New book documents 150 Eurasian artefacts

Artefact donors (from left) John Conceicao, Gerardine Donough-Tan and Kevin Aeria with copies of the book, The Eurasian Collection, which was launched yesterday. Mr Conceicao is holding brass cake moulds used to bake breudher, a type of cake introduc
Artefact donors (from left) John Conceicao, Gerardine Donough-Tan and Kevin Aeria with copies of the book, The Eurasian Collection, which was launched yesterday. Mr Conceicao is holding brass cake moulds used to bake breudher, a type of cake introduced here by early Dutch settlers.ST PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS

Artefacts from cake-making tools to everyday attire such as the baju panjang now feature in a new book by the Eurasian Association.

Called The Eurasian Collection, the photo-heavy book features 150 artefacts in six sections: family and home; jewellery and apparel; sports and music; religion; wedding; and World War II.

It was launched at the Singapore Art Museum yesterday by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong. Some of the artefacts featured are already on display at the association in Ceylon Road, while others were freshly sought.

They include brass cake moulds used to bake breudher - a cake that uses toddy as a raising agent.

Usually made around Christmas and New Year, the cake was introduced by early Dutch settlers and popular among pioneer Eurasians.

The 1940s moulds were donated by Mr John Conceicao, an executive director at the Singapore Tourism Board. They belonged to his grandparents, who bought them after World War II.

Other items on display include the silver baptism cup of Mrs Gerardine Donough-Tan, an associate lecturer and writer. The cup is engraved with her name and the date of the occasion in 1955.

Eurasian Association president Benett Theseira said the book is "interesting and valuable" and will benefit youth and future generations.

The community has been present in Singapore since the early 19th century. By 1931, there were 6,900 Eurasians living in Singapore. Today, the population has grown to more than 17,000.

Mr Wong told guests at the launch: "The community is the product of inter-marriage, so the values of racial and religious harmony are deeply embedded in your DNA." The book is being sold for $30 at the Eurasian Association.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2015, with the headline 'New book documents 150 Eurasian artefacts'. Print Edition | Subscribe