Interesting point of view from Terry B

Terry had some interesting view about his stay here in S'pore. Instead of answering the questions that I have posted, he has very boldly revealed his experiences about his stay here in Singapore. I suggest that you guys take a look. I'm thinking that it would be really interesting to meet him in person and have a chat with him.
By the way, BLow07/7 is the username that i used for the forum.

At the end of his post, he has asked me to start investigating him for answers regarding Jalan Kayu. And i plan to do so quite soon... (chuckles)


Hello BLow07

Having been harassed / encouraged to respond to your project by young Matt Dillon's concern over our [RAF Seletar Association members] non response I would like to make a few points.

Firstly I am amazed and admire this project of yours but you are trying to cover much to much content / time scale / history at one go.

I could spend hours in my dotage [I'm73 years young] recalling my impressions of just Jalan Kayu itself from 55 years ago let alone RAF Seletar [As a single 18 year old airman and callow youth, being sent to such a wonderful amazing place as Singapore circa 1952, when Great [?] Britain was still in the throws of the post European War restrictions of clothes rationing, food and fuel shortages. etc. etc.
Don't feel concerned for my generation as we never knew any different, as I suspect certain age groups in yours are the same .

You didn't have any such shortages when I arrived !! How did you manage that after the terrible Japanese occupation ? [Yes, sorry our fault, but we did help to eradicate the Malayan Communists] .

My father was a butcher during and after the war, so as you can imagine our family didn't go short of meat. but it wasn't until I arrived in Singapore that I ever tasted steak, let alone the exquisite Asian food.

The interest I developed in Singapore's developing politics, with the ascendancy of Lee Quan Yew's Peoples Party was intriguing.
Reading the then current Straits Times I must admit I was a avid supporter, and really admired the guy, and always have, such a visionary, he certainly did Singapore very well.
But maybe this is this to politically abrasive for your project.

Hey! but don't get the idea I was some sort of egg headed political idealist.

I was like most of my contemporaries whose main concern was Pay Day [every fortnight average $100] Tiger Beer, Saturday Nights at the New or Happy World, The Union Jack Club and the late Britannia Club, perhaps an excursion into Bugis or Lavender Street, the restaurants in Orchard Road. The amazingly beautiful ladies of the Singapore night. But this is not what you want to know about is it? the debaucheries of the UK Servicemens' sorry records.

However at that time I was a keen racing cyclist and Seletar.,Changi and Tengah all had a thriving clubs that promoted races which took part mainly around the Bukit Timah Road area very early on a Sunday morning.
Because of the ambient temperature these were mostly restricted to 25 mile time trials. However I did win a 100KM race around RAF Seletar roads in 1954 and we were starting to compete with local Chinese clubs at that time.

There was a Tour of Singapore around that time, really advanced organisation for any country other than France ect., roads closed, Singapore and RAF Police escorts and marshals, cooperation of the local services, etc,etc.

It started at the Railway Station and went anti clockwise around the island .
Personally I gave up ignominiously on the Mandai Road due to cramp [that's the official reason, actually I was not up to the competition, I think a Chinese chap won it, but come on Blow7 get investigating and dig up the real result for me]

The very strong impression that I retain from that time [and my second tour, see below] was the complete absence of any big racial disharmony amongst the Chinese , Malays, Tamils, Indians, etc, etc, and us servicemen, we were very quickly put in our place if we transgressed.
I worked with all of at Seletar as they were the main labour force in most sections.
If interracial harmony could be replicated now as it was in Singapore then all over the world now it would surely be a better place.

Then again when I had the privilege to serve again from 1962 to 1965 with a family at Seletar living 'OUT' as they used to say in Serangoon Garden Estate.

But that is another can of worms BLow7 , as for Jalan Kayu come back to me with your research on NEE SOON WATT, and we'll take it from there.

Cheers Terry B