Kelmscott - The Town of Memories

The visit to Kelmscott left me in sombre mood. A lot of different emotions and thoughts ran through my mind throughout my exploration of the town. Kelmscott is 186 years old, definitely one of the oldest suburbs, if not the oldest, in Perth. 

The trees here were aged and thick, living harmoniously with the human race. The architectural designs of the houses were evidently popular a long time ago. The old school in this town, well, was an old school with old school designs. We walked along the edge of the school, peering into the compound from the boundary fence.

It invoked fond memories of my old Queenstown Primary School where I had a superb 6 years of education. Sadly, Kelmscott Primary School had to be the one which reminded me of these instead of the current modern QPS, which stood on the same ground with the same name but it meant nothing to me beyond its empty shell.

The building compound of the school was old fashioned-ly short with low ceilings. After all the place was for kids and a tiny place would be less intimidating for children. There were old fixtures, old signages, outdated fonts on notices, unique 'home-made' features you would probably not find in any other schools. That was the flavour that hardly existed in Singapore these days.

The argument was the old had to make way for newer features, newer technologies and newer building functions. For what? Is that really necessary in nurturing our children? I don't see how old schools in Australia failed to produce good children, Nobel prize winners, Medal winning Olympians and international stars. Amidst all these reconstruction and upgrading, with billions of dollars exchanging between hands in Singapore, had anyone in the authorities did a study if all these costs were justified investments or it was simpler to chuck these aside citing the returns could not be properly measured?

Feb 1st?! Wtf how long is their holidays?!
I'm not a sucker for nostalgia but this really made me smile
The field outside Kelmscott Primary School. Kids would love it
It's a great-grandfather school
An old school chicken wind vane
The wooden donkey made from the simplest materials
Common wind chimes to delight little children 
In the centre of the little sleepy town was a memorial monument. It was to commemorate soldiers from this town who fought in numerous wars in the past and died in service. I thought it was a nice gesture. It made me felt people living in Kelmscott knew and treasured one another's existence. I am not ridiculous enough to expect people to set up memorial monuments in Choa Chu Kang or something but  we did not even have a simple countrywide plaque for the medical servants who died during the SARS period in 2003. (Or is there?) In Singapore, a life is a mere economic number after all.
The Memorial Monument in Kelmscott
Elsewhere there was a small little church near Kelmscott Primary School. Nothing fanciful like your money spinning City Harvest Church. Just one that serves its original purpose. What shocked me was the graves outside the church. Well, I had seen these in shows, even in computer games but to see one was an interesting experience.

We loitered around the gate of the church long enough until a stranger walked past. He stopped on his tracks while I was taking a photograph. Then he spoke to us (becoming less of a surprise by now) and gave us a brief history of the town, as well as the church. Then he opened the gates of the church and told us to feel free to explore the area, even the graves.

Jen and I were initially understandably surprised but we found out later that he was a pastor in the church and he was opening the church for services anyway. We did step in to have a look. Jen was busy playing with her mobile phone on the bench. 

I wandered around and read the words on some graves. They were touching. I felt happy for the dead. They were loved and remembered. I wondered who will remember me a year after I'm dead? I am already wondering who will remember me a year after I left Singapore.

The lovely church in its quiet corner
Old gates, I love these beautiful old things

Graves for the dead

'Lack of space' isn't an excuse where you can do memorials anywhere


  1. The architecture is 60's - 80's. The buildings aren't that old from what I can see.

  2. love this kind of places ...
    am a sucker for quiet little towns and villages. probably cos I'm too tired of city life .. haha

  3. End of year school holiday there is probably about 6 weeks ...

  4. do u hv a knack for choa chu kang??

    =P not the first time u mention it ....