Wednesday, 27 January 2010


When we arrived in Singapore in 1965, the money was similar to the coins in England although they were a lot smaller. I remember that there was a strange square coin which seemed odd at the time because they were usually round back home! I've included a few pictures here of the coins and notes we used. The one dollar note will 
probably bring back memories for many people.

I think it was worth about 2/6 then which would work out to about 12 pence nowadays. I liked all the little coins and wish that I had kept a few. I remember all the smaller coins from when we would be given money to go across to the shops near Jalan Wijaya for sweets. We'd sometimes buy Chinese sweets with the money although I think it was because they came with a free toy. Neither Alan or me liked the sweets which were very hard and chewy!

In 1967, the money all changed and new coins came into circulation. These were smaller and much lighter. I remember one featured a seahorse, others featured a swordfish, a snake bird, a lion fish and the $1 coin featured the merlion. The most boring of the new coins was the one cent which featured a picture of multi-storey flats! I don't think that I'd seen a $1 coin until we were returning back to England in December 1968 and my mum and dad bought us both coins as souvenirs (I've still got mine!). I think
that they were used side by side with one dollar notes and the $1 coins weren't used much so weren't seen. I remember being on the plane returning home in 1968 and dad showing us all the money we'd be using when we arrived back in the UK - huge pennies, half crowns, two shilling coins and half pennies. The threepenny bits were an odd shape, which I loved! I think you're fascinated with coins when you're a kid especially back then. Again, I wish that I'd kept some of that old money. There was also another kind of money used in Singapore and Malaya - Hell notes. These were specially printed bank notes that were burnt so that the recently deceased person would have money in the next life! Other items such as paper cars and houses were also burnt to bring them good fortune in the afterlife. I've a few of those old coins and just holding one of them reminds
 me of those sunny days spent at the shops near Jalan Wijaya or in Singapore shopping or at the late night Amah's markets.