Memories of Yunnan Garden

As a long-time Jurong West resident and a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) alumnus, I was pleased to learn of plans to rejuvenate the little-used Yunnan Garden ("NTU to turn part of lush campus into a public park" and "Heritage of Yunnan Garden 'spans globe'"; both published on March 4 ).

When I was a child, I had opportunities to play within the original and full expanse of the Garden. This was during the early development days of the adjacent new residential areas, when there weren't any service buses plying the area yet.

With no other alternative, I had to trek through the Garden just to catch an early morning bus to get to school or work.

The joyful access to a spacious garden was, unfortunately, short-lived.

To support a buzzing economy in the 1990s, the construction of the Kranji Expressway began and Yunnan Garden had to downsize as a result.

Besides the arched gateway shown in one of the news report, a sister gateway actually exists a kilometre away and still stands across the present-day Jurong West Stadium.

The redevelopment plans for Yunnan Garden are timely, and aptly follow the steady rise of NTU's educational stature.

Most of the Garden may be long gone, but I have hopes of building new memories.

Tang Kum Cheong