I was invited by Kelvin Ang (URA) to attend the talks of "Squatters into Citizens" on 21 July 2013 at 3.00 pm, hosted and organised by Kelvin Ang. But before that, on Saturday 20 July 2013 afternoon, I met my two close friends aka 'sisters'and one of them who told me that her mother is, now at the age of 84 year old who is connected to the great Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961. Actually, I didn't know of her mother who was a former resident of Bukit Ho Swee whom I had met for years. By chances, I will interview with her when the time comes and would love to hear of her story when she was younger and had two kids at that time of the fire before my close friend (sister) was born.
Tiong Bahru Community CentreMy hubby and I reached at Tiong Bahru Community Centre at 3.00pm and took a lift to 2nd level floor where the hall is. There were crowd almost more than 60 people who came to hear the talks by Mr Loh Kah Seng (Author of the book - "Squatters into Citizens").
Hosted by Kelvin Ang and Talks by Kah SengMany people including former residents of Bukit Ho Swee attended the talks and tell of their encounter of Bt Ho Swee fire and also aftermath of fire refers to how they were survived during the intense fire and how they coped after the fire. A devastated area of Bukit Ho Swee which was razed to the ground by a big fire on 25 May 1961, which happened to be Hari Raya Haji, a public holiday in Singapore.
A survivor victim of Bt Ho Swee, James SeahA survivor victim of Bt Ho Swee, James Seah, a blogger citizen who relates his encounter of the great fire in his talk at Tiong Bahru Community Centre.
Many former residents shared their stories of the Bt Ho Swee fire during and aftermath of fire during each session which some of them including foreigners wouldn't know of the intense fire that had happened 52 years ago.
An 80 year old woman relates of her storyOne of the former residents who shared his side story whereas an 80 year old woman relates her encounter when she was younger back then who raised her 4 kids in squatter settlement in early years. Also one of the audiences was told by her grandmother,who said she had a premonition 2 nights ago and had a dream that the sun fell into her granddaughter at Bt Ho Swee.
Former Bt Ho Swee residentThe former Bukit Ho Swee resident (above pic) brought the jewellery and important documents for the family, and then brought the important items to his grandmother's house in Geylang for safekeeping. Truth or myth, nobody knows!
An 80 year old woman who sat quietly at the corner in front who only spoke Mandarin and hardly understand during our talks. Both Kelvin Ang and James Seah ushered her to her seat and being interviewed of her kampong life during squatter settlement and the great fire in 1961.
Here a short video on what inspired me to start doing this and the memories of the great fire that not forgotten by many especially former residents and survivor victims who survived the intense fire.