What Bukit Ho Swee was like before fire
Heritage trails and a performance tour of the former squatter area explore issues of resettlement
Published on Jul 15, 2014 3:03 PM
Retiree James Seah, 65, still remembers the thick smell of burning oil and the sounds of explosions as Bukit Ho Swee burnt to the ground in 1961.
He says: "I was not scared. In fact, I was very excited, wondering what was happening. I was 13 years old and I had never seen a fire before."
More than 50 years later, he will be conducting a heritage tour of his former neighbourhood as part of theatre company Drama Box's community project, IgnorLAND Of Its Time.
On Aug 2, he will point out landmarks and show participants photographs of what the estate looked like when it was still a squatter settlement, before the introduction of public housing in the form of HDB flats. The fire destroyed 2,200 attap houses and displaced 16,000 people, including Mr Seah.
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IGNORLAND OF ITS TIME: THE PERFORMANCE-TOUR
Where: Meet at Kim Seng Community Centre, 570 Havelock Road
When: July 24 to Aug 1, 7.30pm daily (except July 28)
Admission: Free but registration is required. Go to ignorland-performance.eventbrite.sg
Info: Presented in English, Mandarin and Hokkien
IGNORLAND OF ITS TIME: THE HERITAGE TRAIL
Where: Meet at Beo Crescent carpark entrance, Block 50 Havelock Road
Date: Aug 2, 9.30 and 11am
Admission: Free but registration is required. Go to ignorland-heritage-trail.eventbrite.sg
Info: Presented mainly in English