My life revolved around the Beach Road area and especially the area near the old Merlion Park as well as the Padang. At that time, the park near where the old Merlion was situated was very popular with the locals especially the children who would play and run around the area. We could even catch crabs that would emerge from the seabed during the evenings.
Our crab catching days ended when the Merlion was built and a barrier around the sea was errected. Still I was very curious about what was built and didnt know anything about the Merlion until I read about it and its connection to Singapore. Still I soon developed an affection for the statue which attracted plenty of people from all over Singapore as well as tourists who would take photos with it. I was very sad when it was pulled down.
The Padang just opposite also held a lot of memories for me. I was sitting on the front row when Mr. Lee Kuan Yew made his first address to Singapore and remembered shouting ‘Merdeka’ along with him. Feeling very patriotic, I would take part in the National Day parades, carrying flags from Beach Road all the way to Kallang. I would also listen intently to the speeches made by Mr. Lee Siew Cho and Mr. E W Baker whenever the Parlimentary elections came around. All these made me feel really like a Singaporean and only increased my sense of belonging and patriotism.