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A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

May 22, 2018

Where was the old harbour in Singapore?

A painting of the harbour in Singapore, 1887


Singapore Harbour Board - Lessons of the Past One Hundred Years


The story of Singapore's port

Singapore's port is not just one of the busiest in the world, it's also one of the oldest.  Elsen Teo walks you through it's history. [Source:  Straits Times, 20 February 2012].

400s:  Singapore is known to sailors as Temasek or "sea town" in old Javanese.  The island has an active port where goods, such as pottery and jewellery, are traded.

1300s:  Chinese sailors chart the entrance to a deep harbour in the south of Singapore.  They call it Long Ya Men or 'Dragon's Teeth Gate.  Today, it is the entrance to Keppel Harbour.

1819:  Sir Stamford Raffles sets up a trading settlement along the Singapore River.  It becomes one of the business ports in the Far East.

1852:  As the Singapore River becomes overcrowded with ships, companies begin to set up wharves and warehouses in the south of Singapore.

1899:  The two largest dock companies in New Harbour merge to form the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company in 1912, the government of Singapore expropriates it and forms the Singapore Harbour Board to manage it.

1900:  New Harbour is renamed Keppel Harbour to honour Admiral Sir Henry Keppel, who made his name by eliminating piracy in the waters off Singapore.

1964:  A statutory board of the Government is formed to take over the Singapore Harbour Board, it is called the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA).

1965:  Jurong Port was opened to serve the newly built factories there.

1972:  Singapore becomes only the second courtry in Asia after Japan to open a terminal to handle container shipping, in which cargo is moved in large metal containers.  Tanjong Pagar Terminal opens with three berths.

M.V. Nihon, carrying 300 containers from the Netherlands, is the first container ships to pull in on June 23.

1982:  Containerisation is a success:  Singapore becomes the world's busiest port based on shipping tonnage.

1996:  The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is formed to regulate the local port industry, protect Singapore's maritime interests and promote the country as an international maritime centre.

1997:  PSA is corporatized and renamed PSA Corporation Limited.

2000:  Pasir Panjang Terminal is officially opened.

When Stamford Raffles first landed in Singapore in 1819 by sea, there was no proper harbour in Singapore.


Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on 29 January 1819.  Travelling on the Indiana with a squadron that included the schooner Enterprise, he anchored at St John's Island at 4.00 pm on 28 January 1819 before setting foot on Singapore island the next day.  The site on the Singapore mainland where Raffles landed is marked with the statue of Raffles (photos above), which is located by the Singapore River behind Parliament House.

Old Photos of the Singapore Harbour

The archived photos are shared on this blog with the courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore and the National Library Board.


Chinese coolies loading coal, Keppel Harbour, 1938


 Long Ya Men (Dragon's Tooth Gate)


Six hundred years ago, the great Chinese explorer Admiral Zheng He used a rock shaped like a tooth as a navigational marker when he voyaged through the Singapore Strait.

Long Ya Men, or Dragon's Tooth Gate, was located just offshore where Labrador Park is today and helped steer ships through Keppel Harbour.

In the mid-19th century, however, the British blew up the rock in order to widen the channel for large trading vessels.

The obliterated rock was recreated as a 7.5m-tall replica in Labrador Park.  The replica represented an important part of Singapore's maritime history.  [Source:  The Straits Times]



Apr 21, 2018

Only beggars wear torn pants with holes


I was told this story of a small family quarrel between a 60 year plus-old father and his 16-year-old son at home on a little street in Singapore.

The father was angry when he noticed that his son was wearing a pair of ripped branded jeans with holes. He told his son, "only beggars wear tattered and torn clothes with holes."

His son angrily replied in Mandarin :

"老爸,我穿的是我的选择。为什么使我穿我不喜欢的东西。我有我的个人权利和自由."

[Dad, what I wear is my choice.  Why do I have to wear things I do not like?  I have my own rights and freedom."]

Different generations of the young and old have different sense of fashion.  In fashion, there is no right or wrong for the individual to wear what they like.

This father would remember that when he was young, the fashion of his times was the wearing of 'drain-pipe' pants, hair-style like the Beatles or "curry pok" .....

What is "distressed jeans" fashion today?

They were popular in the late 1980s during the hard rock/heavy metal era and in the 1990s and 2000s during the grunge era.  The punk culture also have been known to be fans of fabrics with various blemishes.

Pants that are showing natural or manipulated wear & tear are often referenced as distressed.

Worn and ripped jeans remain popular as they are still sold in stores and manipulated by consumers currently.  In the early 2010s, ripped jeans came back in style, as a 90s revival, but were sometimes introduced as Distressed - similar to ripped jeans, but the horizontal sewing point was occasionally removed to look like it was distressed.

Crazy Ripped Clothing is Hottest New Fashion Trend


Parents should understand the fashion and trends of their children.  Please do not quarrel with them because their taste in fashion and trends would change as they grow older and learn whatever suits them.  They know how to make themselves beautiful and comfortable.

Please check out the related blogs here and here.

Mar 14, 2018

Grand Old Dame of Beach Road in Singapore


Pioneer generation Singaporeans would remember an old place in Singapore to remember vividly. Over the decades, many heritage buildings at Beach Road have changed, including this landmark posted in my previous blog here .

Raffles Hotel at Beach Road


The Raffles is one of the must-see places for every Western tourist, but especially for the British when Singapore was once upon a time a colony under the Great Britain.  To the rest of the world unfamiliar with Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, who wrote "Feed at the Raffles when in Singapore", the Raffles is the home of the ubiquitous Singapore Sling.


The internationally famous gin sling was created by Chinese barman Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and served to British planters and merchants lounging in the marble-paved Cad's Alley, then the old entrance to the hotel.

Today, the same concoction of gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, Cointreau and bitters topped with orange, pineapple and lime juice is still served in the cool dim Long Bar - by Ngiam's grand-nephew!

The Raffles dates back to the early 19th century when it was just a small tiffin room with a private bungalow.  It wasn't until 1886 that the restaurant and house were brought over by the Sarkies brothers, three Armenian hoteliers who came to Signapore in the mid-1880s.

In those days, the hotel business was concentrated at the Esplanade, High Street and Coleman Street (remember the old Adelphi?)


But the Sarkies obviously had foresight, and their site on Beach Road did have a terrific view of the harbour and the sea.

The brothers hired the architectural firm of Swan and Maclaren (the same architects who rebuilt the Sultan Mosque) to renovate the hotel, and it wasn't long before the Raffles became known as the "Savoy of the Orient".

Today, you can still enjoy a curry tiffin lunch every Sunday in the Tiffin Room, complete with soft-footed waiters in their crisply starched whites, ceiling fans whirling gently overhead, and dappled sunshine filtering through from high above.

You can explore the Raffles Hotel by yourself, or ask at the front desk for a free tour.  And, if you want old-fashioned high tea with cucumber sandwiches and scones, go to the Tiffin Room at 4 p.m. where they screen an audio-visual presentation of the history of the grand hotel daily.

While you're wandering along the cool corridors of the Raffles, don't forget to look in on the spacious suites facing the pool on the ground floor.

There is a whole row numbered 112 to 123 named after personalities such as Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Herman Hesse, Somerset Maugham, and, more recently, Raymond Flower and Ilsa Sharp.  All of them have either written about the Raffles, or stayed and were entertained at this Singapore hotel which will be 100 years old in 1986.

Another reason, which reinforces our faith in human nature, might be described as literary although we see it as an appeal to the imagination.

For instance, Joseph Conrad was sitting in one of its varendahs when he read a report in The Straits Times of a crew which abandoned a sinking ship with hundreds of native passenters aboard, and the result was Lord Jim.

Not all the literati were complimentary.  Rudyard Kipling said:  "Feed at Raffles Hotel and sleep at the Hotel de L'Europe (formerly the City Hall building)."

Noel Coward, who was found naked in a corridor after a wild party, said that Singapore and Raffles by inference, was a first-class place for second-class people.  He was, of course, snipping at the colonials, but it must have hurt at the time.

On the other hand, Somerset Maugham, who spent much more time in South-east Asia, said Raffles stood for all the fables of the exotic East.

His short stories, such as The Letter, described a Singapore no longer recognisable, but its departed mystery lives on in the imagination of millions of people around the world.

In other words, man does not live by bread alone - or by satay or Peking Duck for that matter.

Modern Singapore looks like an Asian Manhattan, only cleaner, more efficient and orderly, but Raffles still conjures up the colour and excitement of the Orient which Conrad and Maugham helped to generate.

Raffles is a living reminder of the days when men lived dangerously and colonial wives were not as good as they might have been.

The architecture helps - white stucco of vaguely classical proportions softly corrupted by tropical vegetation and humidity.

We sat contentedly for hours in the Palm Court, with its traveller's palms and white balustrades, drinking and talking with old friends.


The Palm Court at Raffles Hotel in 1906, when the sea could still be viewed across Beach Road.


The curry served in the Tiffin Room has been modulated for the tourists, but with the many slow-turning ceiling fans.

It is a handsome and evocative room.  One can believer the story that a tiger was once found in the nearby billiard room.

One can also believe the story of how the staff buried the huge silver beef cart when the Japanese invaded Singapore.

A fifth-columnist, who turned out to be a senior Kempetai officer, questioned the waiters about its disappearance, but it remained buried until the British returned in 1945.

You can still order roast beef and Yorkshire pudding from that cart.  And many friends advised not to be deterred by the temperature and humidity outside; the beef and pud are always excellent.

They are as much a part of Maugham's exotic East as the trishaws in the forecourt, and the pirates who still haunt the waters of the archipelago.

Ilsa Sharp has captured this and more, but has not surrendered to nostalgia.  She knows there are more modern and better-equipped hotels.

But its atmosphere is incomparable.  Tourists who stay at the hotel do not say:  "It's Tuesday.  I must be in Singapore."  There is only one Raffles.

This is not to say that the management should not continue to improve its food and services.  The pursuit of excellence is now part of Singapore's way of life, and cannot be ignored.

That said, the romance of the past cannot be recreated, and tourists do not come to Singapore only to sample the air-conditioning.  The island would be a poorer place without Raffles Hotel.

[Source:  The Straits Times, 11 November 1984 with courtesy of NewspaperSG, NLB]

Raffles: Remaking An Icon

This is the behind-the-scenes story of a grand hotel undergoing the most extensive restoration of its 130-year-history.  The staff struggle daily to maintain the "Raffles standard" while the hotel is pulled down around them.  This is an extraordinary chronicle of a national monument and its makeover.

Please watch the video here , courtesy of MediaCorp Singapore.

About the show:

In the heart of one of the world's most modern cities stands an iconic structure synonymous with refinement, elegance, and service - unchanged for more than a century.

Raffles: Remaking an Icon is an exclusive invitation to this grand hotel in Singapore as it undergoes the most extensive restoration and renovation in its 130 years history.

Over the course of an extraordinary hour, we'll meet devoted staff - Bernd the poster boy - handsome front-of-house manager who manages guests disgruntled by the construction work, and an exacting general manager; Roslee, the gentle and quirky duty manager; Kaeley, the bubbly assistant had of housekeeping; and Chef Pierre, a volatile French man.  The staff struggle daily to maintain the "Raffles standared" while the hotel is pulled down around them.

This is a never-before-seen chronicle of a beloved institution that is both a luxury hotel, as well as a treasured national monument.

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Feb 14, 2018

First favorite Chinese New Year Song



This is my favorite Chinese New Year song in Mandarin in the 1950s.

I listened to this song the first time although I did not understand the meanings of the lyrics.  I heard it over Rediffusion every Chinese New Year when everyone turned on the Rediffusion the song full blast for everyone to hear.  Even though I did not understand what it means, I love it.  Later, the Chinese teacher taught us the song at Kai Kok Public School at Bukit Ho Swee.

I am pleased to share the original Chinese song and singers, '恭喜恭喜' with thanks to the contributor at YouTube here

 恭喜大家新年快乐,万事如意,吉祥平安。

Good Wishes, Good Wishes for Chinese New Year Song(English)

On every street and lane,
On everyone's lips,
The first thing we say is,
"Good wishes, good wishes."

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

Winter has come to an end,
That is really good news,
A warm spring breeze is
Blowing to wake up the earth.

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

The icy snow has melted,
See the plum tree blossom!
The long night is past,
I heard the cock crow.

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!

After so many difficulties,
Such so many experience grinding,
So many children in their hearts,
Look forward to the news of Spring!

Good wishes, good wishes to you,
Good wishes, good wishes to you!
Congratulations Gong Xi Gong Xi

恭喜恭喜 (Gong Xi Gong Xi)Chinese New Year Song(Chinese)

每条大街小巷,
每个人的嘴里
见面第一句话,
就是恭喜恭喜。

恭喜恭喜恭喜你呀 
恭喜恭喜恭喜你

冬天已到尽头,
真是好的消息;
温暖的春风,
吹醒了大地。

恭喜恭喜恭喜你呀 
恭喜恭喜恭喜你

皓皓冰雪溶解,
眼看梅花吐蕊
漫漫长夜过去,
听到一声鸡啼

恭喜恭喜恭喜你呀 
恭喜恭喜恭喜你

經過多少困難 
經歷多少磨練
多少心兒盼望 
春天的消息

Pinyin (Pronunciation):

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ

Měi tiáo dà jiē xiǎo xiàng,
měi ge rén de zuǐ lǐ,
jiàn miàn dì yī jù huà,
jiù shì gōng xǐ gōng xǐ

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya,
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Dōng tiān yǐ dào jìn tóu
zhēn shì hǎo de xiāo xī
wēn nuǎn de chūn fēng
jiù yào chuī xǐng dà dì

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Hào hào bīng xuĕ róng jiĕ
yăn kàn méi huā tŭ ruĭ
Mànmàn cháng yè guò qù,
tīng dào yì shēng jī tí

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

Jīng guò duō shăo kùn nan
jīng lì duō shăo mó liàn
duō shăo xīn ér pàn wàng   
chūn tiān de xiāo xi

Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ ya
Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ

The modernised version of the song did not bring me back to my childhood in Bukit Ho Swee kampong.

Great fond nostalgic memories to share with my pioneer generation Singaporean friends.

Related blog from Mothership.SG


Chinese New Year song Gong Xi Gong Xi was written in minor key to celebrate defeat of Japan in 1945

It was never intended to be a Chinese New Year song.

Please check out Mothership related blog here .

Related blog from Andy Young

Composed during the Sino/Japanese war.

It was written by a man who was imprisoned by the Japs for being patriotic.

Thanks to my heritage blogger friend Andy Young here .

Dec 3, 2017

National Library Board Mobile App



The National Reading Movement, which was launched in 2016, is a 5-year campaign by the National Library Board (NLB) to encourage Singapore residents to Read More, Read Widely and Read Together. It aims to encourage people to Read More by getting them to set aside some time to read regularly, Read Widely by going beyond the usual genres and read in mother tongue languages, and to Read Together with family and friends.

The Movement's key priorities are to reach out to new audience segments such as adults and seniors, promote reading in mother tongue languages and galvanise the community via collaborations – all with the aim to build a vibrant reading culture in Singapore.

The slogan, 'Reading for Life' is apt, at least for me.

Since I started to read as a child, I have not stopped reading books to educate, to gain knowledge, to learn useful stuff, to entertain, to improve myself from books.

As a "Friend of the Library" and volunteer of the National Library Board, I am pleased to be a member of the National Library since I was a child. Please watch the video clip of "On The Red Dot - National Library at Stamford Road here . Courtesy of MediaCorp Singapore.

The traditional way of reading books and other publications in printed forms has changed the lives of everyone.  The smartphone is a new "toy" not only to play but to live and work today.

With the advent of computer technology, Internet, wireless communication over the decades, we found that almost everyone, young or old, holds a smartphone while walking, while eating or drinking, even while in the toilet when the phone rings.

Users of smartphones for many purposes - simply to communicate as voice phone or as text messages in any language; use as a camera to share still photos or short videos, watch YouTube video.  More popular online media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Online games on the smartphone as a time-killer when bored, surf on Internet without the need of a desktop computer.  As a smart nation in Singapore, wifi is free and available everywhere.

Keeping up with the rapid development of wireless technology, the National Library Board has created the NLB Mobile App (Applications or software for use on smartphones).

I am pleased to attend the training session of NLB Mobile App on 2 December, 2017 at Bedok Public Library, Level 2 Learning Hub at 10:30 am.

What have I learnt from the 2-hour session, with thanks to Norlin Naim, my good friend of Singapore Memory Project?

The 3 apps I needed on my handphone are:

1.  NLB Mobile App

To use the NLB Mobile App, you must be a registered member of the National Library in Singapore.

The User Name and Password based on the records in the library.

The rules and regulations according to the National Library.  The personal information in the library is private, safe and secure to prevent from abuse of offenders.

Find an available title to borrow:

Browse your library’s featured collections on the homepage. Search for a specific title, author, series, or subject. Open the menu near the top-right of the homepage and browse by Subjects, Collections, or reading rooms (like Kids & Teens).

A toddler playing with an iPad in his pram.  Ebook for kids are available to read the eBook too.

When you find a title you're interested in, tap Borrow. Or, tap its cover image to learn more about it.

You can find borrowed titles on your Loans page. You need to download (or add) borrowed titles from your Loanspage to your app bookshelf before you can enjoy them.

You can get to your Loans page by tapping from the top of any page.

2.  Overdrive

The Overdrive app is used for the National Library eBooks.

Your OverDrive account syncs progress and bookmarks across all of your devices, but it does not yet sync your bookshelf. So after you borrow a title from your library, you'll need to go to your Loans page and add it to the OverDrive app.

For help and support, check out OverDrive Help for getting started guides, how-to articles, and more, or contact your library.

More info about Overdrive app here .

3.  PressReader

PressReader is on a mission to give you the best news.  It delivers an endless stream of top news stories right to your pocket.

It delivers the world's newspaers and magazines to millions of readers the way they want to receive them - in print, online, or on their mobile device, tablet or eReader - wherever they live, travel, work or play.

The National Library Board Ad on the MRT 


I

National Library Multimedia Stations at the libraries

Presently, Singaporeans and PRs aged 50 and above are able to enjoy their one hour of free internet by logging in with their myLibrary ID at the library.

For the convenience of those who are unable to visit the libraries physically or are wheelchair bound, may I suggest the National Library Board to offer the one hour of free internet from their NLB Mobile App. I hope this will enhance the features of the NLB Mobile App for the benefits of the senior members of the National Library if my humble suggestions would merit the respected considerations of the National Library Board.

Oct 10, 2017

Registration To Attend An Event - Smart Nation Way


The Singapore Univeriity of Technology and Design ar 8, Somapah Road, Singapore

Who says that the new computer technology stuff are not relevant as one grows older?

Pioneer generation friends and I found that we have to learn the "new thingy" to adapt the changes in computer and IT technology to survive as the conventional old ways are no longer done.

At the Changi Simei Grassroots Organisations Appointment Ceremony on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD),  I was informed that registration will be carried out via QR Code.  Please ensure you have QR Readers installed in your phones prior to registration.

 

What is QR Code and How Does It Work?   The information is found here .

This is the second time for me to register by QR Code.  I had the first experience at the Changi Airport T4 tour and the blog is posted here .  So I am now seasoned and no longer a 'newbie"  :)

Registration To Attend An Event - Smart Nation Way


Changi Simei Senior Citizens Executive Committee (SCEC)


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