Merdeka Generation: Community service runs in his blood

Mr Chiang (with a clipboard) led the Braddell Heights Civil Defence volunteers who responded to the Hotel New World collapse in 1986. Mr Bernard Chiang is a vice-chairman of the Braddell Heights Zone B Residents' Committee. His father was a leader in
Mr Bernard Chiang is a vice-chairman of the Braddell Heights Zone B Residents' Committee. His father was a leader in the former Kampung Chia Keng in Serangoon.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Mr Chiang (with a clipboard) led the Braddell Heights Civil Defence volunteers who responded to the Hotel New World collapse in 1986. Mr Bernard Chiang is a vice-chairman of the Braddell Heights Zone B Residents' Committee. His father was a leader in
Mr Chiang (with a clipboard) led the Braddell Heights Civil Defence volunteers who responded to the Hotel New World collapse in 1986. PHOTO: COURTESY OF BERNARD CHIANG

While the pioneer leaders were the architects of Singapore, everyday heroes helped to build society here. Members of the 'Merdeka Generation' - those born in the 1950s - persevered through a tumultuous period. The Straits Times meets one man who has been contributing to his community since his younger days.

At the age of 12, while his friends were playing "masak masak" - a cooking game - Mr Bernard Chiang had a more serious pastime.

As a member of his local volunteer firefighting team, he would help to put out blazes that the thatched attap houses of the time were prone to.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2019, with the headline 'Community service runs in his blood'. Print Edition | Subscribe