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Reliving cherished memories at ST photo exhibition

Published on May 3, 2014 12:09 PM

I remember waiting for the telephone call and wondering if I would be up to the task of calming the bereaved at the Singapore General Hospital mortuary.

This memory is triggered by a photograph of the Hotel New World collapse at the We: Defining Stories exhibition at the National Museum. The tie-up with The Straits Times provides snapshots of what made news in Singapore from 1950 to last year.

When that Serangoon Road building collapsed and claimed 33 lives in 1986, I was working in a government ministry and was roped in, along with many other civil servants, to render assistance. I was torn between the fear of confronting death and the duty to help family members of the victims.

In the end, I never got the call to go down but I did do duty on several days at a gathering point near the disaster site to help out with the logistics for rescue efforts that pulled out 17 survivors from the rubble.

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