Aiyoh, one year already that white woman still sit on the bridge waiting. Kasihan dia!
Ah doi, Aishah, what happened to her?
Huh, Ah Hua, you don’t know ah? Her story very sad. She got three young anak-anak. Then one day go and see the friend at Upper Thomson. After she cross the bridge she lost her three children. The two boy kena water sweep them away. The little perempuan she also sweep away by the water, but tak boleh find her body. Then someone say here got hear little girl crying every day, and so she coming to this bridge every day…
The Caucasian Lady was Lady Jennifer Windsor, the bridge sits still today between Upper Thomson Road and Ang Mo Kio Ave 1.
So goes the legend behind the name of Ang Mo Kio.
Ang Mo Kio was first inhabited in the early 20th century by rubber plantations and their owners, the vast majority of their workers were Hokkien Chinese. It was properly developed as a residential New Town in 1973 and construction completed in 1980. With that, people began to move into Ang Mo Kio. There was soon a sizeable catholic population and they had to either go to Thomson Road (Church of the Holy Spirit) or Serangoon (Church of St Francis Xavier) for mass.
Eventually the instruction was given for a church to be constructed to the tune of SGD 3 million. They church was built in 1982 and was dedicated to the Christ the King.
Yet within a short 8 years the church was overflowing, in line with the population growth in Ang Mo Kio. Power outages and roof leaks had become a common occurence in the church. Nine years later, the church was demolished and a new parish rebuilt on the site, it was reopened in 2002.
The church has parishioners and volunteers who stay far outside its boundaries, some apparently as far as Johor (in Malaysia) while others stay nearer at Hougang or Punggol. This despite the fact that the church serves the Catholic community mainly in Ang Mo Kio and Bishan. Many born Catholics will probably remember spending their Sundays at the church playgrounds with their friends after paying their ‘dues’ at the boring hour long mass, and they continue to return long after they have grown up,
A mass is made up of two parts, the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. The former consists of three readings, one from the Old testament, one from the New Testament and then the one from the Gospel read by an ordained minister (i.e. deacon, priest of bishop).
In between the old and new testament reading is a reading from the Psalms. After this is done, the priest will give a short homily on the readings of the day. The priest cannot decide what the readings are, the whole bible is covered in three liturgical years (if you attend mass everyday), so there are times when the priest will give a homily and you have no idea what he is talking about.
The second portion beginning at 1:22 in the video is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This is a reexperiencing of the same passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his diciples in an upper room, when he declared the bread to be his body and wine to be his blood. Jesus’ disciples were aghast at the suggestion to which Jesus reiterated his point. Catholics belive in this literal translation that it truly is the bread and body.
The main hall fills up the church some 20 minutes for mass, so if you go there, you’d want to be early. There’s a resounding family feel to the place, it is a great example of the enlarged Singapore family, the Kampong spirit permeating the concrete, the children get a pep-talk from the Father after returning from their kid’s liturgy – not sure they really understoof him though…
It’s a beautiful church too. Here are some really artistic installations depicting images of the last supper – the raison d’etre for the mass.
This is a baptismal font, well not really a font, more like a bath. There are two ways to get baptised into the Catholic Church, after a Rite of Christian Initiation (lasting 6-18 months) you either get washed on the head or immersed in water. In this church, they go the whole way 😉
A shining exampe of what a friendly and encouraging Christian community can be.
How to get there