27 April 2015 – NUS Toddycats conducted the 3rd Kent Ridge Heritage Trail of the year.
Veteran Kok Oi Yee and N. Sivasothi aka Otterman, our Pasir Panjang Heritage Guides led a group of 31 NUS Staff on a walk along Kent Ridge Road from Central Library to Science Block S2.
The participants who met at the tables in front of the Chinese Library were enthusiastic and punctual. Oi Yee set off with the first group, and began with kampung stories of simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa) which line the secondary forest of the Ridge. Sivasothi set off with the second group and in pointing out the most common flora of the Adinandra beluakr, an their traditional uses was soon quizzing participants about local names!
We accompanied Sivasothi’s group and at one point, heard him relate highlights of the Battle of Pasir Panjang. The battle whiuch took place in the area, saw the Malay Regiment resist overwhelming invading Japanese forces. The chilling account of the brave defence opened our eyes to the horrors of war and unearthed secrets of the landscape we never knew were lurking in campus.
We walked towards the stairs leading to S2, where Sivasothi showed everyone a WW2 outpost now behind a fence. We ended the walk on a light note though, discussing the lives of several animals on campus, including the Toddycats mascot, the common palm civet, which has been seen in this area!
Brought to you by NUS Toddycats, volunteers with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum as part of SG50 celebrations.