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Aug 24, 2013

2nd Shot: Yu Shan Teng at Holland Road

Second Shot - Yu Shan Teng

Chun See's comment - "I also remember seeing Lor Makam and an old temple there in the late 80s when I jogged and drove along (old) Holland Rd" - in his blog on Lorong Panchar reminds me of a second shot taken in late 2011 when I was exploring the area mentioned.



I concur with Pat in the blog comments that Chun See saw the Yu Shan Teng Hakka temple which was beside Lorong Makam.

The Yu Shan Teng Tua Pek Kong (毓山亭大伯公) was a cemetery temple by the Fong Yun Tai Association, a Hakka organization formed by clansmen of three Hakka counties Fengshun (丰顺), Yongding (永定) and Dapu (大浦). Yongding is famous for those Hakka roundhouses or tulou (土楼) featured in travel documentaries; in fact I was told you can find one tulou recently completed in the association premise. Dapu, as some of you are aware, is the ancestral place (祖籍) of our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The cemetery temple had disappeared by 2011, of course. Nevertheless I could still see remnants of the concrete slab, a raised platform once the base of the temple. You can see in my second shot of a 1986 archival photo the raised platform and the inclined road in front. On today's map, the inclined road is Holland Road and this is the last stretch before the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal and Holland Plain.

Yu Shan Teng remnants
Remnants of the raised platform and Holland Road looking southwards

Yu Shan Teng remnants
Remnants of the raised platform in opposite direction

The 1986 photo was taken from one end of the platform where the incense burner stood and you can just about see the edge running close to the building, but this edge is not really visible in the second shot. Comparing the two shots, it seems that part of the grass verge was reclaimed for road widening or the photographer was actually standing closer to the temple and using a wide-angle lens.

Fong Yun Tai Association Signboard
Fong Yun Tai Association Columbarium

I do not know when was the cemetery temple demolished, the cemetery had certainly been exhumed by 1986. It was still standing in the early 90s from photos I have seen. In late 2011 other than the concrete remnants, I found one other instance where the name - 毓山亭大伯公 - still lives on: on a stone signboard outside the association premise at Holland Plain / Holland Link. I hope these two "relics of the past" are still around today.

4 comments:

Chun See Lam said...

Hi Icemoon. Sorry. Besides the old signboard - which is still there - I cannot follow the location of your present day photos. From the old map of this area, I think there were two temples in this area. And the one I am referring to is not this one that you are talking about.

Pat said...

@ Chun See: "From the old map of this area, I think there were two temples in this area. And the one I am referring to is not this one that you are talking about."; [GMY 14 Aug 13]: "I also remember seeing Lor Makam and an old temple there in the late 80s when I jogged and drove along (old) Holland Rd."

Icemoon's "2nd shots" do show the remnants of the demolished Yu San Teng temple along Lor Makam. So Chun See, were you perhaps referring to San Yi Ci clan shrine [1978 photo of frontage & courtyard] adjacent to Yu San Teng ? You had blogged about this shrine (w/o mentioning its name) in ’The Short & Winding Road' (03 May 2008). If not, might you be thinking of another public temple located along Holland Rd near the western exit of Lor Pachar ?

* 1978 Mindef topo map – shows 3 public temples along: Lor Makam, Lor Panchar, Holland Rd (near western exit of Lor Panchar).

* 1958 Masterplan town map – shows an additional 2 temples: Lor Makam's northern junction, NW stretch of Holland Rd (near dirt track into western section of Fong Yun Thai Cemetery). But as there aren't any corresponding extant structures or temple icons indicated on the 1958 masterplan map, it’s not clear if these 2 additional temples are planned or already extant. (Similarly, note how long Sixth Ave is on the 1958 masterplan map, even though the southern stretch of Sixth Ave didn't exist back then.)

Background: The (demolished) public temple found along Lor Makam is Yu San Teng (毓山亭, Hakka) Cemetery Temple. Located nearby (SW) on the same side of Lor Makam is San Yi Ci (三邑祠) – a kongsi/ clan shrine established in 1882 by Hakka immigrants. If you were to walk along Lor Makam from the north, you would’ve come upon Yu San Teng temple first, followed by San Yi Ci shrine. And at the rear of both structures was the eastern section of the 142-acre Fong Yun Thai (Hakka) Cemetery (丰永大坟山).

From the 1950s to 1977, San Yi Ci shrine also functioned as a primary school known as Nam Tong School (南同小学), which catered to the Hakka kampong (客人芭) at Lor Makam, as well as other Hakka villages in the vicinity. Note: This school is written as "Lam Thong Chinese School" in old street directories – eg. see the 1970 map (valid as of Dec 1968).

Today, the historic structure housing San Yi Ci shrine serves as the main ancestral hall at the Fong Yun Thai Association (丰永大公会) Columbarium complex. The latter was built in 1991 at the same site along the defunct Lor Makam (modern-day address: 33 Holland Link) to house the ashes from the former Fong Yun Thai Cemetery (old address: 6½ mile Holland Rd) whose 20,000 graves were exhumed by 1981.

Prior to the exhumation, PSA had in 1977 acquired 130 acres of the said 142-acre active cemetery for a sum of S$1 million (or a paltry 25 cents per sq ft) – purportedly to develop a 180-acre inland container depot there. The reasoning as provided by the visionary authorities: The land is located near the KTM-Bukit Timah railway’s juncture with the KTM-Jurong line; so when the railway track is extended, the proposed container depot there would be connected by railway to Tanjong Pagar Port & Container Terminal to the far south, as well as to the Jurong Industrial Estate to the far west.

And fast-forwarding to 2013 ... there is no sign of the much-trumpeted inland container depot, no more KTM railway track (main line, Jurong line, or the touted Holland extension-line), & also no longer any historic cemeteries remaining at the discussed locality. Instead, the vacated land is increasingly being bulldozed for lucrative condo developments. Hmm ... visionary or déjà vu ? (Think: Bidadari, Bukit Brown, etc.)

Pat said...

Below are further info pertaining to the landmarks highlighted in my previous comment:

* 丰永大三邑人士的“毓山亭”与“三邑祠” (联合早报 - 27 Dec 1987)
ie. "Yu San Teng" & "San Yi Ci" of Fong Yun Thai's 3 Counties (Lianhe Zaobao - 27 Dec 1987)

– note: there's a photo of "San Yi Ci" shrine at the bottom of the article

* 01 Nov 1978 colour photo of Yu San Teng (cemetery temple): Front view (NHB PICAS)

* 01 Nov 1978 colour photos of San Yi Ci (clan shrine): Front view, Far-side view, Near-side view, Side & Rear view, Rear view, Interior view (NHB PICAS)
– note: the photo descriptions state wrongly that the whole structure had been demolished

* Jul 2006 photo showing the renovated San Yi Ci within Fong Yun Thai Assoc. Columbarium's compound
– from: Fong Yun Thai Chong De Tang, 1882, conserved (Historic Chinese Architecture in S'pore - 25 Jun 2005

* Hakka Temple 新加坡客家廟宇 (Xfotojournal - 06 Jun 2013) – including a 2013 photo of San Yi Ci

* Fong Yun Thai Assoc. Columbarium: Photos of main entrance & signages (StreetDirectory)

* Container Complex: Quit Orders to 17 Families (ST - 20 Jan 1971)
* Container Depot: PSA offers $1m for Cemetery (ST - 16 Feb 1971)
* Hakkas to meet Lee on Cemetery Takeover (ST - 30 Mar 1971)
* Clan Picks 36-member team to meet Lee on PSA Proposal (ST - 01 Apr 1971)
* PSA now studying Hakka Proposal for Depot (ST - 17 Jul 1971)
* Hakkas Take Cemetery Case to Court (ST - 16 Nov 1971)

Obat Herbal Stroke said...

thank's for your information and i like your post