Sembawang, as it is today …

6 09 2009

Andrews Avenue, east of Sembawang Park, offers a gateway to the past, to an area that was once upon a time, occupied by fishing villages with names such as Kampung Tengah and Kampung Tanjung Irau. Traveling down Andrews Avenue from Sembawang Road leads to wooded area where there is a fork in the road. Either side of the fork leads to a clearing where the Masjid Petempatan Melayu stands, providing a glimpse into the area’s past. The mosque is what remains of the idyllic and beautiful Malay villages that occupied the northern coastline. Other than the mosque, very little remains of the villages and the colourful kampung houses, fishing boats and fishing nets that would greet the visitor to the area. Wondering around Jalan Mempurong and Jalan Selimang on either side of the mosque, there are a few reminders that still remain of the past, the sea wall and the beach at the end of Jalan Selimang, an old gate, an old street sign on which the old 4 digit postal code of the area is frozen in time…

An old roadsign with the old 4 digit postal code

An old roadsign with the old 4 digit postal code

The Masjid Petempatan Melayu provides us with a glimpse of the past.

The Masjid Petempatan Melayu provides us with a glimpse of the past.

Minaret and Dome of the Masjid Petempatan Melayu.

Minaret and Dome of the Masjid Petempatan Melayu.

Jalan Mempurong.

Jalan Mempurong.

Jalan Mempurong.

Jalan Mempurong.

The sea wall at the end of Jalan Selimang.

The sea wall at the end of Jalan Selimang.

View of the Jetty, Sembawang Park and the Shipyard from the sea wall.

View of the Jetty, Sembawang Park and the Shipyard from the sea wall.

My memories of the area were from my days in the sun – some of my teenage days scooping up mussels along the coastline with “Uncle” Hamid, a neighbour of my Godparents and his four boys and catching the boat to Seletar Island. While most of what I remember is gone, what is nice is that the peace and serenity of the area still remains, untouched by the hustle and bustle of modern Singapore – at least for the time being.

With a group of friends on Seletar Island (c. 1983)

With a group of friends on Seletar Island (c. 1983)

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4 responses

19 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

P.S. There are some excellent photos and memories of the kampungs of Sembawang here:

http://webspace.webring.com/people/pl/lilacbiru/kampungchild.html

http://webspace.webring.com/people/pl/lilacbiru/kampungku.htm

20 03 2010
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3 04 2010
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[...] and towards Sembawang end, as was often the case on the many car rides to the Mata Jetty and the coastal villages near end of Sembawang Road, sitting in the back seat of the car. There were the other occasions [...]

28 05 2010
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[...] at a beautiful coastal village in the north that Singapore has forgotten, one that I have my own fond memories of, Kampung Tanjung Irau. An record of this is provided by Salizah Mahmud in her tribute to her [...]

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