The Old Dragon Playground in one of Singapore’s oldest HDB housing estate Toa Payoh, she’s a Grand Old Dame of our Old Playgrounds in Singapore! The Old Dragon Playground is like an iconic Asian symbol, the Dragon, the size and history behind the growth and development of Singapore in her independence days. Having visited the Old Dragon Playground at Toa Payoh a few times (first visit was in 2011) and not giving the Grand Old Dame a dedicated write up is not doing justice to her status and stature!
The Old Dragon Playground has a good coverage locally and internationally, her “birth” and history was documented in Mosaic Memories, an e-book commissioned by the Singapore Memory Project. This particular Old Dragon Playground was designed by Mr Khor Ean Ghee, who was working in Housing and Development Board (HDB) in the 1970s, to create mini adventure lands in HDB housing estates. The playgrounds were to create spaces that could impress the younger generation at that time to a sense of Singapore identity. Although there were a number of different playground designs, the Dragon Playground was Mr Khor’s most successful attempt. Do check out Mosaic Memories e-book for a more in-depth write up of Mr Khor’s works, thoughts and feelings of the Old Playgrounds!
She definitely stood the test of time and great changes to Singapore’s society, she is still standing tall and proud today. While her surrounding HDB blocks were vacated and the authorities have future plans to redevelop the area around it, the Grand Old Dame, our Old Dragon Playground is going to continue staying around her current location and still be an iconic symbol, a mini adventure space, a heritage and cultural symbol to showcase our Singapore’s culture and community from her early days and into the future.
Whenever I revisited all the different Old Playgrounds, the feeling is always wonderful, I do miss those childhood days playing at all these old playgrounds. Many of the Old Playgrounds were gone and lost forever into our history, hopefully into books, photographs or into our beautiful memories inside our hearts. For those that still remains today in Singapore, shall we all spread a message to keep and preserve all of them? Let’s all Pass-It-On and Pay-It-Forward!