Black, white and terracotta

Although houses built in the 1920s and 30s are most commonly referred to as ‘black and whites’, the orange hue is just as important. Terracota tiles are an important architectural hallmark, not just because of the colour, but also because of the simple way in which they form roofs, as evidenced from the underside of our eaves. The branded logo is of the Calicut Tile … Continue reading Black, white and terracotta

Rainy days

October is going out on a whimper – it’s been either overcast, or drizzly, here at the Airbase. Nevertheless, spirits are high. Halloween tonight, when scary creatures come out to play. Speaking of scary creatures, it will be school holidays soon, and kids will be on the ‘ronda-ronda’ (malay for roam, be sure to have your volume cranked up before clinking this link). If you … Continue reading Rainy days

Hunters’ Moon

We discussed solar cycles and Halloween, it seems only fair to enjoy the wonders of lunar cycles too. An interesting update in the mailbox this morning. OK, I confess to being a subscriber to Dr Tony Phillips’ Spaceweather channel 😉 This week’s full Moon is the biggest full Moon of 2007. It’s no illusion. Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and tonight’s will … Continue reading Hunters’ Moon

Halloween at Seletar

It should be no surprise that Halloween is celebrated enthusiastically at the Airbase; after all, resident spiders and bats are always hanging around, waiting to be acknowledged 😉 Most human residents know to deck their entrances with ghoulish apparitions if they welcome visitations from trick-or-treaters. I’m told groups of revellers will be setting off on their sugar acquisition trips at 6:45 pm on Weds, Oct … Continue reading Halloween at Seletar

The Lost Inner Temple

Thanks Sue, for digging up this old map of the Airbase, showing the small cul-de-sac, Inner Temple. Though no longer visible in all printed maps of Singapore, Streetdirectory still shows this location if searched. Just off Park Lane, opposite Kingfisher Club. According to Inner Temple. (2007, October 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. The Temple was occupied in the twelfth century by the Knights Templar, … Continue reading The Lost Inner Temple

Flying Clubs and Schools at Seletar

Small aircrafts are part of the skyscape at Seletar. Some are private planes, others are training flights. Seletar is home to no fewer than four flying clubs and colleges. How these flights are going to compete with heavier maintenance traffic is a wonder. It will be a shame if the flying schools have to move out of Singapore, given the investments Singapore has been making … Continue reading Flying Clubs and Schools at Seletar

Black and White

‘Practical elegance’ pretty much sums up the essence of the Singapore house built at the turn of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These black & white structures embrace influences from England and India, and were adapted for the humid heat of the tropics. There are numerous references to this style of architecture, and together with historical notes from past residents of the Airbase, a … Continue reading Black and White

Tree census

The National Parks Board’s National Biodiversity Reference Centre( NBRC) is Singapore’s focal point for biodiversity conservation. It’s website serves as the Singapore node of the Clearing-house Mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This year, it is celebrating the 300th birth anniversary of Swedish biologist, Carolus Linnaeus, the Father of Plant and Animal Classification. Details of events at: The Linnaeus Exhibition It got us thinking … Continue reading Tree census

The birds ‘co-operated’

It was an elated bunch that strolled in to the garden party last night – our nature walkers enjoyed exceptional sightings, and in Willie’s words, the birds ‘co-operated’ and posed like pros for the telescopes and cameras 🙂 Plans are now being hatched for the next trail, and also for a more reliable way of gathering data on how our diverse eco-system is being impacted … Continue reading The birds ‘co-operated’

14 medals and BJets

Singapore wins 14 medals Congratulations to the team 🙂 Singapore’s disabled athletes have scored a big win at an international sports meet in Taipei. The bi-annual event is known as the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Wheelchair and Amputee Games 2007. Singapore based aviation company to start operations in India The company is right now in the process of working out its … Continue reading 14 medals and BJets

Life in the day of a novice webmaster

Welcome to the 30+ new subscribers who have signed on in the past 3 days! Your interest in this project is gratifying. By now, you will have realised that this website is maintained by a novice – so please bear with me as I try to unravel the mysteries of html, CSS and other good stuff. Over the weekend I discovered that when the Seletar … Continue reading Life in the day of a novice webmaster

Class of 2011, mental illness and casino costs

A rather eclectic collection of stories caught my fancy today… BELOIT COLLEGE’S MINDSET LIST® FOR THE CLASS OF 2011 – some extracts here. Go on, compare your views… They never “rolled down” a car window. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa. They have grown up with bottled water. Women have always been police chiefs in major cities. Being “lame” … Continue reading Class of 2011, mental illness and casino costs

Reach, SAA and Sembawang

Despite its buzzing economy and rosy outlook, Singapore is encountering an upswing in its suicidal rate, growing from 346 cases in 2003 to 419 last year. The suicide victims are mainly men in their 40s and women in their 50s, who belong to the so-called ‘sandwich generation’. Discussion thread on REACH New blog – The Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA) is the internationally recognised training arm … Continue reading Reach, SAA and Sembawang

Ducks, snails and space tourism

No earthquake related tremors in Seletar, we seem to miss out on some of these excitements. Some news/discussion worth passing on: The ‘Great Singapore Duck Race’ has make a comeback this year, which could very well be the last duck race in Singapore because the Singapore River will be developed into a reservoir as part of the Marina barrage project – more from YeinJee Spotted … Continue reading Ducks, snails and space tourism


We woke up to the sad news today that Anita Roddick has passed away. Barely a week since Pavarotti breathed his last. Although neither of them probably even heard of Seletar Airbase, they do embody belief and passion for their causes. As does another memorable personality, Farrokh Bulsara (just a little more popularly known as Freddie Mercury) This post is dedicated to three people who … Continue reading Farewell

Links for 2007-09-09

Goodbye to the Intelligent Singaporean – finally got around to reading other Singapore blogs, only to discover the rather cryptic final post Recently certain events have prompted me to re-evaluate the role & relevance of the Intelligent Singaporean in the Singapore socio-political blogosphere. These events have forced me to reconsider whether continuing my aggregation work furthers the original cause of IS. huh? Online competition from … Continue reading Links for 2007-09-09

Pingat Jasa Malaysia

This remarkable entry in the RAF Seletar web site – kudos to the Malaysian government for acknowledging contribution of the veterans. In 2005 the Malaysian Government approached the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to seek approval to present their new medal, known as the Pingat Jasa Malaysia, to British veterans and others who served in operations in Malaya/Malaysia between August 1957 and August 1966. Ex-residents … Continue reading Pingat Jasa Malaysia

Dikes and the Heritage Society

Faced with the prospect of a long, slow submersion into the very waters that serve as the lifeblood of this maritime trading hub, Singapore has reached out to the world’s greatest experts on the subject of battling back the sea – the Dutch. “We are already in consultations with Delft in Holland to learn how we can build dikes,” said Lee Kuan Yew, the former … Continue reading Dikes and the Heritage Society

Goodbye Norma Jean in Hokkien

Last night several residents celebrated their respective birthdays – ranging from 4 to 52 years. There were many highlights, but one I know I will always remember is Xavier’s rendition of Elton John’s ballad – part of it elocuted in Hokkien, no less 😉 We are planning for the book launch at the end of September, probably to include a Nature Walk. We tried to … Continue reading Goodbye Norma Jean in Hokkien


The previous entry on 23 Amber Road needs to be augmented with information about HARP – I’ve taken this extract from Irene Low’s site, where the full FAQ can be found What is HARP? The Historic Architecture Rescue Plan is an interest group which was formed after the sudden and unnecessary demolition of a 1930s Art-deco building at Allenby Road which formerly housed the film … Continue reading HARP

23 Amber Road

Browsing through on Memories of Cashin Mansion unearthed the discussion and campaign to save 23 Amber Road. 23 June 2007 -Summary carried by Irene Low After an active campaign and many months of waiting, the developer has finally published its proposals for 23 Amber Road, the Butterfly House. According to the proposal, only a small portion of the Butterfly House comprising the porch and … Continue reading 23 Amber Road

It’s official

Early this week, some residents at Seletar Airbase received written confirmation that their leases will not be renewed beyond December 2008. Thankfully only some of the black & whites will be demolished, the rest will be re-assigned from residential to commercial status to support an aviation training zone. I’m checking with JTC if their mao can be published here, so stay tuned. Folks at Jalan … Continue reading It’s official

Where exactly is Seletar Airbase?

Earlier this week, when a 6th person in as many days asked for the exact location of Seletar Airbase, I knew it was time to persuade Isabelle to sketch out a map. Here is her rendition, complete with voluptuous coastal lines. Co-ordinates are 01 degree 25 N 103 degrees 52E. So now you know. Ever wondered how old the causeway is? According to Work … Continue reading Where exactly is Seletar Airbase?

Academics urge greater conservation consciousness

Report by Koh Gui Qing for Reuters Canada on 15th July 2007 Singapore set to raze third of heritage bungalows Black and Whites are among the most sought-after housing in Singapore, and soon they will be even harder to get as the government plans to raze up to a third of the 500 to 700 remaining bungalows to make way for an industrial park. Continue reading Academics urge greater conservation consciousness

See the trees before they disappear

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. – John Muir A quick survey of the Airbase suggests there are some 260 trees of girth greater than 1 meter, but as Seletar Airbase is not a Conservation Area protected by National Parks, only 30 of these will remain … Continue reading See the trees before they disappear

Recognising Heritage

Thanks to Michael from Lancaster Gate for highlighting this topic. UNESCO’s world heritage center lists 851 properties as ‘forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value” – 184 countries have successfully listed properties, unfortunately Singapore is not one of them. Celebrating heritage can be demanding. My quick Google search identified 2 bodies in Singapore … Continue reading Recognising Heritage

t minus 18 months

By December 2008, many of us will have to leave this amazing place we have cherished and call home. Articulating what makes it special is proving harder than we thought – we need to build a scrapbook that can illustrate an extraordinary co-existence of gracious people, historical buildings, wild (ish) animals and majestic trees, all enveloped in tranquility. I’ve just moved across some of the … Continue reading t minus 18 months

“We see dead people”

One of our part time cleaners regaled us with stories about ghosts in the Camp, and how prolific sightings were. This was news to us; neither of us could claim to have seen, or felt, anything that would suggest paranormal presence. But like a persistent toothache, the fascination about ghosts would not go away. Soon we discovered that the Camp has a resident ‘ghost buster’ … Continue reading “We see dead people”

Postcards project goes live

Finally the dedicated site for our ‘Postcards’ project is up. Some of us believe that the special ambience of Seletar Camp is worth capturing for future generations to at least read about. ‘Postcards from Seletar’ is a project by The Governance Board. We plan to publish four volumes of bound research and artwork that will look at the nature, architecture, heritage and community in the … Continue reading Postcards project goes live

Spitfires in Singapore

A delightful discovery today, while browsing through the RAF Seletar Association web site. One of our current residents shares his father’s memories of life in Seletar in the early 1950s. John’s letter to RAF Seletar web site Peter’s journal Some notes about Seletar Airbase from Wikipedia RAF Seletar was a Royal Air Force station in Singapore between 1928 and 1971. Plans for establishing an airfield, … Continue reading Spitfires in Singapore

The Happiness Formula

Over the weekend, we caught a little bit of what promises to be a fascinating experience on BBC World – a six-part series profiling research from around the world on what makes humans happy. The Happiness Formula trails scientists who say they know how to measure happiness and are piecing together what they believe really makes us happy. Should be interesting. The subject of happiness … Continue reading The Happiness Formula