Sunday, November 2, 2008

TTC YLTC chaps......A 40 Year Juxtaposition !

This 40 year old photo came from my camera. It showed my TTC YLTC camp group...the Barracudas led by Ang ( on extreme right )and me. This YLTC was held in August 1968 also at Pulau Tekong. Just 11 of us in the group, only 2 ladies..Maria Ng( next to Ang) and Phua Siem Choo. 3 notable chaps here. I was crouched behind Ong Yew Ghee ( who also has an interesting blog titled YG blog ). Next to YG in dark glasses was Lee Kim Hoe, who later left the service to be a bigtime executive in an airline. Next to LKH was Tan Choon Bee who composed our Barracuda Group song...even the lyrics. He was musically trained. Till today, I still can sing the entire song by heart!

Faceless? Listless? Anonymous? Not the people at the TTC Reunion. On the left is Mr Tan Hwee Hock a legend of Singapore Waterpolo. Go Google and check out 1951 and 1954 ASIAN Games. Next to him is the one and only C Kunalan...a Legend in Singapore Athletics. And on my left is dear Yew Ghee ( photo above) my fellow Barracuda camp mate.
Extreme right is Eric Song.

From L to R:
Khor Chek Leong, Tang Wing Kee, Tan Pang Lim, Saifudin, Tan Hwee Hock, Dick Yip, Ong Yew Ghee, Hoon Soon Kuan, Goh Ek Piang

This is a memorable photo. Me, Hoon Soon Kuan and his wife and Clarence Lim. Soon Kuan used to be very good in Canoeing and we did the Round Island Canoe Expedition in 1968 together. Clarence was very good in many skills and was very approachable as an instructor.


Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Dick for this post. I think it helped to throw some light on one question that had bugged me for a long time.

You see, in April 1969, the Outdoor Activities Club of our pioneer NJC batch had an adventure camp in Tekong which I blogged about here. We stayed in a 'school' and had some pretty tough instructors. Was that school the same TTC YLTC you are talking about here? And were you or some of your friens involved as our instructors? But I seem to recall that they were from or linked to the YMCA.

One more question. Are you familiar with the Sarimbum Scout Camp area. Another question bugging me. I will show you a photo when we meet next week and hope you can help me identify this place.


unk Dicko said...

Hi Chun See,
First of all, let me just say I love those old pics in your post about NJC OAC camp 1969 April.
I still have lots of pics in my storeroom and many already lost from this period.
Ok to answer your questions.
1.I was not involved in that NJC camp at all, else I would have recalled.
2. Whether some of those involved as instructors I would know or not.That depends. If you have their names or photos that will certainly help.
3. Which school did your group use as base camp...well from that one photo it's hard to pin-point exactly. It may have been the same one we always used..Pulau Tekong Primary School at Kampong Ladang.
But there were altogether 4 schools on the island back then.
Two were located near the main area of Kg SALABIN, the most busy part of the island then. One was way out in the eastern part called Kg Pasir Malay School. And then the one TTC Kg Ladang.
I am very familiar with the island as I had even drawn "my own" ORIENTEERING and TOPO maps both of Tekong and Ubin.It was continually updated until the mid 1980's as I was still actively involved in the IE and NIE YLTC camps till then.
4. Sarimbun Scout camp or Camp Christine or MOE campsite, yes I'm familiar with them.
Actually, I still have most of my orienteering maps with me. I would like to put some on the blog as they have so much historical significance of those long-gone days. The main Problem is today...Tekong is a restricted place. And I'm uncertain if putting up even old Tekong maps... will it lead to any problem with the SAF. What do you or anyone here think?

Xinli said...


Thanks for putting up these rare shots of Tekong of the past. I have seen them before I posted them.

It is very intriguging to be able to see how Tekong was like in the past. When I was posted to Tekong during my NS, I always wanted to know more about this island, what I saw there was not an island sole about army and ghost stories.

The scenery was breathetaking and colonial structures and old buildings still stand along the Tekong Highway. These sights led me to Mr Lam's blogpost about Tekong and your's. I didn't know there was a Tobacco plantation in Tekong!

From a 1964 map, I think there are only two schools. One is located at Kg. Ladang, which made way for the new BMTC. It is on the grounds of Leopard, Mohawk, Ninja Coy area. A cafe named Ladang Cafe for the permstaff was named after the kampong.

The other school, at the east side is still around, though it might not look like what it was then. It is being called the "Old Malay School" and it can be seen from the Tekong Highway.

Thanks for putting up these photos and your memories about Tekong (:

unk Dicko said...

Hi Xinli,
Glad to bring some beautiful memories back for all who have visited and fell in love with the rustic serenity and tranquility of those bygone days.
I still have quite a number of Tekong photos that have not appeared on any blogs yet...all my personal pics of Tekong camping and trekking days.
Yes, there were tobacco farms and we had to be careful when we came across them as I knew many of these islanders from 60's to 80's.
I have so many fond memories of Tekong and lovely stories to tell...all true and most interesting!
I had mapped out the entire island when preparing for the Training Camps we used to conduct for TTC/ knew the island v well back then.
Knew where the best fruit trees were...langsat,mangosteen, durian,pomelo,guava...
When the SAF started to come and a few others had a close liaison with the top camp officers so that both the military and we the educationists can get the best out of this treasure of an island for our respective charges - the NS men and our teacher trainees.
When time permits, I shall post more Tekong pics.

xinli29288 said...

wow =o so many kinds of fruits there.

I remember doing my route march there, I saw lots of trees with branches after branches of rambutans and at certain areas the aroma of mango is everywhere =d, this is something I seldom get to experience on mainland.

Durians is always a favourite, lower Mandai have durians too.

Do you still get to go back to Tekong (beyond the parade square)?

Were the group photos taken at Kg.Ladang?

May I post your photos on my blog and too?

I look forward to seeing more Tekong in your blog =)

P.S I enjoy the oldies being played at your blog like Mack the Knife by Louis Armstrong. The only prob is that the whole playlist restarts itself when you click on another post.

unk Dicko said...

Hi Xinli,
As I many beautiful memories of Tekong, Ubin, Sejahat, Coney Island, P Seletar,P Katak etc...but of all, Tekong and Ubin are still the 2 islands that shaped a lot of my outdoor skills and love for nature.
Yes, the picture was when we had the TTC YLTC at Pulau Tekong Pri Sch at Kg Ladang. That was one base camp we had often used right to the 80's.
You can see more photos in the posts under November 2008 archives.
Yes, go ahead and re-post if you like at your blog or Yesterday SG.
I believe in sharing so that more will be able to learn about the heritage we have and about the beauty of the past.
Did I go back to Tekong, Ubin etc..after my camping days ended.
I went there to pick Durians and other fruits...with my dear wifey. Brought her to some of the prominent checkpoints we used in Orienteering. Know what?
Some of the Orienteering Control markers,signs that I painted and set high up above the head, were still there in their original locations...years later.
I went to fish in some of these islands too.
When were you there?

Xinli said...


Unlike you, I only set foot on P.Tekong on April 2008 on my enlistment day. Youngsters like us no longer have the chance to see Tekong of the past =(

However, my days spent there as a recruit and a section commander gave me an opportuntiy to see beautiful nature is, it made me fall in love with it.

Due to its status as a SAF training area, the absence of crowds made it a place of tranquility where one can admire nature at its best in Singapore.

P.Ubin is getting very crowded but it is a good sense that people are interested in kampong Singapore too =)

During my time there I was interested in Pulau Tekong, especially the history of the island. Whenever I found new information and facts about the island, I will always share with my recruits.

I want to let them know Tekong is not just a military camp, not just an island with spooky tales, it is more than that. =)

The sad part is that as more trainings are being held there, the place got more and more dirty with combat ration wrappers etc.

After I ORDed in 2010, I still miss the island, it is a nice island. If I have the opportunity to go back, I will go back again.

It must have make you feel good when you see your orientateering control markers and signs still there, it is like unconvering a tiny time capsule.

and you are fortunate to be able to see Tekong in the past and Tekong today (:

Thank you for allowing me to post your photos (: I will attribute it to you and your blog.

Xinli said...

dear sir,

I realized I was rude with the previous comment out of excitement, I apologize for the rudeness.

I have put up two of your photos on this post :

have a nice day.

unk Dicko said...

Hi Xinli,
You must be mistaken. Your comments are most civilised and I welcome them.
Thanks for updating me. Will visit.
In coming days, I shall put up some more Tekong snapshots.