Cavenagh Bridge holds special meaning in URA director’s heart

Cavenagh Bridge holds special meaning in URA director’s heart

According to Chinese belief, if a woman throws an orange into a river on chap goh mei, the last day of Chinese New Year, she will get a good husband.

More than 10 years ago, Mr Kelvin Ang, advised his friend to do just that.

In 2001, before the stroke of midnight on chap goh mei, his friend threw an orange from Cavenagh Bridge into the Singapore River. A year later, she met the man who would become her husband.

And Mr Ang, 42, the director of conservation at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), is now godfather to the couple's first child, a Primary 4 pupil, aged 10.

This is why Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge across the Singapore River, holds special significance for Mr Ang.

He is one of the first contributors to the SG Heart Map, a nationwide project where people share the places in Singapore which hold a special meaning for them. (See report on right.)

Mr Ang, who declined to say whether he is married, said: "I've asked several friends to try that too and some were successful."

"Likewise, if a man is looking for a wife, he can throw an apple in the river. A friend of mine threw several apples one year. Let's just say he was 'busy' that year."

If you plan on taking Mr Ang's advice on finding a spouse, do not get caught for littering the river.

The Cavenagh Bridge, built in 1868, was given conservation status by URA in 2009 and it is its historical significance that also intrigues Mr Ang.

JOSEPH CONRAD

The avid reader pointed out that it was mentioned by famous author Joseph Conrad in some of his novels.

Mr Ang revealed another fun fact: The Fullerton Building (now Fullerton Hotel) and Cavenagh Bridge used to be known by people in the river trade as "husband and wife".

He said: "Both the Fullerton Building and the Cavenagh Bridge are under conservation now and I think it's romantic that many people choose to take their wedding pictures at the bridge, with Fullerton as the backdrop."

Giant map to celebrate special places in S'pore

The SG Heart Map is an SG50 programme that aims to create a collective map of places which defines Singapore as home for Singaporeans.

The initiative was launched by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan at Toa Payoh HDB Hub yesterday evening.

Members of the public have until tomorrow to go to HDB Hub to share stories of their special places in Singapore by "pinning" the locations on a map using heart-shaped balloons.

The public can also share their stories on the SG Heart Map web portal (www.heartmap.sg). The collection of stories of these treasured places will continue till the end of March next year.

All contributions will be curated into a giant composite SG Heart Map, which will be unveiled at a grand finale next November.

linheng@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 15, 2014.
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