Asking my 76 Year old Mum About her Reaction to the Queen’s Passing and About Life Under British Colonial Rule

What follows is in my mum’s words:

When I read the news about the queen I thought she looked much younger than her years. I was impressed that she didn’t age that much. I only wish she could live until a hundred.

When I was in school we had to sing ‘God Save the Queen’. I sang it just as a routine national anthem, but didn’t think much of the queen.

God save our gracious Queen,

Long live our noble Queen,

God save the Queen.

Send her victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us,

God save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store,

On her be pleased to pour,

Long may she reign.

May she defend our laws,

And ever give us cause,

To sing with heart and voice,

God save the Queen.

British National Anthem under Colonial Rule

I didn’t feel much difference under British colonial rule vs having independence under PAP.

In school we learnt about currency like pennies, shillings and the pound sterling. I think 1 shilling is 12 pennies. For measures it was pounds and ounces. I pound is 16 ounces. You can Google all these. I can’t remember now. (I googled and 20 shillings make a pound – glad I grew up with the metric system)

So the main difference and difficulty I recall was switching to the metric system. It was very hard to adapt. No more feet and inches. We now had to think in measures like metres and centimetres. Special charts were available in school and flyers were sent to our homes.

No real difficulties under the British that I recall and I wasn’t interested in politics. We were all just busy with housework.

British teachers were strict and meticulous. They taught us well. Our command of English was good as a result. I was in Raffles Girls’ School (primary level) and we only had female teachers.

Raffles Girls’ School Song (Source RGS website)

Things were affordable. Families were thrifty and only bought necessities. Now people travel (fly) frequently, go for high teas etc. We mostly drove to Johor then. And I only flew for the first time at almost age 24, to Hong Kong for my honeymoon. Only because I was working at Singapore Airlines and was entitled to a free ticket.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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