Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mr Lee promised us a garden city

Tree planting ceremonies were a big deal when I was growing up in the 70s. This initiative was part of our then prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vision of turning Singapore into a garden city because he felt it was "important that the whole island be clean, green and with everyone owning property".

I remember images of Mr Lee planting trees in some part of Singapore or another. I didn't think much of it then.

But now, I feel so much pride just looking at the big tall trees with their thick foliage and the thriving bird nest ferns sitting snugly on the branches. They are everywhere we turn. They are an everyday sight that many, I would imagine, have taken for granted. But these trees have brought so much joy to our family.

A tree is not just "a tree". It has seen my boys grow up as they walk to school. Its dead branches served as toy swords for my sons to play with. Its roots improved the boys' balance as they walked on the roots, with their arms spread out. Today, the three of us tried to see if we could hold one another's hand around a big tree near our house. We could. I couldn't see the boys' faces although I could hear them giggling away.

Mr Lee has left behind a beautiful legacy. One that I hope can be appreciated for generations to come.

Read the National Park's tribute to Mr Lee here.
The photograph was taken with the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 camera.

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