The Northern Village
For a book centred on a school and written by a class of students, the title “The Northern Village”, edited by Godfrey Robert, may seem a misnomer. But on closer scrutiny and after reading the 30 articles, the title stands out as the subject matter is about how a group of Pioneer Generation students, who lived in the northern part of Singapore in the Sixties, rose above themselves and did proud to Naval Base Secondary School.
The septuagenarians lived in the British Naval Base, Chong Pang Village, Nee Soon and the Sembawang area and attended NBSS as it was the only English secondary school in the just–over 10,000–acre land.
Village is the best description for a rural area that encompassed narrow, pot–holed roads, attap and zinc houses, wood–laden shops, bicycle and push–cart–occupied sidelanes and populated by a multi–racial community for whom life was simple yet busy.
The name “Chong Pang” still lives as a “City”, and its story is etched in the record books and given a lease of life in the fascinating narratives of the 30 writers for this 136–page book, just for you, readers.