I first got to know of the book launch for 50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools through Facebook. As I was scrolling through the images, one particular quote caught my eye.
Wow, I didn’t know that! No wonder we have so many swimming pools in Singapore!! Thank you Mr Lee, for I grew up with one of the oldest and deepest pool at Taman Jurong. Swimming was one of the few lessons in schools I really enjoyed. My childhood friends and I loved the 12-ft deep pool, 2-tier springboard and life-saving swim lessons there. By P3, I was one of the the able swimmers in school and always managed to snag a few trophies and medals during my school’s swim carnival. It’s a pity that the Jurong Town Swimming Pool has closed down in the past decade.
50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools is a joint effort by Jocelyn Lau and Lucien Low, with beautiful illustrations by Favian Ee. The book commemorates the heritage of Singapore’s swimming pool and the book launch is timed with Singapore’s 50th year of Independence. 50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools is a 128-page full-colour paperback that contributes to the preservation of collective memories by 56 residents of Singapore. Do you have your own story to tell?
Going further back into memories, I nearly died when I was 5 years old. The baby pool at Jurong Town Swimming pool was an impressive size of 25m length x 10(?)m width with long steps at the shallower end for entry. I “very cleverly” removed my cumbersome swimming ring as it appeared that I could reach the floor tiles everywhere I went. Haha! Why need the float?!! The next thing I knew, I was struggling trying to reach the floor and catching my breath. Had my dad not been watchful, I would have died that day. I remember I cried alot. Since then until P1, I had a phobia of water until my mum decided to send me for proper lessons (despite my resistance).
My siblings and I spent countless years at Jurong Town Swimming Pool. Even after we had achieved GOLD certificate, long distance award (I once swam for almost 4 hours during one of the trials to complete 5KM), life-saving certification, we would be at the pool every Saturday evening for “free swim class”. Back then, our beloved swim coach loved to order a 20-lap whenever he spots us at the pool and we would obediently oblige before we enjoy water play.
There was a Chinese Restaurant that sold dimsum and old school big round glass jars of cookies. After every swim lesson, mum would buy each of us a piece of cookie and a cup of Milo. My favourite was the Walnut Cookie – crispy, fragrant and buttery. Strange, but I seem to be able to recall the exact taste even though it’s been 20-30 years.
My family once took in a stray dog. It’s name is Puppy and he had the most affinity with my brother. Puppy would follow us to the pool and wait at the gate. Every staff and life guards at the pool knows Puppy is our dog. ❤ He even knows he must wait for the Green Man before crossing the traffic light junction across Corporation Drive.
All the above are some of my fondest memory of Jurong Town Swimming Pool. So, what’s your story? Would you like to share?
Collected in 50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools are stories of the new, old and those pools that are no longer serving the public. The stories are from people who used the pools at one point of their life or another. Pool staffs and lifeguards shared their own stories too. It’s an endearing read and also very interesting to find out how the swimming pools have actually changed people’s life. Published by Kucinta Books and supported by the SG50 Celebration Fund, 50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools is a keeper and is totally wonderful and meaningful.
Here is another peek into the other swimming pools which I thought would recapture some of your memories too.
50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools also includes the current new pools with all the happening splashes, slides and lazy rivers. These pools provided a totally different experience and lifestyle for one and all. Our kids will grow up with a whole new set of fond memories of their own!
Jurong East Swimming Complex – the first of all water theme park in Singapore. I remember the terror wave pool and powerful jets of water sprayed into the air. But I don’t remember this circular slide (above). It’s time for a return but not sure if it’s been reopened from recent renovations.
Jurong West Swimming Complex – to many, this is a swimming pool with very cold water! The pool deck is located above the ground floor carpark and is at least at the height of 3-4 storeys hence, more windy. There are two full-sized adult pools, one of which has a shelter over it which I have never dared to enter due to the water temperature.
The kiddy area has an impressive size with a tall and long slide, very long lazy river and lots of water splash area. This is enough for a whole morning of fun!
50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools is available at all National Library Board (NLB) branches for borrowing. Pssst… there are ONLY 50 COPIES LEFT FOR RETAIL! You can get it at Kucinta Books Online Webstore, BOOKTIQUE (Citilink Mall #B1-18A) or email email@example.com. Each copy is retailing at S$12/copy until sold out.
<<< GIVEAWAY >>>
Thanks to our sponsor Jocelyn at Kucinta Books, whare with us your memories and stand to win a copy of 50 Metres : Our Swimming Pools! There are only 5 copies to give away!
To take part and qualify, please make sure ALL the following steps are completed:
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- Giveaway ends 18th October 2015, Sunday at 11.59PM.
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~ SAys! Shirley 🙂
About 50 METRES: OUR SWIMMING POOLS
Personal accounts by: 56 Singapore residents
Edited by: Jocelyn Lau and Lucien Low
Illustrated by: Favian Ee
Published by: Kucinta Books
Coffeetable book (full colour illustrations)
128 pages, paperback with flaps
21×17 cm (portrait)
Paperback with flaps
Weight: 310g (est)
About Kucinta Books
Kucinta Books is a boutique publishing imprint based in Singapore.
Congratulations to the following winners!! We will be in touch via email shortly.