Joelyn's Museum Escapades

Weekend Missions: Hanging out with Time Travelers

Museum EscapadesBefore I begin this post proper, I would like to say that the following post is totally fictional in it’s expression and should be seen as such. Similarities to any real people or places are purely coincidental (actually, not really no).

So the usual Adventure Crew (Sarah, Raven, Mintea, Avarielle) and the self were along the entrance of Raffles Hotel, where taxis could enter. We were assembling with this group of people who signed up for this tour of the Armenian Church in Singapore, which was about to celebrate it’s 175th Anniversary.

Once everyone was all ready and set for the tour, we set off towards Raffles Hotel. Until someone stopped us.

Lady in a blue dress with a white parasol
When Meng, Julia’s friend, appeared to join us

She introduced herself as Julia, a history teacher from Raffles Institution from the year 1914. From her attire and story about this magical pendant she was holding, it became quite apparent that she came from the past Singapore.

It was quite amusing though, she was questioning about what we were wearing (t-shirts, jeans, sun dresses etc…) before she told us that her friend, Meng, was with her when the time traveling started. Soon after, this guy in a white top and black pants came running out the hotel, flustered. Apparently, he was the maintenance man from Raffles Institution as well.

But after all that introduction, Julia said she was told that she was to meet her secret admirer, Thomas (who gave her the pendant) at the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, which is also known as the Armenian Church.

Oh wells, since we were heading there anyway, we might as well help someone who needs it.

Walking through the corridors of Raffles Hotel
Engaging in conversation with Mintea
Pitstop at Cad’s Alley

As we were moving along, the pair were also giving us loads of interesting facts on how Singapore was so different in the past. It was pretty interesting, since all we ever did know about Singapore was that it was founded in 1819 and all the other things that happened in textbooks.

At the same time, it was also quite fun to play host to locals from the past. Meng seemed terrified at crossing roads of fast moving cars and Julia was absolutely fascinated at the various automated aspects of digital and modern life.

I think they were pretty shocked at the ship on the hotels of Marina Bay Sands. Har har.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral
While we were taking a detour

Interesting fact though, the Armenian Church, St. Andrew’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd were designed by the same person, an architect known as Coleman, by whom the road was named after.

Detouring at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and heading past Peninsula Plaza to head to the Armenian Church, I was convinced that it was probably the quote of the day – Meng pointing to a traffic light going, “Eh! Red man Green man!”

Finally reaching the Armenian Church, we got a quick tour on how it was like in the past. Despite the fact that there we’re considerably very little Armenians back then (about 10-12 families), they had a lot of support in the past, both from other communities and the Armenians who were passing the country. Which got them funding to build the Armenian Church.

The Entrance Sign
I just like this shot. HAHA.

Just to sidetrack a little, the Armenian Church was totally beautiful. It might have been small and probably dark, but just imagine it in the past when it was lit up and bustling with spiritual activity when it was highly visited by the Armenians back then.

The tablets within the church were still in Hebrew, with their translations now in paper next to them. And the statues on the exterior of the church, despite being rusted and worn, still kept the essence of the place.

So back to reality, with Julia and Meng now at their destination, Julia was excited to finally meet Thomas. Only to realize that Thomas was really Meng (who gave her poetry from Shakespeare).

*cue AWWWWWWs*

When everything was going to be resolved

Sweetness. And all this was done and dusted before both of them took each others’ hands and disappeared back into the past.

Okay before I get myself into trouble, the above was how we actually experienced a performance tour organized by the National Heritage Board leading up to the celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Armenian Church.

With the performance of Julia and Meng, they brought life to what could have been a run-of-the-mill tour that could be easily done in any museum. This kept our interest and gave us loads of opportunities to interact with the cast as naturally as possible. It was really as if you wanted to believe they were from the past.

Good job on this NHB, am looking forward to your sequel on this 🙂

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