26th July 2012
HE MAY not be a resident of Tiong Bahru, but 64-year-old Mr Tan Han has been involved in grassroots activities in the area for more than 20 years.
Last Saturday, he and two other guides led a group on a heritage trail around the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood for the Singapore HeritageFest.
He is one of 250 volunteers for this year's festival.
When asked about his connections with Tiong Bahru, Mr Tan said they started in the 1980s.
He was working at the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (now MediaCorp), and was involved in promoting the Channel 8 serial Five Foot Way.
He got to know the management committee at Tiong Bahru Community Centre when the Chinese drama serial held promotional activities there.
'My wife also lived here before we got married, and I used to come here for dinner a lot,' said Mr Tan, who is now part of the management committee at the community centre.
This year, Tiong Bahru Community Centre partnered with National Heritage Board to conduct a heritage trail around the estate for the Singapore HeritageFest.
For Mr Tan, a retired tour guide, leading a group around Tiong Bahru was 'a natural thing to do'.
'I like to interact with people and tell them about Singapore's history,' he said.
The Tiong Bahru estate is one of Singapore's oldest. It has a mix of pre-war and
post-war flats and, more recently, eateries and stores favoured by youngsters.
When asked if he liked the new crop of shops, Mr Tan said they make Tiong Bahru more colourful and interesting. 'But I have not been to any of these new shops. It is a bit awkward for someone my age to go to such places,' he said.