Guide raining Report 1


Dateline 12 May 8.30am – 12 pm

12  signed up including an adjunct Professor for the guiding course led by tomb whisperer Raymond Goh with Lai Chee Kien  sharing what he has uncovered as part of the documentation team. On the morning of the first session, 7 turned up (3 had last minute emergencies, 2 still trying to account for!).

But those who came  scored an A for attentiveness and  diligence.  And they had unexpected rewards from a descendent who gave a live lesson at the tomb of his grandfather and a diversion to a  tomb of a pioneer not on the route as Raymond was “hijacked”.  Along the way we picked up a few “strays”  which added value to the “living” classroom that is Bukit Brown where tomb stones are textbooks and bricks tell a story of a materially life, rich in culture and commerce.

The course was meant to end at 11 am. But it ended at 12pm with no one complaining. Well, there were some  by students who wanted to know, “how on earth are we going to remember everything?”  So it was decided that to give them some breathing space, the next guiding lesson is moved to 19th May, Saturday.

They arrive even before 8.30 am ( photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Safety briefing by Catherine, a must for every tour ( photo Khoo Ee Hoon)


woohoo "hand outs" (photo:Khoo Ee Hoon)


Lai Chee Kien on Material Culture- students scribbling away until they ran out of paper (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

What information is on a Tombstone? The tombstone of Tan Boon Hak - cousin to Tan Kah Kee as "textbook " " (photo:Khoo Ee Hoon)


Volunteers Ee Hoon, Peter and Keng Kiat came to "kapor" while waiting for their public tour to start ( photo Catherine Lim)

Meanwhile Raymond waits patiently to take over, that thick wad of paper looks ominous! ( photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Raymond answers a query while waiting......(photo Khoo Ee Hoon)


Raymond springs into action, showing the students the printout of the burial record and how every grave can be traceable. It just takes dogged persistence (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

"Going Dutch" - The tombstone with Dutch inscriptions which speaks of BB's connection with Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies Company ( Photo Khoo Ee Hoon)

Sharing a moment of levity (photo Khoo Ee Hoon)


At Tan Bin Ching - Son of Tan Tock Seng (Photo: Lai Chee Kien)

Another "momen" .Chew Kheng Chuan - A "live" lesson as great grandson of Chew Boon Lay shares his experience of finding his grandfather, Chew Hock Seng and reconnecting ( photo Catherine Lim)


" That's my Grandma" Kheng Chuan tells students and KC does not stand for my name, but Kung Fu Tzu - Confucian Calender. Various calenders are used to record burial and death dates at BB. ( photo Catherine Lim)

looks like the students are "shying away" or maybe just checking out the tiles and wondering about the material culture (photo Catherine Lim)

An unexpected diversion to the other Chew - Chew Joo Chiat ( photo Catherine Lim)


Teacher had been hijacked to answer a request from descendents to show them the tomb which is slightly off the beaten track (photo Catherine Lim)


So another bonus for the students to get to know another pioneer with a street named after him ( photo Catherine Lim)


Exquisite Dragon Fish or "Ao" at Chew Joo Chiat carrying another mythical figure (photo Catherine Lim)





Dates: Sat 19 May (8:30- 11:00 a.m.)
(Previous class: Sat 12 May)
Venue: Bukit Brown, Lorong Halwa
To register, please fill in this form:
Limited to 25 participants, aged 18 and above.Are you one of the many people who have been moved and inspired by the charms of Bukit Brown? Keen to deepen your understanding of the cultural and natural heritage of this beautiful space? Would you like to share this with the many new visitors now flocking to Bukit Brown? If so, do sign up as one of our student volunteer guides. You will get a chance to learn the latest fascinating discoveries and histories of Bukit Brown from the ‘tomb whisperer’ himself, Raymond Goh <bukitbrown.org>, as well as the enthusiastic team behind the All Things Bukit Brown blog <bukitbrown.com>. It will be a great opportunity to meet and interact with other like-minded young people and the more experienced volunteers, improve your knowledge of Singapore history and nature, as well as develop your public speaking skills — all whilst enjoying the lush, green surroundings of Bukit Brown.

Details of training:
* The training comprises two sessions (Sat & Sun); each day will introduce a different tour route.
* Basic notes will be given, but you should come prepared to take photos and written notes during the training.
* After the on-site training, supplement your notes with additional information and research.
* You are then free to develop your own tour route, based on what you think are the most interesting aspects.
* Finally, choose at least 2 slots per month to conduct your tours.

Tip: Find a buddy to work with. You can split up the Sat/Sun training sessions with your buddy to share notes and subsequently conduct tours as a pair. Teamwork tours are less taxing and more fun!

For enquiries, please contact <a.t.bukitbrown@gmail.com>
How to get to Bukit Brown: http://snipurl.com/bbdirections