Friday, May 20, 2016

Heritage Fest 2016 - Ubin

On May 14 and 15, i volunteered to be guide in Pulau Ubin in conjunction with National Heritage Board's Heritage Fest 2016.  The tour was called the Ubin Experience Tour and majority of the volunteer guides were also volunteer guides with NParks with the exception of myself. I have visited Ubin many times and explored the various nooks and corners but i never participated in an organised tour before, nor ever volunteered to be a guide in Ubin. So this was a first for me !

I also learned during my training by the National Heritage Board,  more insights on the history of the places that i brought my participants to. I decided to also do my own further reading and research of this places from an heritage perspective so that i can value add further. On May 15, one of the participants shared with me he was a supplier of quarry materials to Ho Mon Choo Quarry (now known as Pekan Quarry)

Ubin jetty all dress up for the Tua Pek Kong festival

Ubin jetty looking very pretty for the Tua Pek Kong festival 

Some of the places we brought our tour participants include the kampong house of Ahmad bin Kassim, No 1 Ubin (Tudor style house and now Chek Jawa Visitor Centre) , German Girl Shrine, Ah Ma drink store and former prawn farm) and finally Pekan Quarry (Municipal Quarry No. 1 or Ho Mon Choo Quarry). The entire tour was conducted via a van which stop at the various places providing a snapshot of heritage and nature of Pulau Ubin.

I will find time to blog about all the places i visited (if i not blog about it before, e.g. i wrote the German girl article back in February 2012) and post it up in the near future, however for this article, i will like to share some of the pictures of Ubin which i found interesting when i made my way there before the tour started.

Bum boat repairs and maintenance 

One of the first thing that caught my eye was the boat maintenance that was taking place during low tide near the jetty. The boat was tilting on its side and i could see it clean of barnacles that would have gathered or adhered to the hull of the boat. Too much barnacles will cause considerable drag on the boat slowing it down and for wooden boats, it may cause long term damage as well. When i arrived, a Malay and Chinese gentlemen who were working on the boats were taking a break in the wooden stilt house on the left. It is heartening to see that such traditional trades are still active in the offshore islands of Singapore. The last i saw boat repairs was at a river in Ubin overlooking Pulau Ketam.


Bumboat repairs and maintenance taking place

Bumboat repair man taking a well deserved break 

Hull clean of barnacles 

Reminders of Granite Mining at the Temple

Another place that i want to draw attention to is the Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Ting Da Bo Gong Temple, It's location is close to Ubin jetty on a hill called 佛 山 (Buddha Hill) and there is something that is so obvious here, but some people might have overlooked- a reminder that granite used to be mine in this area. Just behind the shrine of the Eath God (土地公), there is large granite stone and visible on its surface are cutting marks by machinery.

Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Ting Da Bo Gong Temple

Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Ting Da Bo Gong Temple caretaker checking me out 

The Granite stone behind the Earth Deity

Cut marks on the granite

After the short exploration, it is back to my guiding duties. I enjoyed myself and sincerely hope that for those i guided enjoyed themselves too and for both dates managed to gather everyone to take a group picture of the participants along with the guides.

May 14th  (9:30 am tour participants and guides) 


May 15th (4:30 pm tour participants and guides) 

Singapore Heritage Fest  2016 in Ubin

Related Articles

Heritage Fest 2016 -Ubin, posted on May 20, 2016
Qing Ming in Ubin (April 10, 2016), posted on April 10, 2016
German Girl Shrine, posted on February 5, 2014
Ubin Island- one of the World's most secret island, posted on January 01, 2012
427 Pulau Ubin and the former village head, posted on November 16, 2011
Ubin Temple Festival, posted on May 19, 2011

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