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June 30, 2008

Lim Bo Seng Memorial At Esplanade Park

Picture above: Lim Bo Seng Memorial
Lim Bo Seng Memorial At Esplanade Park

Many of you would have passed by the Esplanade Park containing the Lim Bo Seng Memorial without battling an eyelid for the structures sitting on prime real estate. Distractions like the durian-shaped Esplanade Mall and the stately masonry of the Old Parliament House and Supreme Court would have courted your attention. Amongst the greenery at Espanade Park lies the Lim Bo Seng Memorial that is well worth a closer visit.

This pagoda-shaped Lim Bo Seng Memorial monument, with carved motifs along its sides and guarded by four bronze lion statues, is dedicated to Lim Bo Seng for his heroism and patriotism during the second World War. If you read the history of Lim Bo Seng's valiant refusal to betray his comrades despite torture till death after he was caught for espionage against the invaders, no one can be unmoved by such a tragic sacrifice. Indeed Lim Bo Seng's memory is one of many lessons that visitors can learn if they walk the Civic District Trail recommended by the National Heritage Board.

I am not sure of the reasons nor the significance for the choice of the pagoda's architectural design nor the lion statues surrounding it. Whatever the reasons, no one can mistaken the Lim Bo Seng Memorial at the Esplanade because there is a prominent National Heritage Board plaque pinned onto the memorial.

Sunday mornings are good times to explore the Esplanade Park. Although tourists may spill over the area by the busloads at certain times, the mood remains quiet and somber. At times shouts and cheers may echo from the open ground of the Padang nearby before the Old Parliament House. The reason is due to the presence of sportsmen and sportswomen indulging in their favourite games. Cricket and softball appears to be popular at this time of the day.

There are other monuments of note as well: the Cenotaph, the Tan Kim Seng Fountain and the Indian National Army Monument.

If you’ve booked into hotels nearby like the Fullerton Hotel, the Esplanade Park is just a hop away. Come September 2008, the peaceful atmosphere will be driven away when the inaugural F1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix 2008 swings into town.

Take care, be happy.

Lim Bo Seng Memorial References:
1944 - Lim Bo Seng: Hero Of Force 136

Civic District Trail by NHB

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