How to Talk to Trees

entrance to kallang airport 1945a_sm

old lamp post1


On a trip to a place in Singapore to explore about its historical significance to blog, I had something new (or rather old) to learn.

However, I explored with some investigative work in the area to discover for clues.   There were a number of almost hundred-year-old trees at these spots.  Not a forest though.

How I wish these heritage trees could talk …..







Since I saw those trees which were grown as saplings in Singapore over 50 years ago, I wish the trees could tell me the history of the Kallang Airport, not to gossip.  Tell me the developments and progress to celebrate Singapore50 in 2015 , over 5 decades which the community of trees nearby at the Kallang Riverside Park are enjoying the present and future generations of Singaporeans.  If I were to communicate with the trees of knowledge rooted to the same spots for a long, long time.

Trees are a source of wonder and beauty for many people who gaze upon them and spend time around them. People from all walks of life come into contact with trees daily – hikers, gardeners, artists, lovers of the great outdoors, dreamers, naturalists, travelers and tourists, hunters, botanists, and more. By dint of being rooted to the ground they grow in, trees are representative of strength and constancy for many and this can bring on a sense of peace and connection when spending time around trees.

Listening to trees is either a relaxation or a meditating exercise, depending on how you choose to view it. Listening to the communications of trees (or rustlings and noises if you’re really practical) is a way of attuning our hearing and paying more attention to what we hear around us rather than letting sounds invade our space unawares. Trees make for a wonderful subject of focus because they cannot move more than what the breeze blows, toning down distractions and causing us to relax and focus more clearly.

Singapore is not a ‘concrete jungle’ ….. the greenery and flowery plants are found everywhere to provide nature parks in the cities and heartlands.

A little knowledge of topography learned during national service days helps me to locate the surrounding areas to where I found.  Same place, different times of a different era …..

The stone pillars were hidden behind the thick foliage in the plot of land at the former Kallang Park. The strong and tall heritage tree photos are posted on this blog to juxtapose with archived photos, credit sources of the National Archives of Singapore.





Hint: The designs of the heritage concrete lamp-posts were built at Kallang Airport in the 1950s.








With stone pillars of the partially ruined main entrance of the former Kallang Airport still standing, it was determined the same site of the former Kallang Airport building opened on 12 June, 1937 in the Kallang Basin.

The construction of Kallang Airport in the 1930s

beginning stage of kallang airport 1941a

kallang airport under construction 1933a kallang airport hangar 1937a

kallang civil aiport at kallang 1937a

workers at kallang airport 1950a

kallang before kallang build 1937a

japanese soldiers at kallang airport 1942a

Kallang Airport was in operation as a civil, commercial airport during the Japanese Occupation period.

various planes parked at kallang airport 1950a

Various airplanes at the Kallang Airport terminal

singapore air display at kallang airport 1949a

singapore air display at kallang airport 1949b singapore air display at kallang airport 1949c singapore air display at kallang airport 1949d singapore air display at kallang airport 20081949a singapore air display at kallang airport 20081949b

kallang river aircraft 1950a

Singapore Flying Club two-seater aircraft landing on Kallang River off Kallang Airport in 1950.

Travelling by air in the 1950s was not as common as transportation overseas by ocean-liners and ships.

Singapore Air Show 1950 at Kallang Airport on 9 December, 1950

singapore air day at kallang airport 09121950a singapore air day at kallang airport 09121950b singapore air day at kallang airport 09121950c singapore air day at kallang airport 09121950d singapore air day at kallang airport 09121950e

Personnel and Staff at Kallang Airport

immigrant checkpoint at kallang airport 1948a

The Singapore Immigration Officers checking the passengers’ passports at the wooden counters.

air controllers at kallang airport 1950aAir Controllers at Kallang Airport  c 1950

interior of kallang airport control tower 1939a

airline crew planning flight routes at kallang airport 1950aAirline crew planning flight routes at Kallang Airport c 1950

cargo section of kallang airport 1950aCargo Section at Kallang Airport  c 1950

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation at Kallang Airport

kallang airport coronation 1953a

Kallang Airport with decorations to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.  It was built by the British colonial government in the 1930s as Singapore’s first commercial international airport building. Officially opened on 12 June, 1937 by Governor of the Straits Settlements Sir Shenton Thomas, the airport was replaced by Paya Lebar Airport in 1955.

malayan airway plane 1950a

malayan airway hangar at kallang 1950aMalayan Airlines hangers at the Kallang Airport

lounge at the kallang airport 1948aThe lounge at the Kallang Airport before the passengers’ departure on their flight.

kallang airport 1950akallang airport 1950bkallang airport 1950ckallang airport 1950ekallang airport 1950d

VIPs at Kallang Airport

mrs elizabeth choy at kallang airport 03071953a

Mrs Elizabeth Choy who arrived back from United Kingdom at the Kallang Airpot with her children on 3 July, 1953.

mr and mrs loke wan tho at kallang airport on 27071954a

Mr & Mrs Loke Wan Tho at Kallang Airport on their return to Singapore after a round-the-world tour on 27 July, 1953.

dr lin yutang at kallang airport 17041955a

Dr Lin Yutang and family leaving Singapore at Kallang Airport on 17 April, 1955.

india prime minister pandit nehru at kallang airport 27121954a

Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru waving in greeting upon his arrival at Kallang Airport on 27 December, 1954.

chief scout lord rowalln at kallang airport 18111954a

Chief Scout of the Commonwealth Lord Rowallan at Kallang Airport on 18 November, 1954.

british foreign secretary sir anthony eden at kallang airport 26021955b

Arrival of British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden at Kallang Airport during visit to Singapore on 26 February, 1955

british foreign secretary sir anthony eden at kallang airport 26021955c

president soekarno at kallang airport 14051956bPresident Soekarno arrives at Kallang Airport on 14 May, 1956

president soekarno at kallang airport 14051956a

old kallang airport 1942bThe entrance of the Kallang Airport arrival hall  c  1950

Spot the Differences of Kallang Airport Then and Now

Over 50 years ago, nobody could ever imagine the futuristic Changi International Airport (Terminals 1, 2, 3) developed and built with the latest modern designs and architecture buildings with the prevailing high technology available to provide best services for Singaporeans and visitors to Singapore by air.

For an ever-increasing numbers of air travellers to Singapore, more and better airports to be built in the future.






5 thoughts on “How to Talk to Trees

  1. Thanks for posting the comments, Andy. Rest in peace the old lychee heritage tree when its lifetime for God to call. During harvesting time, the sweet, juicy lychee from this tree for so many residents at Goldhill Ave to pluck the tasty fruits to enjoy. Thanksgiving to remember the grand old lychee tree. God Bless!

  2. Seeing the photos you posted, particularly the trees, reminds me of the time when I registered for NS in the late 60s. Registration and medical check-up for NS were done in one of those buildings when our Mindef Central Manpower Base was. In a breeze its some 45 years ago ! Thanks for the memory, James !

  3. Lovely post. Trees make for lovely companions at times, and often, we overlook and take for granted the nature that are around us. My favorite tree lies in the Chinese Garden, at a spot perfect for catching the sunset. 🙂

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