Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do Man Utd need to sign another striker?

Posted on July 29, 2008Filed Under Question of the Week

The Postman’s Question of the Week: Do Manchester United need to sign another striker, and why?

Sir Alex Ferguson will surely continue to stick to his 4-5-1 formation next season. So far there aren’t any in the Utd team who can claim sole possession of the target man position. It had been rotated during matches between Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo and sometimes Saha. Sir Alex would have noted this flaw as it was C Ronaldo, a winger, who carried Utd through in majority of the games. He is not the 20-goal guarantee striker that Utd desired. That is why Sir Alex was so keen on Berbatov, someone with the ability to shield the ball, to hold up play and to finish off the great crosses from the able and productive wingers like Giggs, Ronaldo, Nani or from wing backs like Patrice Evra and Gary Neville. This is the hallmark of every Man Utd team ie winger touchline run, crosses and an emphatic finish from the centre forward, the one missing link in the Utd team at this present moment. The ones who excelled during pre season like Frazier Campbell, Chris Eagle, etc are still raw. Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez are more suited to be the ‘hole man’. That is why Utd needs an experienced centre forward to partner them. They cannot afford to wait.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alexandra Road flats

Once again, in the 70s, we wee asked to move out of Bukit Ho Swee as they would be demolishing the one-room flats there. We were asked to look around for rental flats nearby and I chanced upon one at Alexandra Road, just across the Delta Sports Complex : 82 Alexandra Road

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birkhall Road School memories

My Birkhall Road School's classroom taken in 1964 when we were in Primary 5. I was seated third from end of the row nearest to door.

Primary 6 Birkhall Road School's uniform, blue vertical strips on white, blue shorts

Birkhall Road School's Report Book. Notice our Principal's Mdm Lucy Low's nice cursive handwriting?
This was, sadly, the only picture taken with my Pr 5 and 6 form teacher, Mr Tan in 1968, three years after I left Birkhall Primary. We went to Pulau Belakang Mati (now called Sentosa) for a day at the beach... Roger Chui Tuck Khuen, Tan Aik Huang were the former classmates I remembered from the picture.
I remembered Mr Tan as a teacher who insisted on correctness. During our handwriting period, he would go around the class and used a wooden rule to knock on our knuckles if he found us slacking. He used to live at Mei Ling Street but after all these years, I just wonder where he is now.

Tanglin Integrated Secondary Technical School 2

Report Book from TISTS circa 1966 -1969

Tech 4A(1969) with our Principal, Mr Chee K P and form teacher, our dear Ms Kumar

Tech 4A (1969) with Ms Kumar who was our form teacher for two years
The boys from Tech 4A

It seemed like only yesterday when I took out these pictures taken nearly 40 years ago. We met only once, in 2002 when Teo Keng Poon organised a gathering at his place.

This Postcard was produced and used for CCE lessons in schools 2016. It showed the first flag raising ceremony at the school field of Tanglin Technical  in 1963

 Main teaching blocks of Tanglin Technical, hall was on the left side of the photo.

Old first photographs of Tanglin Technical, as viewed from Tanglin Halt circa 1963. The canteen was on the right of the photo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

X-factors in Sportsmen

Sex appeal : All these sportsmen exults their sex appeal in their own way. Nadal, C Ronaldo, Hamilton (t0 some extent) have die-tohave great body and physical presence. It made the females fantasise and the males admire.
Looks : Nadal has the smoudering Latin chiselled feature like mystical Thor, C Ronaldo has the boyish handsome charm and Lewis got the exotic feature.
Personality : Nadal got a charming personality, C Ronaldo a wicked, cheeky look about him and Lewis charmed most of the ladies around him.
Contorversy : Each of them has some controversies around them at one time or another and thus could not be out of limelight for long. C Ronaldo’s list is long. Lewis Hamilton’s ditching his long time girlfriend for the glamour ladies. Only Nadal has few controversies around them.
All these factor, including their exposure on TV made them well known as well as special, ie X-factor.

22 July 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tanglin Integrated Secondary Technical School - 1966 - 1969

TISTS taken in 1968

The Badge reflected Technical Education
From Birkhall Primary, I went to Tanglin Integrated Secondary Technical School. It was not my first choice which was Queenstown Technical School, one of the more popular school in the 60s when Technical education was top.
I was in the second batch of Tanglin pupils. Already, the pioneer group was making headlines by winning the National Badminton title.

During those days we have the Chinese stream pupils as well. There were no problem mixing with them.

After secondary one, I was surprised that many of my friends were posted to Queenstown Technical to continue their studies. Till this day, I did not know why I remained in TISTS.

In Sec 3 I was streamed to do Woodwork which I didn't fancy as Metalwork was more 'glamorous'. However I dug on. In Tech 4A, I did Woodwork and Building Drawing as two subjects besides pure sciences and additional mathematics. I began to enjoy the Building Drawing lessons as it required us to draw very fine details. Some of my friends did Metalwork and Mechanical Drawing. I could still remember the drawing room which was located on the top left corner of the building. (see above)

It must be noted that we didn' t get to wear long pants during our upper secondary days. Some kind of policy, I guess.
Tech 4A (1969) in short pants

Bukit Ho Swee - 1969 - 1976

When the common toilet blocks were demolished we were relocated to a nearby one room block 13. Address was 557-D. The left photograph by NHB showed the block at the left side. The right photograph showed the activities on the ground level and the nearby Beo Crescent flats which still exist today.
Compared to 281-C, the new unit had its own toilet!!! There were thriving food stalls on the ground level. Nothing changed as the people living there were still poor and had low income. There were gang activities. However, the gangsters seldom disturb you once they know you were living there.
The most popular schools were Bukit Ho Swee Secondary and Tiong Bahru Secondary. However, I had to travel far to attend Tanglin Integrated Secondary Technical School at Tanglin Halt. Every morning I would walk out to take the bus to school. That bus stop is still located at the same place after 30 years ie across the road from Tiong Bahru Plaza.

Bukit Ho Swee - one room flat 1963 - 1969

Mr Lee Kuan Yew officiated in the opening ceremony of Bukit Ho Swee housing Estate in 1961. The block which I stayed is visible in these two photographs from NHB

When my father died in 1963, my widowed mother could not afford the 3-room Margaret Drive flat. With my three brothers, we moved into 281-C Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, which was single room flat. These flats were built for the victims of the Bukit Ho Swee fire.
The common corridor ran through two rows of units, like those found in the rental flats at Bukit Merah today. The common toilets were located in the middle of the block at every level. There were about 10 toilets at each level. The hygiene then was atrocious. There was no one to clean the toilets daily. I would usually bring my pail of water along to flush the floor of the toilet first before using it, not daring to breathe much.
Daily we could hear squabbles in adjacent units, usually over money matters. At times, there were suicides. The worst was when one of the resident hung himself in the toilet. You would never see me using that particular toilet or going there at night. I would rather use the poo container indoor.

My unit faced the more prosperous Tiong Bahru SIT flats and I used to envy them from my kitchen window (right)
There were some families who tried to make ends meet by selling cigarettes. There was a nice lady who operated a barber shop on the ground floor. Another family was selling ricksaw noodles from the ground level flat.

We stayed there for about three years before those blocks were demolished.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Birkhall Road Primary School - 1960 - 1965

Old Black & White photos from NHB
While researching for my old primary school, Birkhall Road Primary, I came across the above pictures which showed the police clearing illegal stalls around that Margaret Drive area. The school was the building where you could see the scaffolding. Nw, when you go there, it was replaced. The school was closed and combined with Queenstown Primary.
In the 1960s, I remembered the stripped blue shirt and dark blue pants we wore compared to the brown ones of Queenstown Primary, separated by a big field. We Birkhallians used to have stone battles with the Queenstownians. Across the road, there was the monkey-donkey school namely Margaret Drive Primary. It is now been used as a school for the mentally challenged.
From Primary 1 to 3, I walked home to my Margaret Drive home nearby. Later on when I moved to Bukit Ho Swee, I would have to walk across Dawson estate to Alexandra Road to take a bus home. Along the way, I would have to cross a bridge across Alexandra Canal. There was a stall selling tikam tikam and unfailingly I would put my money down.
Birkhall Road Primary School had a big field. 'Kamtam' bola was our favourite game and we would roll on the tall grass of the unkept part of the field. I remembered a class mate by the nme of Kum Chuen who would ran the fastest and throw the hardest with the round hard ball.
In Primary 1 & 2, I was one of the pawns for two love-stuck teachers in the school. I was asked by my male form teacher to bring notes to a lady teacher!!
I alwyas remember the Principal who was Mrs Lucy Low who had a beautiful cursive signature that adorned our report books.

The picture on the right showed the 2-storey houses that were around the Margaret Drive area, opposite where the old Hua Yi Govt High is. Sadly, now, you see only empty areas, ready for new blocks of condos.

Margaret Drive flat 1959 - 1963

Old Black & White photographs from NHB - the glory days when the Polyclinic was officially opened
In late 50s, my family, namely, my parents, two younger brothers and me moved to a new 3-room flat at 242-A, Margaret Drive. It was a 4-story building. The house had a verandah which we avoided esp when the fourth storey neighbour shot 'bullets' at us with his catapult. It also saw the birth of television. My brothers and I had to crowd into the verandah of our ground floor neighbour to watch 'Lassie'. The house was big esp the bathroom.

This very spot was where my house was built

There was a building behind which was abandoned as it was sinking, being built too near to the Alexandra canal.
There was a great playmate by the name of Edward. He was dumb and we communicated using sign languages. His brother was Philip and they stayed in the next block. The last I saw him was when we moved out in 1963 just after my father passed away due to tubercolosis.

Picture taken in 1959/60 at the Margaret Drive market
The brickwall is still standing today.

When I returned to shop at NTUC Margaret Drive, it brought back those memories as 242-A was on the exact spot where the cinema building is now. I also remembered looking out for my father who would alight at the bus stop near the present Margaret Drive library. He always carry the day's newspaper, rolled.
Now, Margaret Drive is changing rapidly. The old market is gone though the building remained. The two-storey shop houses were gone.

The pictures above showed the opening ceremony of the Queenstown Polyclinic and the blocks behind it. This view is EXACTLY the one which I would see looking from my old Margaret Drive house!!!

View towards Polyclinic (circa August 2008)

The abandoned Polyclinic as it is in August 2008
Very soon, the Polyclinic would be torn down for the new development of Margaret Drive. Sad happening that is very frequent in Singapore. One day here, next day gone.    
Similarly, the cinemas will go too after their glory days in the 80s.

Silat Road flat 1953 - 1959

The wide and long staircase The back side of the flat where the kitchen is

The Silat Flats as they were in - 2008

The low wooden windows are still in existence

Black and White photograph was from NHB Singapore. It showed part of the Silat Walk flat.

According to my birth certificate, my first home was 13F Silat Road. In my search I could not find any old photograph of this block of flat except the one above which suspiciously looked like it. I remembered the carefree childhood days in this area, cycling around the blocks and stooping down to avoid hitting the open windows of the ground floor flat. There were some one-story shops. The block was directly across the road to the old Zhangde Primary School.

Block 149 is at the very site where my old house was

At that time, in the 1950s, there was no Jln Bukit Merah. Instead, it was a mudtrack running towards a kampong and a market, where the present Bukit Merah Food Centre is. I think it was called Si Kar Teng.

I remembered the big rooms, hall, kitchen and the two bathrooms. When going downstairs, I would jump down the flight of stairs. My paternal grandparents, 3 uncles and 5 aunties lived under the same roof with us. At night, my aunties would bring stools along to the open-air cinema near the railway track. I also remembered watching the glowing skies over the hills of the SGH area when the Bukit Ho Swee squater kampong caught fire.

At present, only a few of these old SIT flat remained. These blocks are shown above.

 View of Silat Road area towards Kg Bahru Road  in the 1950s

My late father riding a bicycle along the Silat SIT block where we stayed.

Demolition of the remaining old SIT flats in 2014 and 2015

Left : 2014   Right : 2015
What was left of the place after the demolition, history