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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Wed 31 Jan 2007

Sun 11 Feb 2007: The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk

Category : heritage

The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk
Sun 11 Feb 2006: 7am - 12pm

With the Pasir Panjang Guides
of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS

13th February 1942 - the Japanese troops that stormed through Malaya have now invaded Singapore. Approaching Singapore City from the west, a seasoned Japanese army is forced to engage the small force of the Malay Regiment on the high ground of Pasir Panjang Ridge.

A fierce battle ensues amidst the confusion from the aerial bombardement, burning fuel, loss of communications and the early deaths of senior officers.

The soldiers of the Malay Regiment battle on for nearly two days and a company is brutally wiped almost to the last man by the numerically superior Japanese. On the 15th of February, 1942, General Percival marches down Bukit Timah Road, eventually surrendering to the Japanese.

The university is built on this old battle ground and still contains a WWII military outpost that strategically oversaw Jurong, Bukit Timah and Singapore City. In 1954, the ridge was renamed 'Kent Ridge,' and the old stone marker commemorating the naming is still standing!

The battle accounts left a strong impression on us, and we commemorated the Malay Regiment's defense of the ridge annually. We will share with you stories about the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the geography, history and the flora and fauna that first drew us to explore the ridge decades ago.

All are welcome but must register.
Interested individuals should be physically fit enough to walk 3km at a moderately quick pace. We will end at the World War II Interpretative Centre, Reflections at Bukit Chandu (RBC) via Kent Ridge Road, The Gap and Kent Ridge Park.

To register, please do the following:

  1. Send an email to me at: pasirpanjang@rafflesmuseum.net
  2. Please include your full name,
  3. your handphone number,
  4. and the number of friends accompanying you.

You will receive a reply confirming your registration and advise about what to bring. Registered participants will meet the Raffles Museum's Pasir Panjang Guides at the University Cultural Centre at 7am. Visit the Pasir Panjang/Kent Ridge Heritage Webpage for more information about the ridge.

Join us as a guide!
If you are interested to join a group of people interested in history and public education, join us for the commemorative walk and talk to us!

Posted at 5:08PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Wed 31 Jan 2007

The Yellow-bellied Prinia on Explore Singapore!

Category : tvradio

Explore Singapore! is a television show that was broadcast late last year, taking viewers on an investigative journey through many of Singapore's museums.

I just watched the 11 Jan 2007 episode that featured the Raffles Museum along with the Sports Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum and the Museum of Shanghai Toys.

It was an easy glimpse of the four museums, enough to whet your appetite, and I'm planning to go on more museum visits this year, if not during roundtable meetings then on my own.

In light of this objective, and the dazzling speed at which this project was put together, there is a long-winded approach in order to show off the museums.

For example, the investigative couple visit this natural history museum in search for answers about a bird stamp.

However, they first walk through the Public Gallery, examine the 1986 East Coast Black Marlin and 1883 Siglap Leathery Turtle (actual specimens are on display) complete with a sombre conservation message (e.g. see this), stroll through the Wet Collection, examine Wallace's flycatcher and some songbirds.

All without showing museum staff the stamp! In the story, it eventually doesn't matter since the clue was in the Chinese phrase for "songbird".

Well the bird stamp tickled my interest when I watched the episode and the screen grab reveals it to be the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris). Here is more information about the bird at Naturia.

Here are a couple of lovely photos of the bird by Paul Huang of Naturestops, taken at Punggol Grasslands in 2005 (click for larger images):

Quite a number of Singapore birds have been featured in stamps before. Hop over to bird-stamps.org and take a closer look. Have you seen them all in the wild?

My favourite has to be the distinctive 1966 blue stamp featuring a Black-naped tern; a childhood favourite. See the Changi Heritage webpage.

Posted at 9:51AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Wed 31 Jan 2007

The Bird Ecology blog has migrated to wordpress!

Category : internet

The Bird Ecology Study Group of the Nature Society (Singapore)'s blog which started in July 2005 has moved from its old premises at Blogspot to a lovely new webpage using the Wordpress blog engine. All the old posts have been migrated to the new site so you need not refer to the old site anymore.

The new location: besgroup.talfrynature.com

Besides the lovely new interface, the blog now features 500-pixel width photos like these below; these are 100-pixels wider than the ones used in the old site.

The Singapore Naturalist has been updated to include the new feed; thanks to Yeow Chin and Ria for the reminders!

Posted at 6:37AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news