2 weeks ago I was on Ubin for the monthly Pedal Ubin rides and while waiting around the bike shops for a friend, I chanced upon a wall of old Ubin photos. One of the photos was the schoolboy in front of the old Bin Kiang school.
It made me extremely nostalgic as I remembered my mom's Bin Kiang graduating class photo which I first posted here 2 years ago.
Today, all that is left of Bin Kiang school is a road sign naming the little back street after the school.
Bin Kiang Road in 2005. Photo by November.
Yet change is constantly surrounding us on Ubin. Last year this time, when I brought my mom back to Ubin to see where her old school used to be, it looked as above.
One year later, after the area was cleared, angsana trees were felled, this is how it looks like now.
Bin Kiang Road in 2006. Photo by November.
While my mom was reminiscing, she also mentioned that the principal's residence during her time used to be right beside the school. Although she pointed it out to me, we both did not attempt to climb up the steps to explore further since as we know it, changes happen and most likely, the family has moved as well.
Where the principal of Bin Kiang was. Photo by November, 2005.
When I first posted about Bin Kiang school, a reader wrote to me telling me that his dad used to be a teacher in the school. Unfortunately I have lost his email. If you are reading this now, please get in touch! I very much would like to find out more. My mom previously told me that one of her teachers on Ubin ended up moving out to the mainland and teaching her again in secondary school. Today, some of her classmates are still in touch with him. I hope that I would be able to interview him sometime.
Islander Bikeshop. Photo by November.
Sometimes a conversation can reveals a treasure trove of stories. After seeing the photos hanging on the wall outside this bike shop, I spoke with the lady and found out these are photos from and of their neighbors on the island. Today they still maintain their house on Ubin but return to their other home on the mainland at night. Many families on the island now do the same. It's almost like a dual citizenship!
The next time you are on the island, check out the photos and talk to the owners and find out about their childhood and lives on the island. I am sure they would be very happy to share. In fact, many of the old newspaper cuttings I have on the blog are also collected and generously shared by them. I will post more of the old photos I spied on the wall next time.
If you have any stories or old photos to share of Bin Kiang or Ubin, please email me.