Grandfather Storytellers


Every “grandfather” is a storyteller with stories to tell their grandchildren or children of their neighbours in the kampong or community.


The babyboomers of one generation in Singapore differs from the babyboomers of other generations.

I was born in 1948 after the Japanese Occupation in Singapore and referred as a “babyboomer”.

Volunteer Opportunity:  SMP Training

I was invited an opportunity as a Memory Corps volunteer of the Singapore Memory Project (SMP) on 9 September 2015.  According to the schedule programme as “Talk by NLB volunteer on curating memories”.

With thanks and acknowledgement to each and everyone for their cooperation and participation at CWP 2015.

It was indeed a rare opportunity and privilege to share with the young schoolchildren to learn creative writing to contribute to the Singapore Memory Project training workshop.

The 3-day Creative Writing Programme 2015 from 7 September 2015 to 9 September 2015 was organised by the Gifted Education Branch, Curriculum Planning and Development Division and hosted by Nan Hua Primary School.

Personal Stories to Share

How do I start an exciting journey with stories which the grandfather would tell?


My 3-year-old grand-daughter is too young to listen to her grandfather’s stories.

I was 11-year-old once upon a time, I thought.   I was in Primary 5 at Delta Primary School in 1959 at the same age of the students at the SMP Training Workshop.

So I turned my memory clock backwards with my “memory-aids” of old photos to share my stories with the schoolchildren.




I told the active and energetic young boys in the class that I was just like them at their age.  Boys are like boys who are playful and have some wholesome fun 🙂


Many of the schoolchildren giggled when they saw this photo of me with my father in 1958 at a photo studio in Great World Amusement Park.

My father was stern and a man of few words.  He seldom smile or laugh and have not told me stories of old Singapore.

He was strict but a loving father to take care of our family.  He migrated from China in the 1930s to Singapore and became a Singapore citizen.  Other stories are available on the blogs .

Autograph-signing Session by Grandfather Storyteller



It was indeed an enriching educational learning experience at the SMP Training Workshop for me to share with the students.

I hope they have benefitted from the training session and enjoyed the few stories from my blogs to help them in their Creative Writing Programme which I guess they enjoyed the blog about the Memories of Smell here .

It was filled with wonderful learning experiences with interactive and fun with the schoolchildren.

The unscheduled autograph-signing session at the end of the workshop gave me a wonderful surprise for me, the happy memories to cherish and remember the meaningful Singapore Memory Project assignment.

I would like to thank my experienced secondary school teacher Ms Sim Hui Hwang for her comments on my Facebook:

“Im so happy for u.  Children do know what a good story is.  Im just so glad that little ones are able to appreciate a good story and of course e story teller has cast a magical spell over them!  Great job, James!”

Thank you, Hui Hwang for your kind encouragement and comments to motivate and inspire me.


Group photos with the student participants at the SMP Training Workshop.


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