Archive for March, 2007

Terminal Fees

No it has got nothing to do with Terminal illness or disease! Neither do I understand why it was called Terminal Fees instead of Miscellaneous Fees for schools in the 70s;

This was the receipt of my Miscellaneous Fees of $1 when I was in Pri.3 in 1971 at Beatty Primary School. I remembered that at that time, teachers have to spend quite a lot of time to collect the “School Fees” (we used to call them School Fees instead of Misc. Fees), instead of teaching. I loved such free time every month during fees collection period.

Well compared the Misc. Fees of $1 at that time to now – see the increased in fees over time!

So do you know why is it called Terminal Fees in the past?


National Theatre – A Different View

Here is a different view of the National Theatre in 1963 on a S.E.A. (South East Asia) Cultural Festival First Day Cover issue;

The S.E.A. cultural show was the first show hosted in the National Theatre.

Here is another stamp with the National Theatre landmark on it issued in 1973;

It’s such a beautiful landmark in the past located at the River Valley Road. It was built to commemorate Singapore’s self-government costing about S$2.2m and completed in 1963. The public also contributed through “a-dollar-a-brick” campaign via song requests made on radio then.

Here is a photo of it when it was almost completed in 1963;

Also see those old advertisements at the Snack Bar at the National Theatre;

Above both photos credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

Now how many of us know that the five-pointed facade represented the five stars of the Singapore flag while that unique fountain was supposed to represent the crescent moon. There was a revolving stage and the theatre inside was actually semi-open air at the rear.

My Pri.2 Chinese Textbook

How many of you still keep your Chinese or Mother Tongue textbook of more than 35 years ago? I still have mine and it’s still in rather good condition – no “dog-ear”!

This is the front cover of the 3 textbooks (A,B and C). Note that the first Chinese character (Red box) of the word Singapore then – there were 2 ways of writing it!

See the other way of writing it (Red circled – the publisher printed on the same book at the back page);

One was written as “New” and the other was “Star”. Now we use the character “New”.

Now let’s take a look at the content page;

Well, quite a lot of Chapters to cover as there were 3 books altogether. Maybe we should take a look at one of the chapters inside as well. See if it’s more difficult than now?

One of the Chapters shown below;

Not too simple right? Also they were not in Simplified Chinese character then. Note also that Hanyu Pinyin was not used at that time yet.

Now let’s take a look at the back cover;

Recognise that Lion structure? Haha, by now most of us will know….

My Unofficial Savings

If my first POSB saving was official, then these were be my unofficial savings – savings that only I will know!

I will use my Godfather’s old cigarette box case holder for my banknotes savings;

Everytime after Chinese New Year, I would tear open the “Ang Pow” and deposit the banknotes inside the cigarette case holder. Of course at that time, it was the “Orchid” series banknotes which was our first series before the “Birds” and “Ship” series.

Coins were then deposited into this Henessy coin box;

I love to keep only the old $1 coin in this coin box and the rest I will usually spend it.

There are only 2 series for Singapore coins. Left photo shows some old coins, and my favourite is the $1 Lion coin!

My First POSB

My first official saving account was with POSB (Post Office Savings Bank, renamed as POSBank in 1990). We students in the primary school were encouraged to start a Saving Account by “Buying and Pasting Stamps”. Of course at that time, the POSB was related to the Post Office!

This is the “Save At School” stamp card where one will buy stamps and paste them on a card until it is completed. The teacher will then collect it and hand it to the bank on our behalf.

You see it’s only 5cents stamp at that time.

I know that later they even have this Squirrel Savers’ Club.

Do you know how my first POSB bank book looks like? Guess it’s slightly bigger size than now and over the years, they have made some changes. Anyway, here is my first or probably second and third POSB bank book – the light blue was the 2nd one and the darker blue was the 3rd one. Maybe I’ve lost the 1st one!

Let me show you the inside and you will know how rich I was then haha;

It was written as 1972 and handwritten (not printed on it). I was Primary 4 (10yrs old) then.

Old Class Photos

It took me quite sometime to spot and identify myself in my old class photos. These are my Primary 3 and 4 photos, of course, in black and white at that time – 70s.

You will note that class photos in the past are more formal and we just told to smile. Also there was a little blackboard with our Class level written on it to identify us.

We had our posting to a different class from primary 3 to primary 4 based on our results in the past and it’s still remained the same now for my son and daughter – interesting!

See the difference in Class Photos with newer technology;

The above is my daughter’s last year (2006) class photo. They have informal and formal version. The above is the informal version and it’s now with printed words stripped on the photo and nicely mounted with autograph section too.

Even my son Primary 6 final year souvenir photos are also very different from mine – of course!

See, they even have it on calendar and vcd!

Temples at Race Course Road

Rememer this arch I mentioned before in my previous post;

Let’s show the map of temples at Race Course Road first;

I’ve always mistaken it for a different temple! I thought it was this one (Temple 2);

Yes, this is the famous Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple which is also known as the Temple of 1,000 lights. Inside is this almost 300 tons 15M high Buddha statue;

I remembered once my Primary School teacher brought us there to see the reclining Buddha in a chamber at the back of this statue.

Let’s take a closer look at this temple outside. The signboard at the temple entrance;

The mural at the top;

2470 – 1927 : What does it mean? Is the temple built in 1927 as some said so? I’m not too sure if that is a pair of lions or tigers.

You will see the same pair guarding the entrance of the temple;

Why did I mistaken this temple for the Long Shan Si probably because of this dome structure which I can see from the balcony of my Godmother’s house at Beatty Road on the fourth storey;

Ok, now for the real Long Shan Si which was first built in 1917;

It is said that the main hall of the temple resembles that of a Chinese palace.

The other deity like Confucius are also near the main altar. Some parents bring their children to pray for intelligence and filial piety.

Besides this temple, is the old Mee Toh School which was initially designed for the construction of another temple Mee Toh Temple.

Of course there are more temples along the Race Course Road, but these are the 2 temples that leave a deep impression in my mind. I used to walk past these temples along the Race Course Road when I was young.


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March 2007
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