Seletar Chronicle

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New Year News

Posted by sueamy on January 3, 2008

Dear residents and Seletar Camp admirers, happy new year 2008!

Although this is slated to be our last, we are determined to make the most of this beautiful environment while it is still here. But first, the bad news. It has always been our policy at the Seletar Chronicle to look on the bright side of things – because there always is a brighter side. However, we can’t overlook the bulldozers creating a hill of mud over on the golf course, nor at the site of the demolished hangar next to Haymarket. And now a couple of other serious things have so continuously been brought to our attention that we felt it necessary to write about them.

Many of you may have noticed an increasing number of tissues, used condoms and packets and other litter left by night visitors in cars. One resident even saw a couple doing it in his front garden! This kind of intrusion and litter we really don’t need. The police have been told, but can we urge you all to call the police whenever you a strange car parked in front of your house at night? In addition, we are considering organising a vigilante group that from time to time (esp weekends) patrols the camp around 2-3am. This is not to confront the unwelcome visitors directly, but to alert the police when they are seen. Please help by calling the police when you see such activities. The number to call is (Sengkang Police Post) 1800-3438999

The other bad news is also a police case. Since last year, the Chronicle has had several calls and has heard rumours of other cases concerning someone who has been stealing underwear from Seletar Camp washing lines. It might sound harmless to you, until you think about someone watching your house and coming into your garden, perhaps when you are alone in the house. Again, the police have been alerted, but we ask all residents to keep an eye out for an odd individual with a perverted interest in these items.

And now for the good news – phew. Many residents enjoyed a wonderful new year party in the camp – where better to celebrate the new year. Going around the camp that night, it was delightful to see all the lights and gatherings in gardens and the merriment. Xavier and Sue’s joint party at Haymarket saw all generations hopping onto the dance floor, and the champagne flowed! This was the night for celebrating exuberantly the wonders of Seletar. The night was clear and breezy and the stars were visible in our broad sky. And residents gave one another especially meaningful hugs – how much longer will our community be allowed to stay together, we wondered. We also welcomed Graham and Michelle of Haymarket, who have come to live in the camp for this last year.

To keep up the exuberance, and to show all those not living in the camp what a fine place this is, we’ve lined up quite a few events for 2008, which you will be hearing about shortly. Two dates to mark on your calendar will be Chinese New Year, when we’re planning another big garden party at Xavier’s or Sue and Oliver’s, and an Easter weekend with fairs, walks, talks and competitions. If you’d like to take part in either, do get in touch and let us know. Tel 91057778.

And last but not least, we would like to remember those residents we have lost in 2007. Those who, because of the changes – the end of the camp as we know it, and those whose rents were vastly increased during the price hikes. And especially those who left on their last journey, dear Khattar and John, both of whom felt that Seletar was their real home. Our thoughts are with their families during this painful time. Be comforted knowing that so many people in the camp had great affection for them.

Please send us articles, pictures, comments and free ads. We’d love to hear from you! Email to amy23s@pacific.net.sg

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Lost Cat – Help Milky Get Home!

Posted by sueamy on December 19, 2007

Have you seen a white cat in your vicinity who you don’t recognise? It could be Milky, beloved feline of Jezreel Mok and family. Jezreel is a pilot cadet at the flying college here. He thought Milky would like to explore Seletar one day, but unfortunately a dog barked and Milky ran off. If you have seen a cat like the one in the picture, please contact Jezreel 98227352. 31 Lambeth WalkMilkycollage

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Bird Walk, Christmas Shopping and New Year Party

Posted by sueamy on December 11, 2007

This is a great time of year to see birds in Seletar! The Nature Society will be hosting another bird walk on 16th December, from 8 to 11 am. Meet at the car park of the former Seletar Airbase Golf Course. For more details, please contact Dr.Ho by email or on 64571196.

Seletar will be represented when we take part in the flea market next weekend at the Post-Museum at 107/109 Rowell Road. We’ll be selling Postcards from Seletar notebooks, greetings cards and posters. There will lots of other great gifts on sale too. Post-Museum, located in a 1920s renovated shophouse is a gallery with a difference, and there is a restaurant next door with remarkably innovative organic dishes. If you’d like to take part in the flea market, check out the details on http://www.post-museum.org/

Pasar PM
12-8pm
Browse and purchase new and pre-loved items from local artists and creatives. Get great Christmas presents while supporting the local arts and creative community!
Free entry

Our Seletar New Year Party is ON! Come and join in the fun. Some of you have already confirmed you are coming, but if you haven’t yet, please email me at sue@postcardsfromseletar.com

Details: 31st December 7pm

Come dressed festive, bring a bottle and if you can a musical instrument. We are catering food, but if you’d like to bring a dish, we’d be happy!

Looking forward to all the December fun – see you there!

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Parameswara in Seletar, c.1402!

Posted by sueamy on November 27, 2007

Seletar 1402 –
Parameswara was here!
While googling information on the Malay Annals the other day, I stumbled upon the story of Parameswara, the Majapahit prince who came from Palembang.
Prince Parameswara, described by poet and author, Daren Shiau as the Macbeth of Singapore’s history (rather like Richard III of England too), came from Palembang. After various disputes, he fled Sumatra and asked for refuge in Singapura. The Raja of that land was delighted to meet another Sumatran prince and welcomed him with open arms. At that time, the king’s fort was on Bukit Larangan (Forbidden or Protected Hill), or Fort Canning, as it was later called. Parameswara took the Raja’s open hospitality literally, and helped himself to one of the King’s concubines. One day the Raja came in and found them together. He was naturally outraged. Parameswara is said to have drowned the king in a bowl of water. He then fled the palace. And where did he go after that? The Malay Annals record that he fled to Seletar. What was Seletar like in those days, we wonder?
The earliest references to Seletar state that the name refers to native coastal dwellers (called Orang Laut or Orang Seletar) who resided on the edge of the Johor Straits and at the mouth of the Seletar River. The Orang Seletar were hunter-gatherers in a land which was principally mangrove swamp (yes, the British had to do a lot of draining, and still bits of the camp get very soggy!).
The river is said to be named after these original residents (or vice versa!). Later, these people are thought to have migrated from Seletar to Sungai Pulai in southwest Johor. There are still some groups in Johor, according to Malaysia’s Orang Asli census. Why did they leave Seletar, do you think? We are finding it pretty hard to leave, but then Seletar is probably a lot nicer nowadays, without the tigers and the swamps…
In Chinese, Seletar is koon kung (“naval base”). This may more properly refer to the west bank of Seletar River on the Sembawang side.
So did Parameswara stay with the Orang Seletar when he fled here? Some time after, he left Singapura and went off to found Malacca. Now supposing he’d met the mousedeer in Seletar instead and set up his trading post here?

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Last Paper Chronicle

Posted by sueamy on November 16, 2007

This kind of weather is perfect for walking around the Camp, enjoying the breezes and the welcome migratory birds who put in an appearance at this time of year. We’re taking advantage of all these treats to do a walk around the Camp this weekend, 17th-18th November, delivering what might be the last (but who knows?) paper version of the Seletar Chronicle, and pausing to meet many of you. I’d like to tell you about the various events in the Camp lined up for the end of the year, some of which are mentioned in the Chronicle. And if any of you would like to join me on the walks, I’d welcome the company! Bring a brolly …

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Gardening Tips Workshop

Posted by sueamy on November 9, 2007

This Saturday Nov 10, 4pm there will be workshop on gardening, plant care and maintenance, jointly organised by Jalan Kayu Neighbourhood Community& NP.  Presenter:  Ms Shirley Ling, Community in Bloom Manager, NParks. Please call 91057778 or email Sue at sue@postcardsfromseletar.com for a flyer and more information.

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