Forgotten with time: Chong Pang Village

17 01 2010

With the help of an old map, and some sketchy memories of the village at which we would stop over at to get our supplies for the fishing and crabbing trips we used to make to the jetty at Sembawang end, as well as some old photos of the area courtesy of Mr Derek Tait, author of “Memories of Singapore and Malaya” who spent some of his childhood years in Singapore in the 1960s, and some from the National Archives, I was able to get a better impression of what Chong Pang was like in the 1970 and early 1980s. Taking a walk around the area, I could perhaps retrace some of the steps I had taken down the streets of Chong Pang, as I must have done in the early 1980s with Paul, an apprentice with Sembawang Shipyard, whom I had befriended during a six month stint I had with Sembawang Shipyard. Paul had come over from Kulai in Southern Johor, as many of the shipyard workers once did, and rented a windowless room in a wooden shack, which he once showed me. The wooden shacks of Chong Pang, as well as of Canberra Road, housed the thousands of Malayalees and Malaysians who worked at the shipyard. In the mornings and evenings, Canberra Road would be filled with streams of these shipyard workers dressed in the light blue coveralls of the shipyard, cycling to and from the shipyard.

Chong Pang Village erased: An open field slated for the development of a sports complex where the once bustling village used to stand, while a new public housing estate Sembawang rises in the background.

Today, the area where Chong Pang once stood bears very little evidence of the bustling village that once occupied the area. Most of the roads associated with the village have disappeared: the main part of the village centered around Chong Pang Road and the roundabout where the Sultan Theatre stood and around which some sumptuous hawker fare could be found in the evenings, is now a clear plot of land, that is, based on plans for the area, to be used for the construction of a sports and recreation complex. The roads on the other side of the road, where I remember there was a market of sorts, have similarly disappeared, a “Land for Sale” sign sticking out prominently where wooden shop houses once stood.

Map of Chong Pang Village c.1978

Chong Pang Village as it used to be: Looking up Chong Pang Road towards the area where the roundabout with the Sultan Theatre was located.(Source: National Archives of Singapore).

The spot where the junction of Chong Pang Road with Sembawang Road once was, as it is today.

A view of the junction of Chong Pang Road with Sembawang Road in 1968 taken northwards towards Canberra Road (Courtesy of Mr Derek Tait)

A view of the junction of Chong Pang Road with Sembawang Road southwards. (Source: National Archives of Singapore)

There is maybe some evidence of Kedondong Road – what appears to be remnants of a paved road peeps out from the grass where the road once joined Sembawang Road. Further north, what used to be a fork in the road, the right branch being the continuation of Sembawang Road, the left, Canberra Road – which led to the Naval Base and was later the road leading to the shipyard which inherited the former naval dockyard after the pullout of the British forces. The gate that stood on Canberra Road still stood for sometime after as evidence of the former Naval Base. Canberra Road has since been widened, bearing little resemblance to the Canberra Road of old. A Catholic church, Our Lady Star of the Sea, which has since relocated to the Yishun, used to stand at the corner, near the start of Canberra Road.

Evidence of where a village road once stood: What's left of Kedondong Road?

Village Scene in 1985 (Source: National Archives of Singapore)

Village Scene in 1985 (Source: National Archives of Singapore)

Row of Shops (Source: National Archives of Singapore)

Wooden Shacks that housed the many shipyard workers who lived in the area (Source: National Archives of Singapore)

Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea - a photo taken in 1992 (Source: http://www.veritas.org.sg/olss/history1.html)

Where the Star of the Sea once rose: the site of the old Catholic Church, Our Lady Star of the Sea

The Junction of Sembawang Road, Sembawang Avenue (new) and Canberra Road today, looking at Canberra Road. A hawker centre built in the 1970s used to stand in the area on the right of the bus. Canberra Gate used to stand a little further up Canberra Road.

Canberra Gate along Canberra Road in 1968 - near the junction with Sembawang Road. (Courtesy of Mr Derek Tait)

Where the market area once was ... now a plot of land for sale

Jalan Sendudok, one of the few roads still left

The only part of the area that is maybe still recognisable is just south of where the village was: the Jalan Tampang and Jalan Legundi area, where the rows of shop houses still stand. The row along Jalan Legundi used to house the Cola Restaurant, a popular place for steaks, which later became Jack’s Cola Restaurant.

View of the row of shophouses along Jalan Legundi, from Jalan Tampang in 1968 (Courtesy of Mr Derek Tait). The Cola Restaurant in the corner later became the Jack's Cola Restaurant. At the other end of this row is the coffee shop which serves the popular Chye Lye Fish Head Curry. What stands on the field now is the hawker centre which once was the Yishun Village Seafood Restaurant.

A more recent landmark in the area, what used to be a rather run down looking Sembawang Shopping Centre, on the opposite side of Sembawang Road from JalanLegundi, was put up in the mid 1980s and was a popular destination for shoppers looking a bargain on music CDs. The shopping centre has since been rebuilt, and the chain that was build on the back of the sales of music CDs has closed, a victim of online music downloads. North of the area, a new public housing estate, Sembawang stands where the swamps around the Sungei Sembawang once stood. There is an area which is named Chong Pang in Singapore, left perhaps as a reminder of the old village, some 3 miles south of the village, bustling it is with a market popular with people living in the area, but nothing like how the old village was.

Map of the Chong Pang Village area, 1968 (extract of a 1968 HM Naval Base Map).

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90 responses

6 03 2010
grace

Thanks for bring back those good old memories!
Chong Pang was where I spent my childhood and early teenage days…
One icon which was not mentioned was the post office which was once located at the junction of Chong Pang Rd and Sembawang Rd nearby the church.
Wish I had a photo of it.

6 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for your comments Grace. It is nice to know you spent your childhood and early teenage years in Chong Pang … they don’t make villages in Singapore like they used to don’t they? I vaguely remember there being a post office where you mentioned, but can’t seem to form a mental picture of it … would you be able to describe how it looked like? Yes, a photo would be nice … perhaps you can check with Derek Tait, who besides being the author of several books and also a blog on his memories of life in Singapore and Malaya in the 1960s, also has a wonderful collection of old photographs of Singapore, including some on the Sembawang area.

24 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

A couple of old photos of Chong Pang … the second one does show a bit of the old Post Office:

6 03 2010
Thimbuktu

Hi Jerome, thanks for the memories. What a coincidence that I once lived around Chong Pang near the Sembawang Road 13 1/4 miles. Didn’t know that your blog topic with old photos were courtesy of my friend Derek Tait. What a small world on the Internet!

My “Walk Down Memory Lane” blog topic “The Old Man and the Sea” must had frequent visit to the Sembawang Park during your childhood days at:

http://www.phlog.net/user/thimbuktu&style=blue-mid&albumid=&first=160&num=10

Pls contact me at thimbuktu@hotmail.com

7 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

Hi Thimbuktu, thanks for your comments. It certainly is a coincidence! Derek Tait has a wonderful collection of photographs of old Singapore and the Sembawang area and is kind enough to allow me to use them. The internet has somehow provided the platform to help us all connect I guess. Where you lived, would that be around the row of shop houses with two or three bars and close to where the cluster of Indian hawker stalls were? I read your very interesting post “The Old Man and the Sea”. We could have crossed paths catching crabs on the jetty at some point in time. I can be contacted by email.

9 03 2010
Thimbuktu

The “The Walk Down Memory Lane” meets with “The Long and Winding Road”, the wondering wanderer.

As turning down from Sembawang 13 1/4 milestone was after an Hindu temple, then a cheroot factory and the row of terrace houses. I rented a wooden house right at the back of the private road.

On the trunk road further down where I was located, there was the Patio drinking hole for ANZUK servicemen, favorite hawker food on carts, just beside the Shanghai antique shop and further down Nelson & 2 other bars for mostly non-locals. Memorable stuff for the days at Sembawang.

17 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

I share your sentiments James … I guess only memories exist of a Sembawang that was a different world … yes it was the Nelson bar and the two other bars that I remember most – my father almost knocked down a couple of intoxicated patrons who had stumbled onto the road late one evening on the way to the jetty … I did hear of the cheroot factory – where was this exactly?

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

Yes, after the patio (previously located a little further up – (opp unused Africa Gate) you’ve Golden Hind, Ocean Bar, Kangaroo Bar and ending up with Melbourne Bar….witnessed many a good fist fights between drunken sailors and our local lads until the military police came by!!

16 03 2010
Leong Seng Chen

Great idea indeed! Smile & Cheers! It is really a very sentimental scene lah! This wonderful articles/pictures surely reminds my existing birth place- a tiny village in the land below the wind. We have just a row of 8 units wooden shoplots which is roughly about 60 years old – 2 years younger than me.

The first time I visited Chong Pang Sembawang & Woodlands was 1992 the year I landed onto Singapore. From Ang Mio Kio I had to take public bus 169 lah! I had been living in Marsiling for 16 years & my 2nd son & his family now live in Sembawang Jelutung Harbour Park. Both places were hand picked by me.

Now we are trying to link the past the present & the future hehehe!

17 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for your comments Seng Chen … I am glad it reminds you of your home village all those miles and years away …

What was nice about the area then was the rustic feel it had … a friend had an uncle who had a house at Jalan Janggus somewhere opposite where the park now is – this gave us easy access to the jetty as well as to the kampungs further eastwards – accessible through Andrews Avenue and Jalan Mempurong, where we could watch the fishermen come in with their boats, see nets being mended and drying in the sun … as well as catch a boat over to Seletar Island. I guess times have changed and our children now immerse themselves in TV, electronic games etc …

Nice to know you have chosen to live around the vicinity – your son as well … I live in Sembawang myself … possibly because of the attachment I have with the area … and I remember 169 very well … using it to get to Sembawang and also the shipyard nearby where I was attached to for six months in the 1980s …

19 03 2010
Chew

Hi Jerome

I am nursing a swollen jaw at home from wisdom tooth surgery, but just have to reply to your blog! A friend forwarded it – you have no idea what a walk down memory lane it was for me.

I spent a good part of my childhood living right at the very end of Chong Pang Road itself, and have so many anecdotes that my brother and I talked about every time we meet. I think we were one of the last residents who stubbornly refused to move when the government resettled us into Yishun flats. I still remember every household in the village buying durian seedlings to plant, because the number and type of fruit trees one had add made a difference to the resettlement compensation that the authorities were dishing out!

I thought I would share some of my memories with you and whoever might be interested to read this:

- Did you say you were attached to Sembawang Shipyard in the 1980s? Did you ever buy keuh-keuh from the several hawkers who sold morning breakfast to the hundreds of shipyard workers just outside the main gate of the shipyard? If you did, you just might have bought from my father, brother and I.

- All my siblings went to Si San Public School, but only my older and I were at the premises at Lim Toh Road, I think. It was reputedly the last public school in Singapore, so I was told. Noodles cost 20 cents then. Chinese was our first language and we recited the national pledge in Mandarin! Canberra Primary School was the rival school, for some reason. The school is now called Xi Shan Primary School and still operates in Yishun.

- I watched my first movie in Sultan Cinema and also witnessed SBC (MediaCorp’s pre-pre…decessor) filmed the Chinese drama series “Five-foot Way” there. The cinema had foldable wooden seats, and you could eat “keuh ji” or melon seeds and throw the shells on the floor! Of course, there were the occasional cockcroaches, but the tickets cost only 50 cents, and I still remember fondly the cashier writing your seat number on your ticket using a thick, red colour pencil. I spent wonderous times on my BMX bicycle going round and round the semi-circle podium of Sultan Cinema…

- I haven’t come across any Pasar Malam that is as authentic as the one at the roundabout in front of Sultan Cinema! Oh, the roasted chicken wings!

- I bought my first cassette tape (it was Eric Moo or Lin Huiping) at the little shop near the roundabout. Took them out the other day, and guess what – it till works! Yes, I still have a cassette tape player… :p

- Do you remember there was a community centre that operated a mobile library in the form of a little van vehicle?! The folks loved it, and would queue to have their selected books and “Library Card” date-stamped, the old-school way. No bar codes to speak of! The CC was just behind the polyclinic, and I remember beyond the former’s back gates was a field that you could cross to get to the church and market. There’s a slope where my friends and I used to play “slide” using discarded fruit or electrical appliance cartons.

- Do you know the coffee shop at the junction of Chong Pang and Sembawang Road, where the traffic lights were, served probably the best Roti Prata ever?!

- During school holidays, my brother and I used to go around the village selling my mother’s home-made “Soon Kueh”, etc. Haha, because he was older than me and supposedly stronger, he would carry the pot with the goods, and I would carry a bag of coins and a karung guni-type horn and go around “bpor bphoo, bpor bphoo!” trying to rouse the aunties from their lazy afternoon naps for a tea break of good old Teochew Keuh-Keuh.

Gosh, I could go on and on… In my zeal to find any remnant memories of Chong Pang Village years back, I actually chanced upon a Geography thesis in NUS, which carried some pretty good pictures of the area. Now that I’ve come to your blog, I wonder if there’s a Facebook page for ex-Chong Pang residents, or perhaps one for Si San Public School students. This is where I am all for and in awe of the wonders of technology!

Thanks again for sharing this, Jerome. It is way too precious, memories.

19 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

Hi Chew, thanks for adding your many lovely memories … I thoroughly enjoyed reading what you have shared – especially the personal experiences you had :) … I am overwhelmed hearing the perspectives of those who lived in the area that I could only have observed with an urbanite’s narrow field of vision, looking as I only could, from the outside looking in. I am certainly glad to share the sparse memories that I have and really appreciative that I can take this trip down memory lane with a few others.

Oh yes, now that you have mentioned it, I do remember the hawkers outside the gate, which my friends and me would have paused at to grab something for a quick bite … and I could have very well bought it from you or your father and brother … wow … just the thought of that!

Si San Public School – yes I vaguely remember that it was just off the roundabout somewhere … my experience with the pledge was a little different – we had to do it in English, Mandarin or Malay … and yes, for me … I could get noodles at 20 cents at the tuck shop at the school I attended as well … I remember there were a few small plates of things like mee rebus that even went for 10 to 15 cents! There were also the soft drinks in these little bottles that were sold for 15 cents …

I never got to go into the cinema … but I do remember the chinagraph pencils that you mention – what you mentioned was also practiced in the other cinemas as well … and cockroaches – they were everywhere … in ever cinema!

Yes … the chicken wings … they must have been good – everyone seems remember them … my mouth is starting to water already!! I don’t remember the mobile library … but I did see it in some other places like Somapah … I don’t think I ventured to the CC or polyclinic. I do remember there being a roti prata stall at the coffee shop you mentioned .. but not much more … must ask mum and dad if they remember how good it was!

Yes- I share you sentiments about technology and the internet – I have managed to get in touch with many of my classmates who I have not seen for more than half a lifetime! I think you have a great idea – why don’t you start a Facebook page! It’s a great way to share photos … and memories …

By the way, have you checked out Derek Tait’s Flickr page … http://www.flickr.com/photos/derektait/sets/72157621324179219/ – has some wonderful photographs including many of the Sembawang area. SImilarly Memories of Singapore … http://www.singas.co.uk/HTML/singapore_in_the__60s.html has many photos …

There are also some good memories and photos of the old malay kampungs along the coast:

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

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

30 03 2010
7 04 2010
grace

Hi Chew,

Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Can’t agree more with you — “I haven’t come across any Pasar Malam that is as authentic as the one at the roundabout in front of Sultan Cinema! ”

In fact, I do not remember going into Sultan Theatre for a movie, but the shops and stalls around it has made it such an unforgettable place for me.

Talking about the coffee shop at the junction of Chong Pang and Sembawang Road, where the traffic lights were — was it called “白雪亭” (White Snow Pavilion)? I got the coffee shops mixed up sometimes as years go by. There was a man with a type writer typing letters for people as a living, am I right?

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

That man is doing it for extra pocket money….he used to be a Grade 1 clerk in the H. M.
Naval Base and once my colleague….Mr. Lee Ah Huat is his name!

2 04 2011
aria

on the pasar malam, i remember there was a “hum zin bang” store that drew really good crowd of customers! a chinese medicine peddler who enticed his customers with a huge python! wow, those were the days…

6 06 2011
Mei Jiuan Wong

Hello,

I stumbled upon this blog while searching for information as part of my project to write my personal history. Memories flood my mind as I read your blog. I went to Canberra Primary School and lived on Bah Tan Road. I wonder if I ever met you as a kid.
Thanks for the memories.

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

do you know any one who studied at Canberra Sch between 1954 to 1959….those were my/our days!

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

Quote : “….- Do you know the coffee shop at the junction of Chong Pang and Sembawang Road, where the traffic lights were, served probably the best Roti Prata ever?! …..Unquote

This guy makes the best nasi briyani too! He later moved to a coffee shop in Nee soon opp Transit Road…..!

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

Wasn’t it your family that sold “suen kueh” in a push cart at night parked outside the coffee shop in front of the wanton noodles?

20 03 2010
Sembawang, as I remember it … « The Long and Winding Road

[...] further posts related to the Sembawang area: Chong Pang Village Sembawang, as it is today Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Forgotten with time: [...]

26 03 2010
Jason Ng

It’s being a long time I had seen revisited my long kept away memories of my childhood days in Chong Pang and thanks alot for posting all these memorable pictures. It really perk up my day.

28 03 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for your comments Jason, nice to know you spent your childhood days in Chong Pang. :)

3 04 2010
That old rusty red coloured building along Sembawang Road « The Long and Winding Road

[...] Road on the left, breaking the monotony of what seemed an endless journey to the village of Chong Pang and towards Sembawang end, as was often the case on the many car rides to the Mata Jetty and the [...]

7 04 2010
Lim yin pieu

Thanks for the memories. I studied Kindergarten and then pri 1 at si san in 1980 and lived at Jln janggus…. Wonder if any of you from the same batch?

8 04 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for your comments Yin Pieu. You lived at Jalan Janggus! A friend’s uncle had a house off Jalan Janggus – and spent quite a lot of time around the area – staying at the house on many occasions during the holidays – when we were younger, perhaps in the mid 1970s, I remember us playing rounders with a boy named Atan who lived around the area – not sure if you had ever come across an Atan there? :).

21 05 2010
Lim Yin Pieu

I was at #2 on Jln Janggus. My uncle was staying at #1. Are you also familiar with Nee Soon Road folks? Let’s catch up one day? You got my email address right?

21 05 2010
The wondering wanderer

Ok … the houses just as you turn into Jln Janggus. Must have walked past the houses on many occasions! Yup, its sounds like a good idea to catch up one day … will get in touch with you.

1 05 2010
Kevin

In the late 70′s my father was in NZ Air Force working in the Naval base & we lived 2 houses down from the Cola Bar in Jalan Legundi. I spent my early teenage years there & still hold fond memories of Chong Pang & Singapore. I remember shopping for music tapes & the local food in the hawker market and drinks being sold to you in plastic bags with a straw ! (no one believes me now days:). I also remember the old man on the push bike with a sort of trailer that was jammed packed with every type of broom & brush imaginable, & who would call out ‘moppa’ or similar when riding around the streets.
I went back for the first time about four years ago & couldnt believe how much Singapore had changed & that Chong Pang had gone.

2 05 2010
The wondering wanderer

Kevin, thanks for adding your comments. There were many NZ families around the area but I didn’t realise that some lived along Jalan Legundi. Music tapes were affordable to teenagers then – I grew up listening to many tapes of the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson etc. Yes, now that you mentioned it, there were lots of peddlers on push carts and trailers of sorts which were jammed with everything imaginable then … the bread man always fascinated me. Singapore’s changed tremendously and most of what we live in here is a concrete jungle – there is very little left that reminds us of life before the 1980s. Some things have not changed though … we still have drinks being sold in plastic bags with a straw. :)

20 06 2012
Kevin

You know its funny that after nearly 35 odd years I can still remember the bus numbers (161, 163, 167 etc !) to catch from Chong Pang to the old NZ Forces school in Sembawang and around the local area. Like many others in this forum I bought my first cassette tape in the Hawker market, Rod Stewart of all things (first and last time I bought one of his tapes). My family bought our first colour TV in Singapore I can still remember the novelty of it. I do miss the hustle & bustle of Chong Pang, the vibrant village life and drinks in plastic bags :)

16 10 2013
LisaMK

We still have drinks in plastic bags?!?!??!?! Where??? I’d like to show my friends!

16 10 2010
lee hwee twan

kevin, I grow up 91c sebawang rd, 10ms.
My grandparent lived there until 1980, we shifted to central part.
Having alot of sweet merories of the red rubber factory infront of my house.
My grandpa worked for Lee rubber co.
My aunt lived at chong pang, I used to visit her often.
after sharing, nice to meet u.
Thanks for sharing of your photos

28 05 2010
Francis Lai

I remember my secondary schoolmate, William and Antony (from another school) asked me to join them on 30.5.1966 to visit their friends (secondary girl students) residing in Chong Pang Village. I think we took a Tay Koh Yat bus there, I couldn’t recollect the exact location of their homes, I think they were somewhere in Bah Tan Rd/Teo Lee Rd area. I remember their houses were sited besides one of the many fish ponds there. I have lost touch with them after many years. I remember back then Chong Pang village was peaceful and the atmosphere was great !

29 05 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for you memories Francis … I am amazed that you can even remember the date of you visit from all those years back … it will be 44 years to the day on Sunday! :)

29 05 2010
Francis Lai

The date of visit is written behind a black & white photo showing a scenery of a fish pond at Chong Pang Village ! It was taken by Mr Antony back then. Antony actually had given me some of the photos of the visit, but thro’ the years I have lost them. I really wish my lost school friends, William and Antony happen to read your columns and join in to tell us more about the Chong Pang’s visit on that day in 1966 ! Thanks.

29 05 2010
The wondering wanderer

Francis – you have a photograph of the scenery! That’s wonderful! I have some memories of the fishing ponds around the area south of Chong Pang where Chong Pang camp is today (opposite Yishun) … yes it would be nice to connect up with your old friends and also if they have stories to share! :)

1 06 2010
Caroline

Hi Guys,

I too from Chong Pang. I love the life there. Missing the delicious Laksa, carrot cake and many more in front of Sultan Theatre. How nice if we can rewind and see the wonderful life we had at Chong Pang Village. The Pasa Malam, the coffee shop, the market and many more to be mentioned. In fact I am from Scharff Road, I hv to pass by Bah Tan Road, Teo Lee Road and then Scharff Road. The neighbours were friendlier, the festive seasons were great. Do you guys have any more photos to be posted in the web so that the rest of us can view and bring back our wonderful memories.

Caroline

2 06 2010
The wondering wanderer

Hi Caroline … guess there are many who miss the Chong Pang of old … I have just posted some more views of the old Chong Pang. You may also want to visit Memories of Chong Pang on Facebook at which everyone can share their photos and memories. :)

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

don’t forget too the wanton mee (inside the coffee shop), char kway teow, “kai chok”, and the fish ball noodles…..

2 06 2010
More views of the Chong Pang of old « The Long and Winding Road

[...] views of the Chong Pang of old 2 06 2010 Judging from some of the comments the post on Chong Pang Village, there appears to be a fair bit of nostalgia for the Chong Pang that existed in the good old days. [...]

15 08 2010
wongyocksong

Dear all,

I just stumbled upon your site as i had 4 a long while wanting to fast rewind & recollect bac the times i was born ,bred and brought up at this village call Chong Pang.

I am the 3 th son , (jus turned 55 )of the Tai Kee Porridge Stall Mdm Nee Cheong Chai at Sam Wah Chee Drive Market and then Chong Pang Market opposite the old police station.

I believe all of u may have patronised her porridge selling for
30/50/80/100 cents and later 200/250/300/500 cents
Many of you may have seen how my mum toiled, pushing the 3 wheel cart up from the market to chong pang Road to our house at 3 scharff Road in the midday sun erking out a mearge living for us.

I helped at her stall at the market though very much lesser than my siblings (preferring to spend my time to be more learned because i m a slow learner), who all had invested a lot of their precious after schooling hrs helping my mum out with her business preparation..

Her effort did not go to waste, she manage to save prudently, briingng 7 of us up buy a house for $120 K
at 51 Jln chempedak in 1986. I am glad and blessed that i manage to buy over this time around jus to keep her contribution in memory

The attap longhouse pic seems to be the house next to ours at Scharff Road, and indeed it houses the Indian shipyard workers. Can anyone care to care to confirm? Ms Caroline seemed from her description of her travel route path to be staying at the Maa Shui Chee(Disused open type communal bath next to Ch
ong Nee Comunity Center)/Teo Lee road end part of the Scharff Road.

There was also the Chia Chiu Hakka Hui Kuan at the junction of chong pang /scharff road, the Lim Chong Pang’s residence….

15 08 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for sharing Yock Song! :D

7 04 2013
wongyocksong

From your earlier episodes and times as an intern at the sem shipyard, seems that you were a marine engineer..Care to confirm??

21 11 2010
Tony

Scharff Rd, holds a fond memory for me & Sembawang Hills Estates even hold a fonder memory. I have a classmate who lived at the end of scharff Rd., which number, I can’t remember, I only know how to get there. I remmber Chong Pang Village very well. We used to fish for giant clams in the swamps there or go hunting for crabs or slipping into Naval Base through the holes in the fence.

Do you still live at Jalan Chempedak?, I spent many of school days cycling around Sembawang Hills Estate, the old hawkers at the food centre?, the shop that sells aquarium fishes at the end of Jln Chempadak? Lucky Stores, the Hylam coffeeshop, Ong Brothers Record Shop… & the stationery shop at the begining of Jln Chempedak, I have a classmate who lived at Jalan Mengkudu and many more classmates scattered around the estate & also opposite at Nemesu Avenue etc.

Spent my younger days cycling the roads in sembawang Hills Estate, Thomson Hills, & to Teacher’s Housing Estate & Yio Chu Kang Road..

I really missed Chong Pang & Sembawan Hills Estate..remember the Pasar Malam every was it Friday? along Old Upper Thomson, that strecches from the begining of Pierce Reservoir to the the other end?

Sure, it brings back find memory… we are of the same age! (:-

22 11 2010
The wondering wanderer

Hi Tony, thanks for sharing that … seems like a lot of you slipped into the Naval Base through holes in the fence … :) I spent a lot of days cycling around the areas you mentioned – probably a bit later than you … do you remember a Soon Huat sundry shop at Sembawang Hills? I had a classmate whose father worked at the shop …

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

it was reported that there was sightings of a croc…..swam in from the Senoko river in the Naval Base……!!

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

Tai Kee porridge….one of the best around! I thought this family was related to someone I know in Blk 24 in the Naval Base…

On a rare occasion, I was given a treat when my mom could afford 30c for me to get a bowl..>>>!

7 01 2012
wongyocksong

Thanks for the compliment to the effort of my late mum, she must be happy u remember her stall.
Canberra Road, BLK 24 Rm 1, It was my holiday resort of sort> School holidays was time we spend with our uncles and aunties and we used to play football, hatam bola …. with all the other residents children and also school mates within the vincinity blocks. And yes indeed u r connecting correctly. Lee Leong my grandad (eletrician at naval base, part time helper at my mum’s stall. My uncle, Lee Chee San became a teacher instaed of becing an apprentice at taught at Sembawang pri schiool(including malay langauge) now at bradell heights,did his LLB and set up own practice ,now doing consultancy services for the Cambodia legal administartion according his still practising 70 year old legal friend Shyam, the eldest son of his 2nd wife, Lee Hon San with NEA, reclusive anfd never got married. Lee Kam San ,was SIA Steawrd but got into a mess later committed suicide……………..

8 02 2013
Wong Mei Jiuan

Hi Yock Song,

We were classmates in Canberra School from 1962 to 1967.

Wong Mei Jiuan

7 04 2013
wongyocksong

MJ,
Here we meet again, u still in Canada?. Understands that ur mum is with ur sis lee juan at Shangralila Walk and is jus 3 mins walk away from my humble abode at 139 Ellington Square off amk st11.

Of late had not seen her passing the main road at my backyard. had quite bit of catchung upreviously with her. Hope she is well. et toi?

The acquisition of my mum place at 51 jln chempedak was a right move up till now. It is intended 4 2nd daughter presently praticising at Royal Melbourne Hospital if she decides to return to Singapore after attaining specialist qualification with her other 1/2.

wongyocksong@gmail.com
+65 90123493

22 11 2010
tony

Do not quite remember the names of all the shops, was this along Jalan Kuras or Jalan Glenggang, there was a sundry shop along tha stretch & even a clinic. A close friend of mine, in the 1980′s whenever he touches down in Singapore, he would head to the ‘Ngor Hiang Stall’ in the food centre along Jalan Kuras, in fact I am familar to quite a few stalls there in the past.

Remember Jalan Kuras from Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School the road slope downwards? I rode my bicycle fast down that strecth, sometimes squeezing in between cars..that was when you are young, restless & reckless.

Ong Brothers Record shop, was the place I spent many hours in, until they moved to Shaw Centre, Orchard Road, the Hylam coffeeshop, my family ate their on a regular basis. If you are familar with Sembawang Hills, then you would know Casuarina Road?, the church at the top end heading north, the orginal roti prataIn/Indian food shop, International Book Store, the hair dresser ran by a Hainanese woman, the Hainan bakery at the far end, where I can still smell the bread in my nose, when I am typing this.

The rows of Oil Palm Trees along the strech of Old Upper Thomson Rd, at the back of Seraya Crescent. I went back there a few years ago, and the old Oil Palm Tress were still there, do you know, they are at least 30 years old or more.

Who knows that classmate of yours whose father working at Soon Huat..may even know me…back in those days, everybody know, almost everybody around that parts..

21 02 2011
aliogoi

Like you I like to reminisce about old and fading Singapore. I remember passing thru Chong Pang via Jalan Ulu Sembawang on a motorbike. If anyone reading this and have a copy of old Spore Street Directory or info on how to get one I would be very grateful. Thanks and keep up with this excellent website.

22 02 2011
The wondering wanderer

Hi Aliogoi, I remember the old Jalan Ulu Sembawang as it rose up the ridge from which one got an excellent view of the farms – was one of the prettier parts of Singapore – my father loved to drive there from Sembawang Road – there are some old street directories as well as old street maps of Singapore in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library if you would like to look them up … thanks so much for your feedback – much appreciated! :)

29 03 2011
Sembawang beyond the slumber « The Long and Winding Road

[...] and goings of the many schoolchildren who attended the few schools along the road, and the extended Chong Pang Village which grew to the west of Canberra Road all the way to the marshy land on the banks of the Sungei [...]

2 04 2011
aliogoi

Drove to Sembawang via Thompson. Tagore Rd area (I believed it was called Teachers’ Estate before) is undergoing massive redevelopment. Since the name Chong Pang now is in Yishun itself – the younger generation will not know this place. But for me I can still feel the `spirit’ (atmosphere? vibes?). I really miss the old Sembawang Shopping Centre Satay Club where one can sit in the open and face the opposite side in a cool evening, watching the birds return and the darkening sky leading to twilight.

27 05 2011
tony

Have not been in here for a while, the old part of Singapore had gone with time. Have not been to teacher’s housing estate for a long time, missed the Munshi Abdullah Rd etc used to ride bicycle through the estate roads, when I was you. There was a fishing pond not far from there along Yio Chu Kang Rd., where we used to go fisihing during the June holidays. Not far from Teacher’s Housing along Sembawg Rd heading north, about 1 bus stop from Tagore Ave , there was a road leading left, Lor xxx ( forgot the name), it leads to a Hainanese village, that ends at the bend along old Upper Thomson Rd ( the grand prix circuit). This part of Singapore is changing very rapidly and wished that they will preserve what can be preserved, now it is a memory & fading fast & one day people like us, will vanish.
Near to sembawang shopping centre, I think the old housing estate is still there? with a road name that used to amuse me, Jalan Malu Malu…ha ha ha
This was quite many years back, my friend & I took a long walk through Jalan Ulu Sembawang that leads to Mandai Rd., and on that day we passed by many curious eyes looking at us, when we walked along the road. The next day I read in the papers that, that area was raided for cock fighting. If one can retrive that news, that was the day we walked down the road before the police raid. Is that road still around?
Near to Chong Pang Village, there was a small fishing village called Tanjong Irau, anybody remember that place? I have an army mate who lived there.

10 06 2012
Deborah

I lived in Jalan Malu Malu in 1968 when I was 7 years old, and I rode my bicycle dodging the potholes around the streets there. My friend Susie lived next door with her dog Seiko, and my school friend Michael Towel lived along the road. I remember when the circus came to Chong Pang and I watched the elephants having a drink and wash at the water tap. I went to the Naval School in the Base and lived in Chong Pang for about a year before moving into the base and living in one of the houses on stilts, which seemed like a palace.
I loved my Amah, her name then was Wong Boon Cheng, and I believe she married and later had a market stall in the area.
I was told that Malu Malu meant Cocoanut ? who knows if this is true.

12 06 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks for sharing Deborah! :) Jalan Malu Malu is still there and is one of the parts that hasn’t really changed so much in the area. Many of the houses on stilts are also still around … I have no idea what the origin of Malu Malu is … I’ll ask around.

27 05 2011
aliogoi

Tanjung Irau is further down – entrance from Andrew Rd. I had relatives staying there. The only thing left there is the mosque. The last time I went (3-4 yrs ago) the roads still had the old postal code. Tj Irau was a resettlement village actually. It had a nice feel. Really miss moments like those days.

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

It’s Andrews Ave (at this corner, there were few many Malay food stalls and at night, satay of one of a kind!) Tanjong Irau is in Kg Wak Hassan, I think….

1 08 2011
norain

home in those days was at madras road and i used to go to canberra primary and then naval base secondary. it felt like ages ago. i remember the yellow top taxi my mum and i used to take along with the other womenfolks to go home from chong pang market. the hairdresser along chong pang road that i once had to revisit because mom felt that the hair cut was not short enough. my first movie at the cinema in jalan kedai. jalan sultan roundabout that we use to run around for PE. happy days

8 10 2011
exnavalbase1412

and myself, Kowloon Road…..remember “our” padang – once home to many a wrestling match?!

6 09 2011
The 7 links project « The Long and Winding Road

[...] that help to reconnect many of them not just with the village, but together. The post is: “ Forgotten with time: Chong Pang Village “. The post did draw a few comments, online and offline froma number who disagreed with my [...]

14 07 2012
tan yee lee

i was born in naval base, lived in block 1 move to chong pang village, at end of teo lee rd– next to the naval base fence and canberra school. educated in canberra school and naval base sec sch , after become an apprentice with the naval base. reading this blog bring back all memories.

20 07 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Glad that it did Yee Lee … you may want to check out the Old Sembawang Naval Base group if you are on Facebook. :)

16 02 2012
exnavalbase1412

@ wongyocksong (01:24:32) : small world…..

Lee Chee San was a year my senior; his peers were the neighbour Tee Kow; Subhas Anadan (lawyer), – Blk 9; Poh Leong – Blk 6; Bernard Pereira- Blk 23; Puroshotaman – Blk 10…..and others

7 04 2013
wongyocksong

Puro shot a man, sounds a very familar name, and there are not any than i had heard before.?? Was he from the same schools as Mr TanYeeLee. I am but not TanYeelee’s younger brother TJS who went on from Canberra to RI.

19 04 2012
Sudhir Menon

As an Upper Serangoon kid (now living in Sembawang), whenever anyone talks of Chong Pang Village etc, it always takes me back to my army days (78-81). We did a lot of training here in those days – and when we did our Topo exercises, we always somehow ended up at the mama store selling drinks ;)

11 10 2012
Patrick Lee

OMG ! i grew up in Sum Wah Chee Drive in Sembawang, went to West Hill School, ate at the various kopi tiam around Sultan and Chong Pang, watch movies at Sultan and Kindo.

Thanks for sharing these photos, they speak a lot and loudly to my heart.

11 10 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Patrick, thanks for visiting :). I am not sure if you already know of this but there is a group of residents from the area who have come together on Facebook (click on this link) – you may find a familiar face or sight in there!

15 10 2012
Matthew Tan

Hi Guys, sorry I am do not grow up in Chong Pang but got interested in it’s history after moving here 2 years ago

Anyone knows the boundaries of Chong Pang village? Since from so posts, the area should be quite big.

Is the present Sembawang Mrt part of old Chong Pang village? And, since there is a Canberra gate, is it really all fenced up from the gate northward? And, may I know where does the Indian village located?

Is this whole area at Sembawang New town all forested area in the past? Any kampongs or villages around here?

Appreciate your reply

15 10 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Matthew, Chong Pang would have extended about a kilometre westwards from the junction of Chong Pang Road and Sembawang Road and perhaps some half a kilometre northwards west of Canberra Road. The MRT Station today is where Canberra School was and would probably have been the northern extent of what would have been considered the village northern boundary. The fence of the Naval Base (pre-1971) would have run northwards along the west side of Canberra Road before turning westwards north of Canberra School. I am not sure what exactly you mean when you refer to ‘Indian Village’ but there was a large community living in the village itself as well as in the Naval Base. A fair bit of the area on which Sembawang New Town is built on was swamp land. There were also other villages around.

15 10 2012
Matthew Tan

Hi Jerome,

Thanks so much for your reply.

I have a few more queries
1) In olden kampong days, let’s say, does residents of one village knows about residents of another village, farther away, say in Choa Chu Kang or Bukit Timah? And, was there any interaction between villages so far away? And, mode of transport?

2) And, may I know, where does residents of old Chong Pang came from? From downtown(city) area? Or from another village?
The reason for asking such question, is, I know initial immigrants of Chinese/Indians all crowded around Chinatown area and I really wondered how and why they would move to a remote village so far away and not as modernized as the city area? And, are all your ancesters(grand parents) borned in Chong Pang or migrated?

Sorry, if I am asking questions, out of scope….but I am curious about Chinese migration “patterns” in Singapore as well.

With Regards,
Matthew

15 10 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Matthew, you will notice from my post that I was an occasional visitor to Chong Pang so I can’t answer your question from the perspective of a resident. What would have first attracted immigrants and settlers to the area would have been the plantations that existed in the area (as well as many of the other rural parts of Singapore). Later, it would have been the huge Naval Base (which at its peak accounted for some 20% of Singapore’s GDP) and the large Malayalee community that was found in Chong Pang were very much connected with the Naval Base. There is a substantial amount of resources available at our public libraries on the respective histories of the various communities and migration patterns and I suggest that you start there should you be interested in the subject. To also answer your next question – there isn’t really much (or anything at all) that is left that can be identified of the old village – just the roads that I mention in this post.

15 10 2012
Matthew Tan

And, for Chong Pang village, any remains that can be seen? I am trying to take a bicycle ride one of the evening and see what I can find:)

16 10 2012
17 10 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks. I’ve also added a map from 1968 on which you can see the boundary of the Naval base.

17 10 2012
Matthew Tan

Hi Jeremy, thanks for the map
I went downstairs to see the “site” of old Chong Pang village, and compare against the map, I feel that the actual area of Chong Pang village should be much bigger than the empty field, it could well extended all the way to the Canberra park or the HDB flats around there, since the Bah Tan road, ran parallel along side with Canberra road until it reached Old Nelson road(quite near to Sun plaza & MRT station).

Maybe the actual junction of Chong Pang Road and Sembawang Road could be further down at Sembawang Avenue? And, if you see the old photo of Canberra gate inwards, it seems to slope up, but as compared to actual Canberra road now, it is not like that.

Perhaps, during re-development, the govt could have “altered” the road slight or open up a new road besides the old one but under same name? I am just wondering..

17 10 2012
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

As mentioned in my previous reply to your comment, the village extended about 1 kilometre westwards and about 1/2 a kilometre northwards beside Canberra Road from Chong Pang Road. There is no mention that the empty field is the size of the village, but rather that it was where the village would have been centered on around the Sultan Cinema and Circle. There is a little more mentioned here: http://thelongnwindingroad.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/sembawang-beyond-the-slumber/. The junction of Chong Pang Road with Sembawang Road would be roughly where the empty field which I think you are referring to is – somewhere opposite Jalan Sendudok which is still there. The main roads, including Sembawang and Canberra have been widened and part of the area around where Canberra Gate was slightly realigned and some flattening out of the area took place prior to redevelopment. This is also evident where Chong Pang Road and the Sultan Cinema was.

17 10 2012
Matthew Tan

Thanks Jerome for clarification. So, the Canberra gate leads current Canberra road to old canberra road(besides those Colonial houses) and towards Semb shipyard?

26 01 2013
CK Wee

i used to stay at sembong road. loved that place very much, thanks for all the fond memories!

30 01 2013
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks for dropping by CK! :) You may want to check this Facebook group out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/swang27/.

13 07 2013
Francis Lai

Hi, Jerome, since my last postings on 28/29 May 2010 on Chong Pang Village, I thought my ex-classmate, William & Antony would have read about me and make a posting in your blog, but to date, it’s none. Anyway, I also hope that Helen & Susan (sec school girls then) whom we visited them in 1966, will visit your blog and will write more about Chong Pang as they were residents of Chong Pang then. Actually, I also wanted to attach an old photo taken by Antony on 30.5.66 showing a large fish pond and a farm, and a page from the old Singapore street directory (1969 edition) showing the Chong Pang Village, but I am not sure how to do it.

26 10 2013
Tony McGurk

I discovered your site while I was searching for Sembawang. I was telling my wife about it the other day. I visited several times in 1979 – 1981 while serving in the Australian Navy. My fondest memories are at The Patio & the awesome food I had there. There was one stall called “Moes” & he cooked the most incredible chilli mud crab. I also remember the large bread rolls filled with all sorts of things called Banjos. My favourite was the steak & egg banjo. Also Moe’s Nasi Goreng was always fantastic too. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was at The Patio. I was looking at old photos of other places I’ve been during my Navy years & so many of them are gone or changed so much they are now just old memories. Here’s a link to a photo I found on another site of The Patio as I remember it which was taken in 1982

HMAS BRISBANE SEMBAWANG PORT VISIT 1982

Kind regards, Tony
Launceston, Tasmania

7 03 2014
Peru

I uded to linhhhhhhhhhhhh.I used to live in kedondong Road and enjoyed catching fighting fish in the swamp infront of the now Sembawang shipping centre .Now the entrance to kedondong road is there and a new carpark.Still make monthly trips to recover past memory.

7 03 2014
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Hi Peru, great to know that, this pic might bring back some memories:

Sembawang Road at its junction with Kedondong Road, 1960s

The pic was posted by a George Hardington on the Old Sembawang Naval Base Nostalgic Lane Facebook Group and you might want to visit or join that group – lots of photos and memories being exchanged there. :)

23 05 2014
Phyllis Horton

Hi loved the pics of Chong Pang We lived in 8 Jalan Malu in Chong Pang. does anyone remember the name of where one was able to get groceries or have photos of this it would be great to see them posted

5 08 2014
takalah

I have a blog post of 1959 Chong Pang Village.. For story and pictures, click http://pchew-nostalgia.blogspot.sg/search/label/Chong%20Pang%20Village%201959

9 08 2014
F.donohue

The pictures brought back great memories! I was born in the Naval base, went to the Catholic Church and remember the Pasar malam. Used to love the Rojak and the poh piah yumm! Lived in Chong pang village too.
Thank you for sharing!

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