishioners of St Joseph Church reading this blog can bring this to the attention of their parish priest. It is really sad to see our heritage just going from dust to dust. It should be treated like a treasure found in the field, as Christians say. It should be preserved to ensure our continuing connection with the past.

Related links:  The French Connection
                        The Anti-Catholic Riot of 1851
                        St Joseph Church Bukit Timah

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Places around P.E.E. (5) - Keramat Habib Syed Ismail.

Just outside Princess Elizabeth Estate, on Upper Bukit Timah Road beyond Fuyong Estate, was a quaint building that supposedly housed the relics of a pious holy saint.

The Keramat Habib Syed Ismail was located across the road from Hume Industries in a tiny kampong area beside the KTM railway line.
You could see the keramat as you reach the top of the uphill climb towards the Ford Motor building after passing the black KTM train bridge. It was a small wooden building, circular in shape without walls and was painted  green and yellow. Beside it stood a small wooden kampong house, presumably belonging to the caretaker family.

In my younger days, I thought that this was a mosque as I'd often saw worshippers gathering there for prayers. It was only after I shifted to the nearby Fuyong Estate that I learnt more of this place.

A keramat is a muslim shrine that contains the remains of someone who is revered as a very holy or pious person or religious teacher. Much like the Catholic tradition of shines to saints.

The keramat at Bukit Timah was said to contain the grave of Habib Syed Ismail, a holy man from India, who came to Singapore in the early years of the twentieth century and lived in that area beside Bukit Timah Hill.

The keramat of Iskandar Shah located at Fort Canning.
The keramat was similar to that of the re-constructed keramat of Iskandar Shah at Fort Canning, except that it was smaller and was more circular or octagonal in shape. I remembered it had a railing around the pillars and that it was painted in green.

Over the years, there were many legends or myths that grew out from this place.
One legend was said that Habib Syed Ismail could communicate with the Jinns (or malay spirits) that lived in the forests at Bukit Timah. There was a small waterfall nearby at the Singapore Quarry that was said to be a sacred place because Habib Syed used to meditate and communicate with the spirits there.

Another legend was that due to the position of the keramat and its sanctity, the invading Japanese Army during WWII could not occupy that place and that the battle line for Bukit Timah actually stop right before the keramat. It was said that many Chinese kampong folks took shelter for safety at the keramat during the war to prevent their capture by the Japanese Imperial troops.

The practice of worship at keramats is actually frowned upon by mainstream Muslims, but like catholicism, it is tolerated as long as it does not detract from the main religious dogmas.
Other famous keramats in Singapore include the Habib Noh at Shenton Way and the keramat at Kusu Island.

I am now trying to contact my old friend, Buangino, who was my neighbour at Fuyong Estate.
Buangino is the only person that I know of who has photographs of the old keramat at "Batu Lapan" Bukit Timah. If I get them, I will post it here.

The keramat as well as the nearby malay kampong were all demolished in the 80s or early 90s and the area now is reclaimed by nature.

(*Keramat is sometimes spelt Kramat)

Related links: The Holy Rock of Batu Lapan

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Places around P.E.E.(4) - Bukit Timah Fire Station

I was contemplating whether to add this heritage site to my blog here for the simple reason that this little building as been mentioned so often in almost every heritage blog about Singapore. But I guess it won't hurt to say something from my own point of view.

The old Bukit Timah Fire Station was the 4th station to be built in Singapore in 1956.
It's purpose then was to cover incidences occurring in the northern sector of Singapore.
It was located at the junction of Old Jurong Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road.
This fire station with its staff quarters was closed in 2005 when it was replaced by the new modern fire station at Bukit Batok Road.

Wisely, the authorities had decided that this old building was to be conserved and reused for other social and recreation purposes. Thus, in 2008 it was converted by a private consortium into a media and entertainment hub called Spectra. Unfortunately, this venture failed to take off.
In 2011, another company, the LHN Group, decided to try again and is currently in the midst of setting up the entreprise.

When Singapore was in negotiations with Malaysia over the return of the Tanjong Pagar KTM railway land, this plot and its surrounding land was initially offered to the Malaysian government as the new terminal station for the KTM railway line from Malaysia. However, it was rejected by the Malaysian government.

Then and now. This was in 1964.
Taken from the same angle. Aug. 2012.

To see more pictures of the old Bukit Timah Fire Station, please click here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Roll call for ex-PEE residents

I am grateful to my friend Peter Chan who took the trouble to source and scan for me a copy of the blueprint of Princess Elizabeth Estate as was drawn up by S.I.T. in 1951.
Here it is, followed by an aerial view of the same location taken in 1958.

Notable differences you can observe from the plan of 1951 to the finished estate would be the addition of the 2 blocks of 7-storey flats, with Elizabeth Drive extended to these 2 blocks.
The primary school was built in 1955 which was a later addition to the estate.
There were 2 badminton courts instead of the 3 planned (site of the future community centre in 1963).
The open space in front of Blk 21 was given to a car park and the Green Bus terminus.

Roll Call
In appreciation for what Peter had done for me, I was thinking that it would be such a shame if you were just to browse and look at the above pictures as just an illustration.
Thus, to make it more meaningful, I would like do a roll call of everyone who used to live there and who has visited this blog.

I know a lot of ex-residents can't remember the block number or even house number.
Once we get the ball rolling, hopefully the details will help to jog the memory for others.
I am hoping ex-residents will recall neighbours and re-connect through this blog.

To give you a head start, I will list the house number according to the blocks.
Some will recall that block numbers were only introduced in the late 60s so earlier residents may only know house numbers.

Artisan Quarters (single storey)
Clarence Walk
Blk 1 -   #1 to #3 (shophouses)
Blk 2 -   #4 to #11 (shophouses)
Blk 3 -   #12 to #14 (shophouses)
Blk 4 -   
Blk 5 -   
Blk 6 -   
Blk 7 -   
Blk 8 -   

Philip Walk
Blk 9 -    (facing goal post)
Blk 10 -  (beside football field)
Blk 11 -  (beside football field)
Blk 12 -  (facing goal post)

Elizabeth Drive
Blk 13 -  (junction of Elizabeth Drive & Hillview Ave)
Blk 14 - 
Blk 15 - 

Prince Charles Rise
Blk 16 - #99 to #102 (Single storey shophouses)

3-storey units (#01- #03-xxx or A/B for 2nd & 3rd floors)
Blk 17 - #103 to #106 
Blk 18 - #107 to #110

Princess Anne Hill
Blk 19 - #111 to #116
Blk 20 - #117 to #122
Blk 21 - #123 to #126 (facing bus terminus)
Blk 22 - #127 to #130 (beside PEES)

7-story units (#01- 07 or A-F)
Elizabeth Drive
Blk 23 - #131 to #136
Blk 24 - #137 to #142.

I will begin the roll call by adding my own family names.
You can add to it using the comment box.
Please note that before you send the comment you can select "Comment as: " please select Name/URL and type in your NAME, (you do not need to type a URL) - please do not select Anonymous if possible.

ROLL CALL for ex-Princess Elizabeth Estate Residents.

Blk 21 #01-126.
Tann Family. Parents Yean & Agnes. Siblings Stephanie, James, Joanne, Jeanette & Susan.
1953 to 1995.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Be my Guest.

I have been running this heritage blog for the past 8 months.
When I began it, the original purpose was to record as much as I can remember about living at Princess Elizabeth Estate.

Initially, I expected that only a few people would have an interest here, being so specific on topics related only to the small tiny estate. But over the past eight months, I have been encouraged to continue by readers who sent kind comments and words of thanks and rooting for me to continue. I will definitely continue to add to the blog from my own memories as far as I can.

One thing I have come to realize is that a lot of you have added bits and pieces of your own experiences living there through your comments. 
You have a lot of things that I cannot know unless you tell. 
It would be a shame if all your personal stories are not shared. 
I can only remember so much from my own perspective and I am not getting any younger!

And so the time has come for me to open up my blog for everyone who has had some previous connection, no matter how insignificant, to Princess Elizabeth Estate. 
You may have been an ex-resident, or have friends who lived there. 
You could have just heard about it from someone….

I invite you to become a Guest Blogger on Princess Elizabeth Estate: memories of my old home village.

How do you become a Guest Blogger?
Simply tell your story in your own personal way.
You definitely do not need to be so long winded like me!
Even snippets of your experiences there, things you heard about the place, your time at school if you were from PEES, etc. 
It would be even nicer to share some pictures if you find them but don’t let the lack of a photo deter you from telling your story. 
It does not have to be focused only on PEE. It can be anything you wish to share with us.

Send this to my email ( and I will publish your article as a Guest Blogger.
You may use a pseudonym, or may ask that you be partially identified, or not at all.
Of course, I would like to know who you are.

I will not ‘change’ your stories and I hope that you will oblige by following some common sense courtesies like no profanity, libelous statements or defaming others. After all, as ‘publisher’ I will become jointly responsible as well. But I would like to reserve the right to make small edits if necessary. I hope you will give me your understanding on this.

Let’s all band together to remember that tiny estate that we all have so much fond memories of.  
Only we can do that. If we don’t do that, nobody will and all will be lost in time.
Let people remember for posterity that there was once a beautiful place called Princess Elizabeth Estate.

Guest Bloggers
Grace Seah

Who let the cows out ?

The Singapore Cold Storage Dairy Farm was just a stone’s throw from Princess Elizabeth Estate.
I can recall back in the late 1960s that, at times, they let some of the cows roam around PE Estate!
Why they did this was beyond me as the Dairy Farm had a huge expanse of pasture land.

I remembered seeing the cows grazing on Hillview Circus and along the centre road dividers of Hillview Avenue. The road dividers then were large and turfed and you could see the scattered bovines calmly settled down on the grass patches mulching their cuds.

Occasionally,  the herdsmen would even lead their animals onto the fields that separated the housing blocks at PEE. I don’t recall seeing the cows there myself but I do know that they must have been there because you can see evidence of their feeding all over the fields later. (cow dung!)

This morning, these thoughts flashed back when I passed the open field beside Jurong Point.
There were cows grazing on that field! 
This is not the first time that I saw these cows though. They had these same cows a year ago.

In fact, they were such a sight that many were stolen and this year they placed a sign saying “Area under surveillance” !

Cow rustling in Singapore?  Well, not exactly.

These were the cows I saw this morning.