History of St John’s Chapel at Pulau Bukom – Part 2

History of the Parish of St John the Apostle on Pulau Bukom – Part 2 St John the Apostle was chosen as the patron saint of the chapel located on the Pulau Bukom Shell refinery due to his miraculous escape from a boiling barrel of oil. After years of lobbying for a place of worship, the chapel was finally established …

History of St John’s Chapel at Pulau Bukom – Part 1

HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF ST JOHN THE APOSTLE ON PULAU BUKOM A hand-written journal on the History of the Parish of St John the Apostle on Pulau Bukom was discovered within the storage cabinets of the Archbishop’s House.  While its author is still unknown, the written account preserves an invaluable record of a little-known aspect of the history of …

A Look Back in History – Roman Catholic communities in early Singapore

The earliest Catholics in Singapore were in fact quite a multi-cultural community despite the fact that the British colonial government tended to rank the various races according to certain perceived racial attributes. This was one of the key findings shared by church historian and professional researcher Dr Marc Rerceretnam at a public talk, “Evolution of Roman Catholic Communities in Early …

The Teochew Catholics of Aukang – A Cradle Catholic

Agnes Chan – Cradle Catholic As a child, Agnes Chan stayed at Lorong Santun, next to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her entire family was Catholic, with her father working for the Europeans as a labourer. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, her father was captured by the Japanese along with many of his acquaintances …

The Teochew Catholics of Aukang – A Catholic Convert

Angeline Yeo – Catholic convert “I was born in 1942 and stayed at Upper Serangoon Road. My family had a provision shop directly opposite Nativity Church but I wasn’t a Catholic. We stayed at a house just behind the shop. In 1969, I converted because I got married to a Catholic. My Mother-in-law was very old fashioned and didn’t like …

The Teochew Catholics of Aukang – A non-Catholic

Frankie Choo – Non-Catholic Frankie Choo is a non-Catholic who stayed at Kampong Sireh, along the outskirts of the Hougang where a Taoist community had settled. A staunch Taoist, Choo presents an outsider’s view of the faith community in Hougang, especially since he frequented the Nativity Church and its surroundings as a non-believer. His grandmother ran a Taoist temple named …

Our Catholic Neighbourhood: History of the Mission Grounds (Civic District)

The “Mission Ground” is the area in the downtown Civic District where the Catholic Church began its mission. We are fortunate that through the passage of time, many of the institutions that were built by the early Fathers still stand today. While a few have had to make way to progress and have been re-purposed from their original intentions, we …

Life & Times of a Catholic Teochew Fisherman – Part 1

Before he returned to the Lord on 13 July 2017 at the grand old age of 101, Joseph Lee Ah Ngiap recorded his oral history, providing us a fascinating insight into the life of a working-class Singaporean Teochew Catholic throughout the most notable times of our nation’s history   Growing up as a Catholic in Ponggol Joseph Lee Ah Ngiap …

Life & Times of a Catholic Teochew Fisherman – Part 2

Before he returned to the Lord on 13 July 2017 at the grand old age of 101, Joseph Lee Ah Ngiap recorded his oral history. His recollections of his grandparents’ migration to Singapore gives us a rare look into one immigrant Catholic Teochew family’s story of forging a new life in the fledgling British colony of Singapore.   Catholic Migrants …