Goodbye, Dakota Crescent

SINGAPORE - Squeals of joy erupted from the Old Dove playground in the middle of Dakota Crescent, one of Singapore's oldest housing estates, as children played on tyre wheels, and whizzed down the slides at the estate's farewell party.

But the scene is bittersweet for current and former residents as it is slated for redevelopment by the end of 2016.

"When we were living here, it was like a kampong. Nobody locked their doors. We would greet each other as we walked past, unlike these days, where doors are shut tightly. At night, the bread seller would shout out “Roti! Roti!”," said 92-year-old Tan Hai Lan, who lived in the estate for 26 years.

The retiree had moved in when the estate was first built in 1958, with her then one-year-old daughter, Dr Lee Jee Mui.

"We have trees like this, and as we grew up, the trees grew up with us," said the now 58-year-old dentist, tearing as she recalled her fond childhood memories.