SINGAPORE - Olympic champion Joseph Schooling got up close with a piece of history on Monday (Nov 19) when he visited a refurbished 1938 Merryweather Pump Escape Fire Engine - which his late granduncle, Lloyd Valberg, was the last fire chief of - at the Mapletree Business City.
Valberg was a national high jumper and Singapore's first Olympian when he competed at the 1948 London Olympics. As chief fire officer with the Port of Singapore Authority, he received the King's Police & Fire Service Medal in 1951 for gallantry during a fire on a tanker. He died in 1997.
"It's really cool to see this piece of history," said Schooling.
"My granduncle Lloyd made history as Singapore's first Olympian, and realising that he could do it made me want to race on the world stage at the Olympics."
"I'm glad that part of his legacy is preserved here at Mapletree Business City."
Mapletree unveiled the refurbished fire engine in July 2018 as an art piece, as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. After visiting the relic, Schooling met about 60 youth from Boys' Town and Beyond Social Services for a motivational sharing session.