Saturday, 21 July 2012

Masjid Kampong Holland - The Last surviving Kampong Mosque Holland

Do you notice the quaint mosque in Holland Village where the open-air car park is? It has been around for about 40 years. There were quite a number of Malays in the kampong. So the Kampong mosque was built around 1975 to cater to their needs. By the end 2013, this mosque will give way to redevelopment in the area. Together with the demolition of the HDB blocks from block 14 to 17 (Demolished in 2012 and May 2013), and the current Buona Vista swimming pool, the whole landscape there will soon go through some major transformation. Last year there was an effort by some residents to save the swimming pool. Rumour is that there will be a commercial development in the area.
This shall be the 2nd last Kampong Mosque Holland at Holland Village which is known as Masjid Kampong Holland surrounded Holland Village housing estates where there are shopping centres, Holland V Market and Food centre and shophouses. But  Masjid Kampong Holland was used to be this simple wooden hut mosque taken in 1992 before it was renovated in late 2000 which painted in green. 
Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang
Whereas the last remaining kampong mosque which still stands and operates since - Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang located at Sembawang, along Jalan Mempurong in Sembawang. If this case to be made for the mosque to be preserved as national heritage site and it may stay for good.
Before coming to the Masjid Kampong Holland, I am thinking of the capturing of photography shots of the history of the mosque and its surroundings inside the mosque and its members who are the members of this mosque for so many years since.
Upon reaching the mosque, I seek their permission into allowing me to take some photos surroundings after some talks with the girls who were sitting outside the mosque's entrance next to the tree where the girl sits on top of the tree. The young lady went inside to talk to the person-in-charge. Minutes later, the young lady came out with the elderly woman who then surprised that it was me who had chat with her outside the mosque's window minutes ago.
The elderly woman agreed to let me inside the mosque, she showed me around the mosque and prayer hall, thus leave me alone to take some photos of its surroundings.
In some village mosques, it is a dome-structure and a crescent-star finial which help in distinguishing a place of worship from its surrounding buildings - Masjid Kampong Holland.
Tucked away from a hidden view of the Holland Village near Holland Village Mrt Station, a Kampong village is nested to the carparks surrounding the shopping centres and shophouses - Masjid Kampong Holland operates for almost 40 years and soon to be ceased in Dec 2013.
The site that Kampong Holland Mosque sits on has for years been marked for redevelopment, but it was only yesterday that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) made clear when it would have to make way. The announcement was accompanied by a raft of measures - including the upgrading of the nearby Mujahidin Mosque - aimed at ensuring that the religious needs of the community will continue to be met.
In front of the Mosque, stands the old HDB block 14 which had been fenced up since 2011, has been going on renovation since. It has no ideas whether it's going to tear down. Further down from the block which you can see new 40-storeys high-rise building that houses the residents of Blk 14 to 17, 22 and 23 at Holland Village and their old blocks are about 31 years old.
I heard that Masjid Kg Holland will still occupy the space until Dec 2013, but in Jan 2013, they will still need to pay for the TOL (again) which will increase another 10% (that's around $12K). So basically, they will still need funds to keep it going.
The news has released on Jul 2, 2011 and I am sad that this mosque has to let go after it sits for many years.
Letter Box
THis letter box is tucked outside near the entrance of the mosque.
Left corner of the Mosque
I spotted the girl up the tree beside the Tent (a makeshit tent) which sells foods in the morning till 4pm daily. I called her up and she looked at me with a shock and shy. This is how a Kampong kid used to be...climbing up the tree during old days just like me.
Is this how she got the ladder to climp up the tree! What amazing she is!
Look spacious and clean
Inside the Mosque, it looks clean and tidy as if even there are members help to take care of the housekeeping and neat and tidy. 
A spacious kitchen and storeroom beside the living hall
Study Hall
A study hall is where the kids are taking the lessons conducted in every other days basis depends the teaching languages held.
This is where the study room in the corner not far away from the entrance hall

Prayer Room
A prayer room where members of the this mosque sits on the prayer hall daily.
Prayer Recorder
Prayer Signboard
Quran Books
An Old Ceiling Fan
After I am finished taking pictures surroundings and had a chat with the elderly woman (pic below) who teaches the kid in the study hall. 
My heartfelt thanks to the lady in charge of the mosque into allowing me to photograph the mosque before their lease expire end of Dec 2013. She said that she has no choice, the government has decided for redevelopment after a talk with  Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
After uploaded some photos and video into DVD had completed. The next day I went there again to give her my DVD video for her memory of this mosque. She thanked me with a smile.
You may watch video here.
Do visit the Kampong mosque before they move out by end of 2013 which you will never see it again. Seek their permission before entering and do respect their privacy. Dress code is strictly enforced. Women should wear long sleeve tops, loose clothing, and ensure that their knees covered. A head scarf should be worn so it is best to bring one with you.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

My Time in Orchard Road (Part Two)

It's been quite sometimes since I blogged two years ago about my time in Orchard road.
I recall there were lots of fast-food restaurants along Orchard Road, my ex-colleagues as well as my classmates and I dined Mcdonald's (open-air at FORUM The Shopping Mall in 1990s and KFC at Far East Plaza. Far East Plaza where I worked Metro Far East in early 1980s. Those were the days.

Me & My Hubby@ThePromenade
The Promenade shopping centre built in 1980s at the former site of Fitzpatrick Supermarket that my hubby and I frequent there. It was later replaced by Paragon in mid 1990s. My hubby and I posed outside The Promenade Shopping Centre in 1993 (pic date printed on it).
Delfi Orchard and Palais Renaissance (Yamasin Enterprise) and the Promenade (Eammons Investments), the Paragon (SOGO Group) and Orchard Square (22% owned by Takashimaya) were owned by the prominent Japanese owners. 
As for the Wisma Atria and Forum Galleria were owned by Kuwait investors while Holiday Inn and Hyatt Regency were owned by Brunei investors. Hyatt Regency (now known as Grand Hyatt) where my god-sister's mum worked at housekeeping department many decades till she retired.
Me@International Building in 1986
Just across the street from Liat Towers, my ex-colleague from OG and I used to dine at restaurant at International Building in 1980s. And by 1990s, my colleagues from SAMS and I dined there too. International Building (12-storey commercial building) is next to Lido Theatre and Shaw House which my hubby and I frequent there because my mum's old friend whose sister works at Isetan for more than 3 decades till present.
Located at the junction of Scotts Road and Orchard Road, these buildings - Shaw House and Shaw Centre as well as Tangs@Tang Plaza with the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel - are landmarks. Before Singapore Marriott, it was The Dynasty Hotel (pic below) where my mum posed outside The Dynasty Hotel (Singapore) in 1986, photo taken by me. Oh yes, my god-father drove his car around Orchard Road with my mum and I since 1980s but they had been to Orchard Road during their time in their youth.
My mum@The Dynasty Hotel (1986)
Later in 1995, the Dynasty Hotel sold to the Marriott Hotel chain and renamed as Singapore Marriott Tangs Plaza Hotel.

My Mum@Tangs (1986)
Singaporeans like myself, would have fond memories of catching the latest flicks at Shaw House's Lido Theatre (opened in 1959). Many may still remember the original department store House of Tang, now known as Tang Plaza. My mum posed with Lion statue (original location before it shifted) in 1986, photo taken by me. There are a pair of lion statues on each side. We love to shopping around at Tangs since, especially basement and fashion clothes.
My hubby & I @Orchard Emerald (1993)
My hubby and I sat on the bench inside Orchard Emerald in 1993 during Christmas at night. I remember the foodcourt basement at Orchard Emerald where we used to dine.
Latest update: Part of old Orchard Emerald is gone. The part of retail complex made up of two buildings on diagonally opposite sites connected by a glass link bridge.

Will continue next blog...