Thursday, 2 November 2017

Lost child, lost tune

A slope at Fort Canning Park overlooking Liang Court and Clarke Quay. Pic taken 21 Oct opening of the Downtown Line 3.

ONCE there was a child who was lost here -- long, long ago -- on one of these slopes. Here, at King George the Fifth Park (now known as Fort Canning Park of course).

My parents, my brother and I were seated on a slope when the announcement of the lost child was made over the loud speaker. There were massive crowds there that day. Maybe it was a fun fair. The loud speaker (the type that looks like a fat trumpet) was blaring out songs after songs.

I asked my mother what it was all about as the music suddenly stopped and the announcement took over. My mum explained to me, adding that children must behave and stay by their parents' side.

I kept wondering whether the poor child was found. All the music from the loudspeaker suddenly seemed very sad after that. I still remember one tune because it was a familiar one and played over the radio rather regularly. I later thought it might be Je ta'ime (with snatches on the electric organ) but this French song wasn't written till 1969 when I would be in secondary school. But dad was with us then that day, so I should still be in primary school at that time.

That tune still plays in my mind sometimes. An elusive tune with no title.

Today, it is still a very nice walk at Fort Canning. The numerous slopes are as appealing as before. But the River Valley Swimming Pool is gone. The old changing rooms are still there, and the pool has been converted into a playground with slides and swings.

Also gone of course, the National Theatre and the Van Kleef Aquarium,to make possible the construction of the Fort Canning MRT station.

Interesting walls  -- many of them at Fort Canning.