Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TEKONG Days...80's IE Camp and RPLs.

[ All Photos: Unk Dicko's Archives ]
The series of photos and blogposts that I am doing here will focus on the IE (Institute of Education) and NIE ( National Institute of Education) Training Camp for teachers held annually in the early 80's onwards.
The camp was always held at Pulau Tekong using either the Tg Ladang Campsite of P Tekong Primary School or at the Permatang Campsite.
The campers, all trainee teachers were chosen from many who applied to attend.
The Camp Staff comprised Lecturers from the PE Department of the institute and invited teachers from various schools and JCs who were old, experienced hands at camping and outdoor pursuits.

Organising such camps was a major challenge for the Camp Committee who were selected well in advance of the camp period. A Camp Commandant, a PE lecturer would be appointed and he or she supported by a strong group of talented Camp Instructors led by the Chief Instructor and other key heads.
The members of the Camp Committee met quite often to work out all the detailed planning to the smallest items...all done long before camp proper.
The big items like the RPLs, supplied so kindly by MINDEF to transport all our equipment and ourselves to Tekong and back, saved us a lot of headache.
The top photo showed the various group flags proudly displayed by the campers. Camp was over and we were singing our way home.
Can you spot a camper holding on to my Ukulele?
In the front of the group were the canoes stacked up neatly.
The centre picture : Look closely and you can see the passenger capacity of the RPL indicated.
The incessant droning of the RPL's engine produced these postures.
In this photo: Different camp year from the top photo, but same RPL used.
With me were fellow Camp staff Dr Seng, Ms Lim Ming ( both from NIE ) my very close friend Patrick Zehnder ( who coached Chee Swee Lee to S'pore's 1st Gold Medal in the Women T & F 400 m at the Teheran Asian Games, 1974 ) red windbreaker Alan Chng ( today Dr A Chng in NTU ). In black jacket - Tsui Lan ( today VP of MGS Sec ). Next to me was Lee Foon whom I met again this year at the ACS funfair after such a long time!


yg said...

the camp was a truly intense experience for the campers. we pushed them to their limits, always exhorting them with this line 'it's all in your mind!'. i think, at times, we crossed the line..pushing some beyond their limit.
i did not serve in the ttc camps but i was involved in the bbdm (balestier, broadrick,dunearn and maju) camps.
after the 10-day camp, we would sing in the rpl on our way back to fairy point. i remember one song that always brought tears to the campers, especially the girls. it was 'now is the hour'.
incidentally, i met up with lim ming and dr seng at the beginning of this year when lim ming was back from canada for a visit. my blogger friend dr tan wee kiat was also with us at this meeting.

unk Dicko said...

YG,all these memorable camp cannot buy.
I am certain many of those you all had pushed will remember and appreciate the experience even more.
Over the last 2,3, decades I had many of my previous trainee campers coming up to me, shake my hand warmly and with a SMILE say,"Hi Mr Yip do you remember me? I'm_____ from the __( year) Training Camp. "
Then some would add what they remembered most about me, about the camp.
I can remember faces from long past.
I last met Lim Ming some few years back. Bumped into Tan Wee Kiat and Dr Ho Wah Kum while having dinner, last year separately. Had a chat with both.
We were at the Chong Boon vicinity.

Xinli said...

Thank you for posting these photos and experience of the Old Tekong =D

I have linked your posts with my latest post on Unum and the Hot Spring.

Congrats on finding an old friend (:

unk Dicko said...

Thanks for the update.
I will mention and include your link in my upcoming Tekong posts. Interesting coloured photos of the IE and NIE Training Camps at Tekong,various camp activities including orienteering, land exped, sea exped, campfire,Morning PT, Pre-camp etc...will be featured soon.