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Monday, January 24, 2011

My Uncle's Shop

Those who work in the Boat Quay area or goes club crawling will be familiar with this green place. The Molly Malone Irish pub, a very popular water hole for the angmo. But to me, this is one place that brings back a lot of nice memories.

The place originally belongs to my maternal uncle. I spent many happy hours in the quaint little shop and his house which was just a stone throw away at Canton Street. My Uncle runs an electrical shop there. It was as I understand, handed down to him by my maternal grandfather. Below is a picture of the place from the website Good Morning Yesterday. I think the picture pre-date the time my Uncle took over after his father passed away.

Photo from Good Morning Yesterday
In those days, the shop did a bustling business serving the shops around the area, attending to their electrical needs. Indeed the shop was perpetually stuffed full of boxes and boxes of electrical fixtures and used items. There was only a small desk which serves as the office, dining table and conference table and that was where my Uncle and Auntie spent most of their working hours. The shop must have did very well in the early days cause my Uncle was able to upgrade from their little unit at Canton Street (that will be another story for another day) to a terrace house in Serangoon.

This is a more recent picture of the place taken some time in the late eighties before it was compulsory acquired by the landlord.
The shop as it turns out did not belongs to my Uncle. It was passed down to him by his father who had rented it from the landlord. In those days, there was this Rent Control Act which protect the occupier from being evicted by unscrupulous owner out to make a quick buck from the increase in property value. So my Uncle's family was able to hold on to the place for many many years. Unfortunately, it seems the owner was not the only unscrupulous fella around. The gahmnen got into the act and abolished the Rent Control Act and with that, my poor Uncle had to leave the place and all he got was a measly $50,000.00 compensation

4th Feb 2011. Just found out there wasn't even a $50,000.00 compensation. When the Rent Control Act was abolished, the place was taken back by the landlord and not a single cent in compensation was paid out


  1. Hi Tekko. What a nice coincidence that this place turned out to be your grandfather's shop. Just curious how you managed to spot my article. Was it by chance? Or have you been reading my blog.

  2. Hi Lam, I came across your blog while searching for information on Chinatown some time ago and have been following it since. I have a link on my side bar to your blog but it was titled Memories of Singapore then. Btw, I hope you don't mind that I used a picture from your blog without your prior approval.