Saturday 24 October 2009


Here's my dad in his tropical gear off to work taken at our home in JalanWijaya. It must have been a weekend because I'm in the background but not in my school clothes. On the back of the photo, it says that it was taken at 7am in the morning. I think the notes on the back of the photo were written for my gran who was back in England.
Dad's long socks had two purposes. One was to look tidy but the other was to keep mozzies from biting his legs and ankles. We were all bitten by them but they seemed to be attracted to him more than any of us. We were always swatting the things and we used to burn stuff called 'Elephant Coils' which kept them at bay.
I remember having mosquito nets somewhere over our beds. My parents can't remember this at Jalan Wijaya so perhaps we had them when we went to stay at Sandycroft in Penang. We must have taken tablets because of the chances of getting malaria and other mosquito related illnesses but I don't remember them. I know that a teachers at one of the Naval Schools in Singapore died after being bitten by a mosquito.
Nowadays, Singapore is mosquito free. In the 1980s and 1990s there was a campaign to rid the area of them and there were rewards for people who discovered and destroyed mosquito nests.
It makes me itch just thinking about it!


  1. We didn't take any mosquito tablets in 1957-59 but had mosquito nets and mosquito coils. I think the brand we had was "Fish" and were a green spiral that was mounted on a metal stand and then stood next to the bed until it burned out. As you say these precautions never completely kept mozzies at bay and you ended up with the odd itchy bite no matter how careful you were.

  2. We were there in 65-68.. you can still by the coils here in Australia, Elephant Brand, first time i lit one the smell, so unique, took me straight back to my bedroom in S'pore.
    We had mozzie nets over the bed and in the morning you would find huge cockroaches stuck in the netting. I would capture these critters and sneak them into my sisters room, just for the scream factor... she hated them... I will post some major memories soon, it's been a while.. 42 years.