Thursday, October 2, 2008

WHY I enjoy BLOGGING so much !!!

A few minutes ago, I was seated comfortably by my desktop computer wondering what I should blog about today. Before I could decide anything, the phone rang. As I said," Hello..oo in my low melodious way, there were sounds of scrambling on the line and then, all at once in unison, the sweetest sounds I can ever hope for on such a special day and at such a moment..the familiar voices of my 3 grandkids aged 7, 5 and 2 breaking out into " Kong-Kong, Happy Birthday to YOU !"

Their singing of that Birthday song has never been sweeter. We had already had a small celebration over the weekend with cakes and a goodly spread of food.

After that call, I tried recalling when I was at their age, what was my early life like back in the 40's and 50's. It was difficult. There were hardly any photos to help jolt my memory. Some photos there were but only a pitiful few survived to this day.

We were not rich and our family was large, living in a corner pre-war terraced house which was rented.It was located on a prominent junction at 94, Siang Lim Park and Lorong 40, Geylang.

The Yip family had lived there from way before the War ( WW2 ) for more than half a century until the land was sold to developers for new condo projects in the 90's. Every old house there was demolished to make way for the new. My late parents moved out to live with my younger brother. All my siblings had by then been married, raised their own families and moved out long ago. After my late father passed away in the mid 90's, my elder sister handed me a bundle of papers and documents, all rolled up in an old plastic bag.
When I asked her what's inside she said,"Nothing valuable really. Some pieces of papers he kept all these years about his working life."
She added," Some of the other family members wanted to throw them away but knowing you,
I thought you might want to have a look first and find if they are worth keeping. "
When I brought them home, I discovered they were testimonials of my father. Some were handwritten and a few were typewritten. My late father being a typical Chinaman did not speak or write in English. And he could not have read a single word in those documents. Yet, he and others much like him, understood the VALUE of these testimonials. It was worth its weight and more in gold! Papers such as the one shown here were their guaranteed passports to jobs and better positions in bigger and better firms.
They had no formal education, no diplomas, no trade certicates, no ITE certs etc...
These early skilled workmen, as my father was, had to prove their mettle, over a project period
to their mainly colonial supervisors. Good conduct and good work attitude and ability to command a team of one's own countrymen in the workforce was very important.

As a former History teacher, I knew the importance and value of such early historical documents. I contacted staff of the National Heritage Board who met up with me and was quite excited by them. They were loaned to the NHB for micro-filming and archiving. And since then,
the documents have been restored and returned to me in an even better condition !
The above testimonial, plus much more things, is displayed on my other site...The Yippee Blogsite.
There is much material each of us senior, older folks have in the family.
Having lived through tumultous times we also have more stories, experiences and history
to share. But regrettably, without blogging about them, most of this valuable insights will be forever lost.
So back to the question: why do I blog ?
Principally to leave behind a LEGACY, an entire STOREHOUSE of Knowledge of who I was, of who we were, how we lived, our words, thoughts and actions.....and MORE !
For whom?
Everyone! Or anyone who is interested in the FUTURE. For POSTERITY !
But on a personal level I'm doing all this, making the effort so that my daughters and their children ( my grandkids ) and their own children after them ( my great -grandkids...still in the future ) and then all others in the extended family circle, will not need to guess or worse still, be in the dark...about who we once were!
The info and pictures they seek in the FUTURE is all here in these Blog pages!!!
From the time I was born to about when I was 8 years old....only ONE photo of me survived to this day. That is the old , yellowed photo above. My late mother was craddling me in her arms.
I was about 2-3 months old. That little babe is the Unk Dicko of this Blog. On my mum's lap was my elder brother.
The actual photograph is kept by my elder sister.
But my nephew scanned an mailed it to me only last year.
So, today with new IT and technology,even though that real old photo may get lost or damaged,
it does not really matter. The image, which is more important, has been saved permanently.


peter said...

what is the address of the other yippie blogsite?

peter said...

Was it not true that Siang Lim Park was a gang hide-out back in the early 1960s? There was a famous shoot-out between the police and one well-known gansgster in 1967?

uncle Dick said...

Hi Peter,
Thanks for visiting and esp your comments.
1. The Yippee blogsite is, for the moment a closed,private site as members of the site ( all Yippee connected )have asked me to keep it so. This is because we have lots of pics and other stuff of family members, their kids etc...that all share. At the same time, there are lots of valuable and interesting stories about the past, with photos too. There are also personal and family documents displayed as points of interests in the posts.
A large part of the site content comes from me.
Nevertheless, I have to keep the status quo for the time being.
Not to worry, I have Plan B ready...I can try to lift suitable stories for inclusion at this blogsite. I have already done the
1st one, see" How to Improve Vision ". That post was in the Yippee site before I shared it publicly.

2. The famous Siang Lim Park Shooting Incident took place in August 1965. I was PRESENT when it happened...right there and then.
I will do a major post about this incident soon.

3.Gangs and gangsters, secret society,thugs and "tua kow" in Siang Lim Park, Lor 40 and Geylang... I will also do a major post about this. So many interesting things, all 1st hand, I can reveal!

Lam Chun See said...

I think the blog is an ideal medium for oldies to share their stories with the younger generation. I can think of 2 reasons why some seniors are put off though. One they find the 'tech' element too daunting. Two, many people our generation associate writing with the tedium of doing composition/homework.

Anway, readers may be happy to know that this year, once again I will be helping to promote blogging to the seniors at RSVP and I will be joined by Uncle Dick and Laozhaboa.

BTW, I met with Balbir Singh on Tue nite at our NJC reunion dinner and we talked briefly about your Gunong Tahan exploits.

uncle Dick said...

The two reasons you stated can be classified as "obstacles" to blogging. But before we even come to that techie part, something is even far more important. They need to be CONVINCED that Blogging is
useful, helpful, positive, not time-wasted, etc. etc. especially senior citizens who have much time on their hand. Some, owing to misconception, think it is a huge waste of time!
So Chun See me and other like-minded bloggers have much work to do still.
Great that you met Balbir at the NJC reunion. Will you do a post about this?

Lam Chun See said...

No I don't think so. Did not even bring my camera. And it was a low key afair. But next year, they are planning something big becos it's 40th anniversary of NJC.