This page was last updated on 20 March 2002
I met Seow Yew in Primary 4 in 1966 at the then Selegie Integrated School which had one of the tallest school buildings around. It was a 10-storey building next to Selegie House.
Sitting next to each other, we started chatting and found that we were both named Roger as a matter of coincidence! In subsequent years, whenever we went on outings together, he's always referred to as Roger I and I as Roger II.
Since then, Seow Yew became a close friend, visiting me every other night as we learnt that we were also neighbours. We were only 5 minutes' walk away; his residence in Waterloo Street (opposite Kwan Im Temple) near to mine at Rochore Road (where Fu Lu Shou Complex is standing today). We also frequented the nearby Albert Street and Bugis Street, savoring the delicious local foods and taking in the wonderful sights and sounds.
Together, we strummed guitars with friends belting out songs by The Beatles, Bee Gees, Bad Company and his favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) hit "Have you ever seen the rain?" Once, we even performed with live bands with him as a lead singer!
We also enjoyed playing the harmonica together. He became serious and even bought a chromatic harmonica which was quite costly by the standards of the day. His favorite numbers were Chinese pop songs which he performed well.
At Selegie, many of us were close and remain friends for life. The boys (Seow Yew, Hock Chuan, Chow Min, Puay Yong, Kin Sze, Eng Kiat and Chee Meng, etc) and the girls (Kim Joke, Tai Peng, Kam Fong, Toy Him and Hong Bee, etc) visited our Primary 6 form teacher, Mr Teo Keng Koon, almost every year for more than 20 years after leaving school.
Seow Yew did extremely well in his studies in Primary 5. That year, he toppled the top boy, Puay Yong, who topped the school in our session every year!
Soon, we found ourselves in Primary 6 and preparing for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Fifteen of us, including Seow Yew and I, from Selegie Integrated School realized our dreams - we were admitted to Raffles Institution!
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