Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This book is a treasure trove of pictures that tell of a time passed but not forgotten.

One topic that invariably crops up whenever old friends get together is life in the good old days. The pranks we played in school, our teenage infatuations, childhood heroes, favorite songs, best foods - all these are now distant memories of an era when life was simple yet fun, and the expression "no time - too busy" was unheard of.

The man on the left shows the best sitting position to enjoy your cup of kopi kau (thick black coffee) or your favorite bowl of Teochew porridge. Note the spittoon under the table. (Photo credit: Singapore National Museum)
The original kopitiam - undoubtedly a man's domain 
(Photo credit: Singapore National Museum)
Remember these vinyl 33rpm records? They were breakable and would warp if left in the heat. (Photo credit: Singapore National Museum)

I thank my good fortune that I managed to get a copy of "Vintage Singapore" last year. I am not sure if it is still in print. It was first published in 2006 by Editions Didier Millet Pte Ltd. If you would like to order a copy, try contacting the publishers at their website at

I share this book with my mother who has Alzheimer's in the hope that it will trigger some memory recall as she pores over these pictures of a bygone era.

You can access all these memories of the past in images and articles at this link:

Alternatively, you can check out Singapore Memory Project (SMP). To quote from the website, SMP is "a national initiative started in 2011 to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials, so as to tell the Singapore Story. It aims to build a national collection of content and preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research. The SMP aims to collect 5 million personal memories as well as a substantial number of published materials on Singapore by 2015.

How the project began. Read more at   

What a brilliant idea to preserve the past! To date, 112,684 memories have been added, and more coming in even as I write.

One more link to share with you. If you enjoy western country music, and old photos that will definitely put a smile on your face, click here for an interview with Matthew Tan, Singapore's 'one and only bona fide cowboy'. And if you want to sing along, the lyrics are in the Youtube video below.

Click on to listen to Matthew share about the early days before he hit the limelight with "Singapore Cowboy".

Enjoy happy hours browsing the websites.


Starmandala said...

What a rich post, evocative, nostalgic and charming!

Ivan Chew said...

Glad you feel the Singapore Memory Project is something of value. As a team member of the project, I'm really happy you wrote that. Hope to see you use the "memory bank". Feel free to let me know how we can assist, if you have questions about the portal or the project.

irememberSG said...

Thanks SeniorsAloud for the nice plug of our work! Hope to see your first memory deposit with us :)

Yeong Chong

Unknown said...

Hey really very lovely and interesting blog.Loved your concept....Thanks for sharing such informative thing!!!!!

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