Clown & i went to a very special place just now. I was from C.H.I.J Opera Estate Primary School… from Primary 1 to Primary 5, then my school merged with the then Katong Convent Primary School to become C.H.I.J Katong Primary School.
My old school (we used to refer to it as OE – short for Opera Estate) is now a Red Cross Campsite. It’s located at the top of this hilly area in Opera Estate. I think the road name is Jln Khairrudin. Clown & i drove up to the school just now and seeing that the gate was opened, we drove in & stopped at the driveway.
I didn’t really dare to get out of the car ‘cos we were sort of like trespassing but it was nice to see my old school again. I’ve always wanted to go back ‘cos i really really love that building. (I have a very soft spot for old old buildings). The garden was pretty much the same except that the roundabout was removed to create more road & parking space in front of the building.
The most amazing thing was that the fish tank that stood outside what used to be the school office was still there! And it was lighted up so i’m pretty sure there were still fish inside! I can still remember how the classrooms, music rooms, canteen, the field & even the toilets look like but i didn’t dare go into the building to see how much of it remains the same.
I like my primary school a lot. I’ve had this dream a couple of times – that i went back to the school and there were a lot of ghosts of past students haunting it. They didn’t mean any harm but they would all float about & i would see classrooms full of ghosts, all attending classes… as in i would see the classrooms full of students but i knew they were ghosts? It was strange.
But i was happy to be back. I’ve always told myself that i must go back some day but in the 16 years since i left the school, i never had the opportunity. (The school is located such that it was quite difficult to access unless u drove.) I wonder if the building is under conservation ‘cos it’s really old and sometimes it might not make much economical sense to keep it? But i’m glad the Red Cross kept it in pretty much the original state it was in. The external colours are more or less the same beige & brown as when i was studying there. The windows are still using shutter windows (and they still break darn often). If you’re taking the MRT from Bedok to Kembangan, u’ll see this Red Cross building atop a hill – that’s my school. 🙂
There used to be a lot of stories about the school being haunted and sometimes when i was alone in school, i would be a little afraid to go up to the upper floors by myself. But i’ve never seen anything spooky there. Anyway, i figured that given how much i like & appreciate the school, any ghost haunting it should respect me for that.
There used to be a picture of a ballerina in the music room that was said to be haunted. Rumour was that if u stared at the picture long enough, u’ll see the hands of the ballerina move. It was also said that some teachers tried to burn the painting before but it kept returning to its place in the music room. Well, my class helped throw out the picture when we shifted to the new school and i don’t think there was any hauntings.
If i have the opportunity, i’ll return to the school again during daytime & snap a few pictures. I love my old primary school!