Archive for February, 2008

My Old Singapore Road Maps

Below are the oldest copies of the Singapore Street Directory I have in my house…until what I have found at my mother’s house at Haig Road on last Sunday. Ha I believed Peter and Chun See may even have older copies than this since they are at least 10yrs my senior. Frankly buying the Singapore Street Directory is like buying First Day Covers issues, every now and then new edition come out due to more new roads being built.

Credit : Singapore Government, Chief SurveyorOn the left is the Chinese Edition (1976) which is based on the English Edition (1975) and on the right is the English Edition (1988).

Now I have another even older map of Singapore from the Shell. The year 1959 was written on the inside cover of the map;

Credits for all the Shell Map Reproduction: Shell, Singapore Government Survey Department.

So this map was prepared by SIT (Singapore Improvement Trust, which is the ‘ancestor’ of HDB) in 1956;

Let’s take a look at this old map;

Only this part of Singapore was reproduced in the map;

Below are some of the Places Of Interests in the 50s where a number of them were no longer around now;

Now let’s take a close up view of this old map and see what’s in 50s;

You can see the Singapore Airport at the Paya Lebar from the above map, but has it been completed then? Guess… Of course all the expressways like PIE, ECP, etc.. were not built then. Also Singapore size then was much smaller before the major land reclamation from 60s to 90s.


My Hero

No no, I’m not talking about that HEROES TV series on Monday! It’s my old HERO brand fountain pen. Sad to say many students nowadays don’t use fountain pen or may not even know/seen one too!

I started using HERO fountain pen since Secondary school, think around Sec.1 or 2. Sometimes I got my fountain pen leaking, so my shirt pocket may be stained. The worst case was the ink bottle cap was not tighten properly thus my whole school bag was filled with the blue ink!

The HERO 336 Fountain Pen;

This is probably the most common fountain pen found here. It was released in 1968. The fountain pen probably costs about S$1.20 (I think)? This HERO pen resembles that of PARKER 51 (American brand).

The iridium nib tip was very tough and we like to use it as a dart. I can use it as a flying dart on the class table or chair. It’s fun playing with it, anyway, what other things can we played with at that time…

For those that have used the Hero fountain pen before, their refill system is probably most memorable;

Above photos credit : Chinapenking

When comes to refilling the pen, sometimes there will be a spill and we need those white blotting paper. Oh my son my not even seen one yet haha. Of course the other item that comes to mind when refilling is the ink bottle;

As seen on the packaging, this HERO brand ink and fountain pen was manufactured in Shanghai, China.

See the Chinese Tradmark below;

The side view of the box;

And the unique cap with the HERO embossed on it;

I wonder if I can still find this old HERO fountain pen at Sungei Road…

Singapore Badminton Hall – Conserve?

When I read about the news on the closing of Singapore Badminton Hall by end of January 2008, I was saddened.

Credit :Straits Times, SPH

The Singapore Badminton Hall (SBH) was built in 1952 and for 56 years of history, it has seen 3 major events in it.

– Hosting the 1955 and 1958 Thomas Cup

– Vote counting station for the 1962 merger referendum

Oh though not a major event, the Rolling Stones also had a concert there in 1965;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

The National Heritage Board marked the SBH as a Historical Site due to the above 3 major events, but that does not mean it will be conserved. It’s fate probably lies with URA, let’s cross our fingers.

There are 2 buildings I’m talking about along this Guillemard Road. The 1st building is the one on the right and built in 1952.

This is the one and see the crowd outside the SBH in 1962 during the vote counting session;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Below you can see the same old building but with the newer one on the left;

Here is another view of the 1962 scene;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Note the building behind – the Fatty Weng restaurant still not at the corner coffee shop then. See how it looks like now in 2008;

The newer building on the left opened in 1986 by the late President Dr.Wee Kim Wee;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Both late President of Singapore, Mr. Ong Teng Cheong and Dr.Wee Kim Wee at the SBH in 1986;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

The same place in 2008;

Well before they do any ‘face lift’ to these Singapore Badminton Hall, let’s take a final look now.

Main Entrance To The Old Building;

The old booth in the old building;

Side view of the old building;

Another view of the new building;

Maybe for most of us, our trip to the Singapore Badminton Hall means going to the Fatty Weng’s restaurant or in Cantonese “Fei Chai Weng or Rong”. I’ve eaten at that restaurant there before but it’s not the best I’ve tasted frankly.

Entrance to the Fatty Weng’s restaurant at the new building;

Carpark entrance to the Fatty Weng’s restaurant;

The sheltered carpark at the new building;

And why don’t they wait till I’ve my last try at the Fatty Weng Restaurant inside there for a last time before they…..

Read more about the Singapore Badminton Hall.

Memories From My Old Ang Pao

Maybe most will just clear their contents (money) and throw away the packets (ang pao). But for me, new or used, I will keep them (same as my mother). We keep the ang pao in albums, and boxes.

Here are some old ang pao that will bring back some fond memories;

At one glance, they don’t seem that old right? OK but before that, let me show you one very very old ang pao type that I’ve received when I was a few years old in the 60s;

Well the above seems like those used in funeral. But it was this type of ang pao that I received in the 60s and the amount usually like 2 5cents or 2 10cents. Close relatives usually gave more than distant ones. Some said certain dialects group gave more, I’m not too sure about that.

Some establishments still exit but some don’t in the following;


This above was from Motorola. Many will remembered that Motorola is the brand that our 1st pager and handphone was. But now, there are so many brands to choose from for handphones.


The younger generation may not know about this Oriental Emporium Holdings Group. They probably had more outlets (25 I think) than NTUC Fairprice then in the 70s or 80s. But one by one, they started to close down. Most town centres will have at least one Oriental Emporium like the one at Bedok Town Centre, now occupied by NTUC Fairprice.


Maybe the ladies will know of this boutique shop Pisces. One of the outlets was located along Orchard Road just outside the Plaza Singapura (along the same side as McDonald House). Think these Pisces outlets are no longer around, am I right?


For those interest rate hunters, Tat Lee Bank was probably one will go for in the past. Too bad, it had merged with Keppel Bank to become Keppel Tat Lee.


It was an old ang pao envelope from NTUC Fairprice. Of course they are still around though the new logo already replaced the old logo above. The name NTUC was removed from the new logo (I think) and only Fairprice is used.


It was so popular back then that SAFE (SAF Enterprise) branched into Travel business for the SAF personnel. I remembered I had even booked a tour to Taiwan and the price was so low that one need to be balloted. I was lucky then haha.

You may read about SAFE Trave here:

SAFE Travel


Now known as M Hotel. But before that, it was also known as Copthorne Harbour View Hotel in 1995. And even well before that – Harbour View Dai-Ichi Hotel. Why all these re-naming of this hotel at Anson Road?

After doing a check on the internet, the hotel’s owner, Hong Leong Group, was legally barred from using the Millennium brand in Singapore as it could be confused with The Ritz-Carlton Millenia. So M-Hotel is ok as only the initial is used. So now, you can’t get the same ang pao with the old hotel name haha.

Before I end this post, I would like to wish all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


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February 2008