Chakap Heritage: Colonial Days of Orchard

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Thimbuktu with Karen Hoisington for the first time in person. We were Facebook friends of the “On a little street in Singapore” and other heritage groups on Facebook for several years but were only virtual friends who never met in person until now. karen hoisington welcome

Karen Hoisington welcomes everyone  to Chakap Heritage – Colonial Days of Orchard.

It was an unforgettable evening to remember this special heritage event.

We met old ones with familiar faces and “new” friends with fake names on Facebook.  I have to keep Striking Angel, a strange avatar  and name,  a secret and not to reveal  it as a matter of respect.  Not even to reveal this person as guy or gal, human or angel : )

Ms Koh Lai Lin of the National Library Board was also there sitting quietly among the audience and did not identify herself.  She is a humble and modest person and I apologise I did not notice her until the end of the event.

Thanks to Karen Hoisington and Alex Tan to initiate the Chakap Heritage together with SMP at the library@orchard.  The venue for the event is appropriate … this building, the Gateway Orchard, was over 100 years ago the former Pavilion Cinema.

It is a meaningful program for heritage friends young and old to attend.  It was also a “memory exercise” session for most of us.

With the splendid efforts of the project team, the thorough research to produce archived photos, material and images never seen before on the Internet.  Both Karen and Alex are the walking encyclopedia with elephant memories about Orchard Road in the 1960s

However, this was not only a “chakap” (“talking” in Malay) session.  The participants talk, listen and share their collective memories of Orchard Road as they remember and grew up in the 1960s.  Most of our pioneer generation heritage friends would fondly remember the nostalgic memories of Orchard Road.

Lots of fun as we walked down memory lane of Orchard Road.  Although some of the familiar physical buildings have disappeared, our memories of our favorite places for decades have not died. Our memories, our minds and hearts of Orchard Road will live forever.  The spirits of Singapore heritage to keep us and our present and future younger generations alive.

jerome lim

Jerome Lim, blogger of “The long and winding road” blog and the creator of the “On a little street in Singapore” group on Facebook. Long-time like-minded friends with similar interests to share with our heritage friends for several years now.

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The hard-working Singapore Memory Project (SMP) team members busy setting up the slideshow presentation together with Karen and Alex.

chakap heritage war yearsalex of heritage societyalex tan of heritage society2

Alex Tan remember the days when he used to roam around Orchard Road as a child and he could tell us every building, every shop, every “longkang” from the maps like the back of his palm to jog the history of Orchard Road to help everyone to remember.

Hands were raised by everyone to contribute and tell everyone their own memories and stories of Orchard Road. Great contribution from all the participants.

When I reminded him about the “black market” ticket sellers at Cathay Cinemas in the past, Alex blushed to admit that he was one of the syndicate and that was the ways he do business …
chakap heritage alex tan 1950schakap heritage 1950schakap heritage 1960schakap heritage about gatecrash
The story of the gatecrash to watch the free movie at the Orchard Road in the evening in the 1960s when he grew up in Orchard Road.  He had to crawl underneath a drain at the fence to watch the movies … small size as a child was an advantage for him.
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Karen invited a nostalgia friend to share her memories of Orchard Road in the old days.


A memorable photo with the courtesy of Karen Hoisington for our keepsake at the Chakap Heritage.

Alex Tan (left), Thimbuktu (center) and Victor Yue (right).

Victor is the Chinatown Boy who blogs at Bullock Cart Water for many years.

Alex Tan is a veteran and pioneer of the Singapore Heritage Society with tons of stories about Singapore memories to share generously with everyone.

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