3 August 2013
Do you know Margaret Drive is named after the vivacious Princess Margaret and Buona Vista is an Italian word for “beautiful sceneries?” Or do you know that Tanglin Halt is named after the KTM trains which used to halt at a railway station near Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate? Queenstown is a unique estate with distinct names for its roads and precincts instead of the current practice of designating numbers to avenues and streets. However, early residents, who are illiterate or Chinese-educated, have little resonance with the names of these places. These residents coined colloquial names for some of these places which came to be more prevalent than the officially appointed names.
Jerome Lim is a naval architect and heritage photographer who blogs at www.thelongnwindingroad.wordpress.com. He has recently launched a series of photographs on Singapore's five-foot ways. He lived in Commonwealth Crescent between 1964 and 1967.
Victor R Savage is Director of the Alumni Relations Office, National University of Singapore (NUS). A/P Savage’s research interest is mainly on Singapore and the Southeast Asian region – historical and cultural landscapes, sustainable environments, environmental education, sustainable urban development and cross-cultural issues.
Dr Amy Khor is the chairman of the Street and Building Names Board.