I first stepped into Bukit Brown on the 24th December 2011, joining Nature Society Singapore (here is my photography collection of Nature Society Singapore Public Walk @ Bukit Brown) on their public walk to know more about Bukit Brown, the history and heritage, the nature, flora and fauna. My first visit to Bukit Brown was an eye-opener since the news of the proposed expressway to be build across Bukit Brown, there were many many debates and discussions between civil groups and government agencies that took place over the years. This was indeed a sensitive topic that is still ongoing today.
When I went back home and spoke to my relatives about my visit to Bukit Brown, it slowly dawned upon me that I had ancestor roots buried at Bukit Brown Cemetery and I as started to learn and understand more about my ancestor roots, my maternal family side started to know more about what was going and wanting to return back to Bukit Brown Cemetery and find our ancestors. This started a personal heritage trail exploration that I didn’t write about much of it here, those were the few times when I wasn’t able to pen my thoughts and feelings down into words, along with extended family privacy that I have to respect and be mindful of. I wrote on my personal site in Dec 2011 – Saving Bukit Brown and May 2013 – My Heritage Adventure Round Up Summary. I am not going to hide away from the fact that I walked past my ancestor graves without knowing it when I first visited Bukit Brown on 24th November 2011 and I felt ashamed that I do not know that they were buried there.
As time progressed, I wanted to know more about my maternal family ancestors trail and realising that my maternal Great-Grandfather and two Great-Grandmothers had to be exhumed due to the construction of the expressway, we did whatever we could to document and photograph the tombstones for memories before their exhumation recently. While I was not present during the exhumation, I hope that my ancestor heritage trail documentation prior to that is able to make amends and to know my maternal family ancestors more in detail. Here is my photography collection of my Ancestor Heritage Trail @ Bukit Brown on Flickr.
During the period of time when discussions and talks were on-going between civil groups and government agencies, there was a team that tirelessly researched and documented the heritage of Bukit Brown, led by Dr Hui Yew Foong, lead researcher at Bukit Brown Working Community. Over the years of research, documentation and compilation, they managed to gather a diverse range of documents, photographs and objects on Bukit Brown, to be displayed at an exhibition at the Level 9 – Promenade, National Library Board until Friday 10th October 2014 and the Bukit Brown Exhibition news was also on Channel News Asia website. I saw the Channel News Asia news and decided to visit the Bukit Brown Exhibition on the 19th July 2014, it’s a very interesting exhibition for us to know more about our Bukit Brown Heritage and History.
The topic on Bukit Brown still is and will continue to be a topic for debate and discussion, now and into the future. Let us take this time to learn more about our Bukit Brown, the History and Heritage, the roots and connections it had with Singapore’s early development to the early days of Singapore’s modern history and growth. The Bukit Brown Exhibition is a good place for you to start knowing more about them, do drop by and visit the exhibition!