Sunday, January 24, 2010

1988 meeting up with BP's grandson, wife and Mansor Adabi

Posted by Picasa In the photo from Left to Right:
Unk Dicko, Daisie Yip, Ranbir Singh, the wife of BP's grandson, Mr Bennet ( the artist ), BP's grandson, a former scout (in his hand the 6 Arrow emblem), Tan Wee Lam, Mr Mansor Adabi, Simon Lim, Cheong Tong.
Squatting: Dora Yip and lastly a boy scout in uniform.

I must explain why I have not been blogging for nearly a fortnight. A thousand apologies to all my regular visitors and friends! However, in an earlier post I did say that I was overhauling and reorganising my quite extensive resources for blogging as well as for easier future management.
By resources I mean my large stock of photos ( hard copies ), newspaper and magazine archives,
digital photos, documents and other important stuff accumulated over half a century. They have never been properly sorted out, labelled by subject or date or whatever. I knew one day I had to get down to doing just this...and that time has finally come. It's now or never...procrastination is the thief of time.

And so I have been spending my time patiently sorting out many envelopes containing old photos, labelling them, re-classifying them and dating the pictures. There is still much more to be done.
In the process, I have rediscovered and uncovered some gems in my collection. Many of such are photos that I have totally forgotten about. Just to illustrate, I have chosen this 1988 photo as an example of a photo that has so much history connected with it.
The precious photo above is a solid example of what I mean as "gem".
It was a snapshot taken with my then camera in 1988.

The occasion?
The Annual Scout Campfire of the 6th Arrow Scout group of Victoria School. Most of the people in the photo are not only old boys of the school but old scout and scouters of the Arrow group, including myself.

The Campfire was held at the Kallang Bahru site of VS, not the old site at Tyrwhitt Road. The school was relocated to that new site in 1984. At the old school site in Tyrwhitt Road, Arrow Scout group had one of the very best scout dens in Singapore...many scouts and guides from other schools came a-visiting to this den and went back to their own school to " agitate" for a similar one from their school admin.
Since I have not posted any picture of the original den, it is hard to imagine the inside. But look closely at the photo and you can see 3 precious items that once upon a time adorned the original den. Notice a framed hand-painted picture of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting and by its side 2 old Knotting Boards? These were some of the memorable items that decorated the walls of our den.
On this occasion in 1988, BP's grandson, accompanied by his wife, was the night's Guest of Honour. They were here on an official visit and learnt about a very special painting of their famous grandfather, painted by Mr Bennet, the artist. Bennet was a dedicated old scout who did that beautiful piece after the war. He then graciously donated it to the Scout Group. My wife, daughter and I have never met Lord Baden Powell in person. But meeting up with his grandson and wife that time narrowed the gap somewhat.
In the same photo, look closely and you see a man in a long sleeved blue batik shirt and white pants. He was standing with clasped hands, 3rd from right. He had been a long-time loyal supporter of the VS Arrow group since his own days in the school as a scout and scoutmaster. I knew him from the early 60's when he attended our activities and visited us. A truly nice and unforgettable gentleman!
His name .... Mansor Adabi. Mansor Adabi is indelibly linked to a major and most significant chapter of Singapore's history, one of which awakened and transformed an entire generation of people in Singapore, Malaya, Indonesia and elsewhere.
Do you know who he was and his role and place in our history?
Check out my next blogpost...a major one!
One not to be missed!

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