Today in Singapore I joined the guys over at My Community for another walk around the queenstown area. Holland village village though it did have a windmill didn’t get its name from the Dutch but from Hugh Holland. We stopped at a business that has existed in the area since the 60s spanning 3 generations. A magazine/newspaper store… one wonders how long this business will last.
Next stop was the neighbourhood center which included an old style barber who apart from haircuts offered ear cleaning services!
We then walked through the Ying Fo Fui Kun cemetry. The cemetry once spanned 88acres and had now been reduced to 4 but also includes the ancestral hall from 1887. The headstones are laid out in a very uniform fashion resembling the HDB blocks they made space for. Most don’t have any actual graves though ashes may be present underneath or in the columbarium.
We paused for an hour at the MOE heritage center that traces education in Singapore from the colonial times through the present day. It was very interesting to hear of the various changes that it had gone through and how world events would have changed how and what pupils were taught.
Leaving MOE we stopped at the first flatted factory established for small industries. It’s location close residential areas meant a ready supply of labour and encouraged women to be able to work while caring for their families.
We also stopped at the first HDB blocks built to promote home ownership and saw a picture of the first balloting excersise which though not very different from todays, was conducted in an open field on big black board. We then proceeded to go up to the 16th floor where foreign VIPs are brought and you could see why … There is an amazing view across the neighbourhood from the balcony there.
Walking towards Ridout road we came across the remnants of the Japanese gardens that used to be there. A fire destroyed it about 8 years after it opened in 1978 and all that remains are a scorched wall and some remnants of landscaping.
The ridout and pierce roads held many impressive bungalows some of which are residences of ambassadors.