The old charm of Singapore came back to life when I took a lovely stroll through this very quaint and interesting private museum that is housed in a landed housing property. This museum stands out from the landed properties in the residential sprawl along Changi Road in the east region of Singapore.
The owner of the property, Mr David Wee, has converted the frontage into a museum that is filled with his personal collection named "Wee's Collection" - items of the good old simple carefree days. I disappeared from the present after I entered the museum which is for meant all ages, old and young, to see and understand the things of good old days and a place for the adults to reminiscence. I saw many stuff and toys which are the kind I haven't seen for a long time. I think adults will walk down the memory lane as they reminisce about their childhood, while children will find it a delight to discover the vanishing activities from the yesteryear. One will be able to ponder and daydream of how life in the olden days might have been.
A collection is not made overnight. It takes years and sometimes a lifetime. During the tour, Mr Wee revealed that he took about 25 years to amass Wee's Collection. To acquire something that is rare is like owning a treasure. I suppose it gives more meaning as a collector if the collector can share this to other people for them to see and appreciate. In my view, a collection to be meaningful, should be shared with other people. If you keep it to yourself, then you deprive yourself the respect you can gain from your passion and the knowledge other people could acquire from your collection.
The private museum is located at No. 512 Changi Road.
Near the entrance are vintage paraphernalia reflecting the beginnings of this museum, to allow us to appreciate our heritage. Here, you can browse and even buy certain items the museum is willing to part with. There are old school clocks, porcelain cups, bowls, telephones, toys, road signs which no longer exist, and an F&N 75th anniversary glass manufactured in 1950s, amongst other delightful finds.
A special highlight is the famous street mobile cinema where the children once pay 5 cent to watch 5 yards of film. The supermarket and television commercial have revolutionized our existence for better or worse. The days of friendly carefree chat has passed. Relics and trivia tell us about our not too distant past.
Additionally, the owner own a vast variety of props including trishaws, pushcarts, vintage and antique related items that caters for props rental demands.
A wooden push-cart drinks stall lets you 'serve' coloured syrup and even make ice kacang to friends.
This place will portray a reminder of life when school was the gathering point for the community. Everybody knew each other and the talk was about home life, illness and matters pertaining to the betterment of the area. Almost everybody treated each other with honesty and kindness.
The place may be small, but every inch is neatly packed with carefully curated, multi-faceted olden day gems to keep young and old mesmerised and astounded for a very long time.
This place will portray a reminder of life when coffeeshop, provision shop and barber shop were the gathering point for the community. Everybody knew each other and the talk was about home life, illness and matters pertaining to the betterment of the area. Almost everybody treated each other with honesty and kindness.
Besides being great photo backdrops, the interactive exhibits (mostly painstakingly built by hand by the owner) can also be great conversation starters with the visitors.
This museum is more than just a museum itself, it's a place that educate, playing, taking photos, buying old school goodies and explore what our grandparents/parents play or use during kampong days where people can't afford to buy. The owner, Mr Wee's aim is to help to converse our history and heritage within our limited capacity. Although Singapore has progressed a lot, by starting to conserve the things even from the 70's and 80's are never too late and of significance to many Singaporeans. This museum definitely gives everyone a chance to reminisce many of their good old childhood memories. Make a special pilgrimage to this museum, unlock the memory vault and show the younger generation how the kampong days were like.
Currently, the museum operates strictly on an appointment-only basis (contact Mr Wee at +65 9173 7915. There is also a limit of five persons per visit. For S$5 each, Mr Wee will bring the visitors around for a 30-minute Show & Tell session. Those who wish to carry out shoots on the premises will need to book a separate package.