Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Legend of Bukit Merah revisited: BMCL official re-opening ceremony

In about 8 hour's time, Bukit Merah Community Library (BMCL) will re-open its doors to the public after 8 months of major upgrading works (hey, talk about being auspicious -- the Chinese associate the number 8 with "prosperity"). The official re-opening was on 25 Feb 05, with Assoc Professor Khoo Tsai Kee (Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and the Environment and Water Resources) as the Guest of Honour.

The re-opening ceremony went well: We had 3 performances put up by kids from selected organisations which the BMCL has worked with closely in past years -- Mujahideen madrasah, Gan Eng Seng Primary School, and the Singapore School for the Deaf. The exhibition from the Singapore Polytechnic School of Design and Environment did wonders to spruce up the whole place.

The term "Bukit Merah" means "Red Hill" in Malay, i.e. "Bukit = Hill" and "Merah = Red". It's aptly named for the soil around Bukit Merah area has a reddish tint to it. There's a legend associated with how the name came to be.

Truly, BMCL is an icon (dare I say, almost legendary?) in this old (but constantly being renewed) town. The improvement works to this 23 year old library includes a lift (finally!), streamlined and updated collections, a Quiet-Reading room, better space utilisation, and upgraded services and facilitites. The guests loved the new look. I'll know how well we've done in upgrading the library from the reaction of the readers.

Oh, I managed to lobby A/P Khoo, who is also the Member of parliament for the area, to get an overheard bridge to be built so that residents need not jaywalk across the road in order to get to the library. He's giving serious thought about the suggestion. I'm crossing my fingers.

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