Spread of name part of urban development

It was disappointing to see elitism trump common sense ("Condo, mall renamed after outcry by school alumni"; Thursday).

Some alumni of the St Andrew's schools reportedly felt that the prestige of the schools would be tarnished by the association with a commercial development.

But it is only logical for malls and housing developments to draw their names from established landmarks in the vicinity. It also makes it easier for commuters and cab drivers to figure out their location.

Several condominiums bearing the St Patrick's name, for instance, have sprung up around St Patrick's School, with no loss of prestige to the institution. Nor does anyone think that the school is connected to, or endorses, the condominiums.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the spread of a name is part and parcel of the organic process of urban development.

The "novena" series of prayers offered at the Catholic Church of St Alphonsus in Thomson Road, for example, has spawned an entire brood of "Novena" condos, private firms, malls and an MRT station.

Far from being affronted at the supposed commercialisation of their faith, my Catholic friends take pride in this tangible sign of their church's role in the Singapore Story.

Estella Young (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Spread of name part of urban development'. Print Edition | Subscribe