Sequel to book about S'pore Eurasians launched

Eurasian Association member and contributing author Patricia De Souza (far left) browsing the book with Ambassador of Ireland Geoffrey Keating and his wife, Jane.
Eurasian Association member and contributing author Patricia De Souza (far left) browsing the book with Ambassador of Ireland Geoffrey Keating and his wife, Jane.ST PHOTO: DON WONG

Despite making up only about 0.5 per cent of Singapore's population, the Eurasian community boasts two of 121 winners of the nation's highest arts honours.

The stories of Cultural Medallion winners Max Le Blond and Jeremy Monteiro are in Singapore Eurasians: Memories, Hopes And Dreams, a book launched yesterday at the National Library Board headquarters.

It is the sequel to the 1992 publication Singapore Eurasians: Memories And Hopes, and adds four new chapters that celebrate the past 25 years of the Eurasian community.

Praising the book, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran, who also represents the interests of the Eurasian community in Cabinet, said: "It does an excellent job, not just because because it documents the events of the past, but also through the many vivid personal and family recollections, which capture the essence of who Eurasians are."

One of the book's editors, first vice-president of the Eurasian Association Alexius Pereira, said this book was, first and foremost, a timely update for the Eurasian community, by the Eurasian community.

While noting that they face no major specific challenge, Dr Pereira said "it would be nice" if through the book, more Singaporeans could gain a greater understanding of who the Eurasians are in Singapore.

He recalled how, in the wake of Joseph Schooling's victory at the Olympics, some questioned if the young swimmer was truly Singaporean.

He said that such remarks "hurt the (Eurasian) community", and a book such as this could help to create more awareness.

Retiree Laraine Parry, 70, bought two books, one for herself and the other for a friend.

She said she would read it cover to cover, noting: "It's for my heritage and posterity and children."

The book, published by World Scientific Publishing, is available at the Eurasian Community House and all major bookstores, including Kinokuniya, Times the Bookstore, MPH and Popular.

The hardcover costs $58, while the paperback is $26.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Sequel to book about S'pore Eurasians launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe