Budding shutterbug honed her skills at family outings

THE Botanic Gardens was one of the first few places where Madam Jane Goh learnt how to take photographs.

The 58-year-old's interest in photography started in the late 60s, when she was just 13 and wanted to join her school's photography club.

But her mother, Madam Teo Sow Kheng, would not allow it.

"She didn't want me hanging about with a big group of boys, even when there was a form teacher around," said Madam Goh, who went to the co-educational First Toa Payoh Secondary.

Instead, her mother, a food stall operator at Singapore Polytechnic and the sole breadwinner for seven children, bought her a twin-lens reflex camera.

Photographers using such a camera had to look down to see the image through the viewfinder.

"She might have been strict, but she was a really generous woman," said Madam Goh, who commemorated her mother's one-year death anniversary yesterday.

She remembers vividly the time her mother took the family to the Botanic Gardens, then known for its scenic greenery, to take pictures.

"My two younger sisters and brother were all too keen to pose for me," she chuckled. "My mother loved taking pictures at the rose garden - it was her favourite."

When she was older, Madam Goh, now a mother of three who runs an engineering supplies firm, took her children to the lake there to feed the swans. These days, she joins a group of retirees for walks at the gardens. Landmarks like her mother's favourite rose garden no longer exist, but the Ginger Garden has become one of Madame Goh's favourites.

"I like the soothing sound of the waterfall there. But coming back to the Botanic Gardens always reminds me of my mother."

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