Last kampong house in Clementi forest still maintained by couple after mother passes away

The house has been around since the 1940s.

Matthias Ang | August 14, 2021, 11:12 AM

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A wooden house that is the last of its kind in a kampong in Clementi forest is still being maintained by a man and his wife, along with his 70-year-old half-brother, surnamed Xu, so as to preserve his late mother's memories of living there, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

Mother settled in the kampong in the 1940s

Speaking in an interview with the Chinese daily, the 59-year-old man, Lin Senhui, said that his mother settled in the kampong in the 1940s, when there were more than 10 families living there.

She built the house with her family and lived there until she was eventually hospitalised last year, at the age of 88, before passing away from a heart attack in April 2020.

As such, the family is looking forward to the end of Covid-19, so that they can reunite and cherish memories of the matriarch.

In total, she had five sons, each of whom would take their children to visit her in the house after marriage.

Mother was unaccustomed to HDB life

The man's wife, Huang Yuzhi, further highlighted that her mother-in-law moved to a HDB flat at one point, like the other residents of the kampong. However, the matriarch was not used to living in a flat, and eventually decided to move back to the kampong house .

Much of this was due to how she was accustomed to the sweetness of the water that came from a well in the kampong.

In addition, her mother-in-law was not used to the "four corners" of a flat.

All five sons thus agreed to let her return to the kampong, and took turns to live with her.

Huang added that the oldest son and his family stayed with the matriarch from Mondays to Fridays, while the remaining members of the family visited her on Fridays and Saturdays.

The children of each family also continued to visit the matriarch when they grew up, with Huang likening the pre-pandemic atmosphere of the house to New Year's Day as her mother-in-law constantly had more than 10 people for company.

Oldest son injured himself while repairing the house

Huang also highlighted that in the wake of her mother-in-law's passing, her eldest brother-in-law, Xu, had injured himself when he fell while repairing the roof of the house, and that he had been affected by her death as a result of living with her the longest.

As such, both Huang and Lin have agreed to take on the responsibility of maintaining the kampong house.

"This kampong is a memory of three generations," Huang said.

"When Covid-19 measures are relaxed, the family must return here to gather again."

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Top image courtesy of Lianhe Wanbao