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Random Thoughts @ MyQueenstown #8 - Block 39A No More (The Removal of Block 39A Part I)

By my queenstown on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 with 8 comments

On a Friday afternoon three weeks ago, several Bangladeshi workers, presumably from the Town Council, took their tool boxes to the lift lobby of Block 39A. In less than half an hour, they carried a metallic frame on their shoulders and placed it on a lorry parked in front of the apartment block.

Farewell Block 39A

The letterboxes

The stretch of corridor was once our playground

The potted plants - removed

I wanted to take some photographs of the beautiful sceneries around Queenstown that day. I dashed up the crooked stairs to the lift lobby. However, I realised that the noticeboards were gone. 

The lift took me to the 15th floor. There were no familiar faces at the porch in front of the lobby looking over the skyline. I remembered that residents would place their sofas, undried laundry and coffee tables at the porch. Some older folks would even match up among themselves over a game of chess! Neither were there boisterous commentary on the singers' abilities and etiquette on the popular 黄金年华 singer competition. Suddenly, the corridor seems bigger. The potted plants were taken away too, except for some wilted plants I assumed the families had chosen to discard.

Empty corridor of Block 39A

Some of the windows along the corridors were visibly opened. I peeked into the windows of the apartment flats and saw an empty living room. I thought to myself and I began to comprehend that all the residents had shifted away. Most of them were lucky to be given the priority in the new blocks of flats at Dawson. 

The Empty Room where we once cried and laughed...

The long living room where we once spent time with our family

I made my way to the 17th floor. The scenery in front of me was simply majestic. The different districts of Queenstown, in their unique and defiant contours, stood proudly in front of me. The historical Tanglin Halt and Stirling Road were inspirational whereas the youthful Strathmore and Dawson were vibrant and energetic. I believed Block 39A was the only place where our heritage and our future intertwined closely together. 

My priceless memory of Block 39A

This image was unforgettable. This was where I spent countless hours reflecting on my stubborn approach to life. The sweet scent of natural breeze was what that motivated me to move forward whenever the going gets tough. Whenever there were setbacks, I could draw on the immense potential of our future to make myself believe that I could overcome obstacles. 

The evening sun shone brightly across the edges of the sky and it was time for me to go home. The metallic gate was to close for the very last time today. I am truly thankful for the new friends made from my continuous interactions with the residents and the new insights gained through my hours of silent reflections. The majestic Block 39A was once our home, sheltering us from the torrential rains and enduring those tumultuous period with us. The old grand lady had to pass on. It leaves us with a undeniable legacy of memories and aspirations for the future. 

Farewell my home. 

Farewell my memories.

Farewell Block 39A...

In memory of Block 39A

Category: Random , recent



Anonymous said...
April 7, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Great reflective post that will help us to remember this moment of lost many years from now.

What technology has enabled in the span of 10 years. Unfortunately, block 6a and 6b have not survived long enough until the digital media has become popular to enjoy the same tribute like the one done here for block 39a.

Does anyone has photos of block 6a and 6b to share? It will be great if this reporter could research and collect photos for an article on block 6a and 6b.

Thanks for the good work.

yeecheng said...
April 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I too have gone through the pains of leaving my en-bloc flat in Clementi. It is quite heart-breaking to leave the home you've been in all your life. Margaret drive is another haunt for me to always goes to the hawker center after my swim for a yummy meal en route to the library. Now even this area is plagued by the en-bloc fever. It hurts every time small places which marks our past have been uprooted and demolished. Why can't we flourish amongst the past rather than bull-dozing everything then build ridiculously high and cramped flats and monotonous malls?

Anonymous said...
April 19, 2011 at 10:14 AM

The authority has all the good intentions to provide new flats for residents in old estates. But they may be overlooking the point that no amount of efforts to foster national identity could match the sense of belonging that arise out of the connection that people have with the place that they grow up in with their family, and all the memories that they all share of their homes.

When the home that a person grow up in is no longer there, a deep branch of the root is being chopped off. While enbloc is good, it is also worthwhile to ask if that is really what the residents.

Anonymous said...
July 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM

I stayed on a top floor unit for almost 35 years. Wished that all housing would have the luxury of orientation like Blk 39A - North-South facing, totally unblocked view, overlooking scenery (including seeing a helicopter landing near private property many years ago), countless NDP fireworks in full view.

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Anonymous said...
August 16, 2014 at 2:58 AM

I have known this place since my childhood days. It might not be the only place to shop and watch movie shows, but it was a great memory to me as a child. The Emporium or 大众 was the place where I got my first Hello Kitty pencil case. The mosaic swan that used to spout water from its mouth was long gone. The kacham puteh and the old drink vending machines that filled paper cups with sugary drinks. The Limco's Pacman, Space Invader and the tabletop racing cars for 4 players game machines somewhere atop the old NTUC mart. Yes, how can I forget those olden days.

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