Revisiting Seletar Memories
Many of you have asked for the link to Ang Yiying story at The Straits Times on 30th March … here is the link, and below is the text
A LITTLE corner of Singapore that once featured prominently in its history has been earmarked for redevelopment but one group, from thousands of miles away, are holding onto their memories of Seletar Airbase dearly.
The 920-strong group, based in Britain and calling itself the RAF Seletar Association, has organised eight trips back to Seletar since 2000, with about 40 visiting each time. In 2007, the association’s 10th anniversary, more than 100 made their way here.
The association was formed in 1997 by Royal Air Force (RAF) ex-serviceman Les Nicole and a few friends who met up in a pub in England. It has grown over the years, attracting members who are a mix of those who have served at RAF Seletar, a former British airbase, and their children who have grown up there. This time around, 38 are here for about two weeks, most will be heading home on Monday.
For many of them, Seletar holds a special place in their hearts because they were young then and Singapore was one of their first overseas postings. ‘It was something different and they had a lot of friends there,’ said David Taylor, 72, the author of the book, Seletar: Crowning Glory, published in 2002, who is one of the members on the trip here. ‘In the services, you tend to stick with friends more than civillian life.’
Common memories include the camaraderie forged from playing sports, going to the camp cinema, bonding over RAF Seletar’s favourite Tiger Beer and trips made out of camp to places like Haw Par Villa and the Botanic Gardens. Some of the members have made more than one trip back but say that age is catching up and this journey may be their last.
Last week, the group visited locations like the Sembawang Shipyard, the Changi Airbase and the Changi Murals, before a trip on Thursday to Seletar Airbase.