Editorial: Growing Up in Post-1965 Singapore

Growing up in post-1965 Singapore is a follow-up on s/pores Issue 16 Being young in the 1950s (published 30 January 2018).

For the former issue we were able to speak to only one person (born in 1940) on his days as a youngster in the 1950s. 

Those who were young children in the 1960s however are of an age where they can tell their story in writing about the transitions that they lived through with the country attaining full sovereignty in 1965.

Chan Wai Han and Fong Hoe Fang were the first to be approached, as they had given a talk in April 2016 on ‘Loving Words’ in the Afterwords series organized by their Ethos Books. People who love words and speak loving ones were likely to agree to write, and to do so meaningfully.

Kevin Tan ebulliently agreed immediately to write about ‘My Scouting days, school activities, football crazy school boys, the Kallang Roar etc. Seems a bit of a catch all but all still vivid in my mind.’

This, he has done, and we can understand why they would still be vivid in his mind.

Our contributors had also agreed to help us look for writers, but in the end, we were not successful.

It is perhaps not surprising that while it was not our intention to look for writers who have a profile in civil society, our three contributors are known for their wider involvements in society.

They have taken pause to put together their narrative of how they have become who they are.

We appreciate being able to listen to the life-stories (they write in a captivatingly plain, personal voice, like the Rediffusion stories that Wai Han grew up with) of these seasoned individuals who have made our society richer by their personalities and their moral compass set to course in their growing-up years.


A fierce Cantonese woman – growing up in Singapore in the 60s
Chan Wai Han

Going to Where the Silence Is
Fong Hoe Fang

Standing Up and Being Counted: Lessons from my Childhood
Kevin YL Tan