Written by Charles Goh   
Friday, 08 July 2011 23:21
A cool chill blew across the rolling grass of Bukit Brown.

It woke up Tan Kim Ching (son of Tan Tock Seng).

He yelled out to his friend below, Cheang Hong Lim (Speakers’ Corner): You feel that, Hong Lim?"

Hong Lim shuddered and nodded: "Let’s go find out what’s happening."

Together they stroll down the lonely path till they came up to 2 brothers Lim Chong Pang (Chong Pang Market) and Lim Chong Kuo, with their mother, Mrs Lim Nee Soon (Yishun Estate).

Mrs Lim looked at the 2 elderly gentlemen strolling towards them and ask: "Is it time?"

No one had the answer, and the group decided to cross the valley and ask others.

Gan Eng Seng (Gan Eng Seng School) came down from his hill and met them They were joined midway by Tan Kheam Hock (Kheam Hock Road). The group, now slightly larger than when it started, visited Chew Boon Lay (Boon Lay MRT), who was chatting with Tan Eng Neo (Eng Neo Avenue).

Together they climbed the hill to Ong Sam Leong (Biggest Grave in Singapore), who was with his sons Boon Tat (Boon Tat Street) and Peng Hock (Joint owner of New World Amusement Park)

From that highest point in Bukit Brown, Boon Lay shouted across the hills to Teh Ho Swee (Bukit Ho Swee), who was with his family, a distance away.

"Do you know what’s happening?" Boon Lay yelled.

" I don’t know." Ho Swee shouted back, dropping whatever he was doing and running to join the group. "Could it be related to the Bukit Brown MRT being constructed behind me?"

The wind blew stronger as if to answer him, and the group moves down the hill.

Around the bend, they were joined by Tan Boo Liat (Great Grandson of Tan Tock Seng), Hu Shien Nien (OCBC Director), Tan Ean Kiam (OCBC Founder), Khoo Yang Thin (Father of Khoo Tech Puat [Hospital]).

The group, now considerably larger, swelling in size as other Notables and their families joined the march towards the Bukit Brown Cemetery Gate.
"Cant you do anything, dad?" asked Lee Choo Neo (aunt of MM Lee) to her dad Lee Hoon Leong (MM Lee Grandfather).
Hoon Leong breathed deeply to speak: "I.... I" but his words were interrupted by the arrival of Fang Shan (oldest tomb in Singapore), Ho Siak Kuan (Assistant Secretary for Chinese Affairs), Tan Yong Thian (Southeast Asia 1st Producer of Essential Oil) and Tay Koh Yat (popular public bus operator in the 60s).

"Wait up!" came a voice from behind, as Chew Joo Chiat (Joo Chiat Place) came running from behind and joined the group.
By now, a great multitude of the early Singaporean had gathered at the Gate. Those who travelled far to reach our shores and made their fortunes and names here, as well as the more common folks, who though you may never, ever know them, had equally shed their sweat, blood, strength, age and lives for our small island in the sun.

Now nearing the Gate, Ang Seah Im (Seah Im Food Center) stopped the group and hushed everyone.

"Can you hear that?"

There are distinct sounds of machinery in the air, rumbling of metal crawlers across cart tracks.

‘Is this the end?" Someone wailed from behind.

"But our stories are not told yet!"

"We once lived! Please don’t! Remember us please!"

The wind howled louder…………
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 July 2011 00:44