Mar 21, 2016

Friends of My Community

I have been invited by Kwek Li Yong to the media preview of Commonwealth & Holland Village heritage tour on 20 March 2016. Before I pen down my experience, let me briefly introduce Li Yong and his heritage group My Community; and also put a blurb on their volunteer programme.

From their website,

My Community is a registered charity which documents social memory, celebrates civic life and champions community heritage. Every community in Singapore has stories to tell and we organise cultural and heritage activities to transform social spaces and ageing neighbourhoods.

The civic group is founded by Li Yong and Jasper Tan who are the group's President and Vice-President respectively, and have received accolades for its work in documenting, researching, education and advocacy of Queenstown's heritage. Fantastic work I'd say. You can read this to get an idea of what they are doing. By the way, Queenstown is the winner of NHB's Heritage Town Award 2014 which saw the collaboration of My Community, residents and the Queenstown Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC). The inaugural award from NHB went to Joo Chiat in 2011.

Beside doing a lot of "groundwork", Li Yong and Jasper also did a lot of "blogwork". Prolific bloggers since 2009, they have been writing on Queenstown in the MyQueenstown portal. Like many other bloggers, to reach out to more people they have taken to Facebook and fully migrated in 2011. Their Facebook group is here. MyQueenstown portal is still online though the last post was in 2011.

If you are interested in community heritage, guiding tours, curating exhibitions or researching community history, you can join them as Friends of My Community as a volunteer. My Community is holding a recruitment exercise for new volunteers in 2016. At their Open House on 26 March 2016, volunteers will share experiences on guiding, curating, researching and events organizing. The actual boot camp workshop for volunteers to train them on basic oral history interviews, guiding and research techniques will be on 24 & 30 April 2016. See the poster below.

I'm glad to know the two young gentlemen passionate on community heritage have started this heritage group to tell more people on Queenstown, the first satellite town in Singapore among other firsts. While the focus is more on Queenstown at the moment, I'm given to understand from their mission statement that there may be similar activities conducted for other old housing estates.