death by paper cut

{February 15, 2010}   CNY Day 2 – Visit to Mt Vernon Columbarium

i didn’t have anything planned on monday, so i figured that i’ll tag along with my two aunties to visit my maternal grandfather’s niche at mt vernon columbarium before it gets relocated. fortunately, we left my place just as the clanging ruckus began at my neighbour’s apartment. i think that it is an overkill for an apartment to engage a lion dance troop. the entire block was verberating from the impact.2010 CNY 22

it took us 2 hours to get there from the west of singapore – a train ride to toa payoh mrt station and a bus ride on service 155 to the columbarium. the crematorium at mt vernon is already no longer in operation. i vaguely remember my paternal grandmother’s funeral service at that crematorium about 20 years ago.

Mt Vernon Columbarium 4
Mt Vernon Columbarium 2

many niches have already been relocated by their loved once since the move is a matter of time although no plans have been announced yet. the dead also need to get with the programme with the enbloc.

Mt Vernon Columbarium 12Mt Vernon Columbarium 20

there was a good turn out at the columbarium of loved ones paying respects to their dearly departed. my grandfather’s niche was exactly how i remembered it. the placed looked vaguely familiar too but the inclines do not seem as steep as i recalled from my younger years.

Mt Vernon Columbarium 14 Mt Vernon Columbarium 16

just as my aunties and i were about to leave the columbarium, we heard the “important message” siren sound at 12.05pm to remember to fall of singapore to the japanese on 15 february 1942. 15 february is also now known as total defence day to remind and instill in all singaporeans (especially school going children) the importance of readiness and preparedness for crisis.

you can sample all three types of sirens from the civil defence website.

hearing the siren has never been as poignant as hearing it at my grandfather niche because it reminded me that he endured and survived the japanese occupation. i wonder what he would recall and offer to say about his experiences if he heard the siren sound today.


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