By Bernard Pereira
This picture of students of Fairfield Methodist Scondary clinging to a fence to avoid rising flood waters around their school during heavy rain is truly an image of contrast to the Singapore that we used to live in during the “Roaring Fifties and Sixties”.
It was the time when we were still an underdeveloped town, a part of Malaya and also the British Empire.
Roads were rickety, with a lot of cracks and potholes, to say the least. And flooding was a nightmare. But it could be a heaven, too, depending on how you interpeted it.
Believe it or not, whenever it rained cats and dogs, we would be ecstatically jumping for joy, rubbing our hands with glee. More so if we were outdoors, playing football or rounders. Or even if heading home after school.
By golly, it would be the best excuse for getting soaking wet – never mind the chills, or the coughs and colds. That came later. We would actually be relishing the rain!
And if it was me and my schoolmates out there, being caught in the downpour – instead of those Fairfield Methodist group – I bet you we wouldn’t have been clinging to the fence. No sirree!
We would have been swimming…. or splashing and frolicking like crazy out there in the rain or floodwater.
Of course, not if there was lightning. Or when we saw a ditch full of rushing water. For we knew or had seen enough horrors to know our limits.
Bernard Pereira is a former journalist.
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