Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You may have caught spiders together as boys, but one may be a Pioneer now, one may be not!

Were you born before January 1, 1950? If so, that makes you -- assuming you are a Singaporean, of course -- a member of that special group, The Pioneer Generation. If you were born after January 1, 1950, you are not in that special group. I am one of the "out groupees". I guess I must be in the "Pai Kia" generation. Fellow Pai Kia-er WS ruefully said: "I should have gone to Pioneer Junior College and relocated to Pioneer Road. Then maybe got chance."

This awkward division is silly, since it means many of those now deemed PGers are still in their sixties, like my friends in the same cohort who went to school with me and who played hantam bola with me during class recess! Was it my fault that I was usually among the youngest in the class?

I think the earlier speculation that the qualifying cut-off would be 70 years and older made more sense. Many of those in their seventies would have had been wartime babies:

But now we are told that those who are 65 this year (ie, postwar baby boomers) make the grade too. And what are their special qualities?...

Hello! My close buddies are CC, TS and WS. We were in the same secondary school cohort. TS never had to do NS but CC did. Yet they are both PGers. WS and I are the Pia Kias. And I did my NS stint while WS joined the SAF as a regular.

Now comes the most bizarre part of what qualities make up a PGer, if the cut-off is 65, as mentioned above: "This special generation took part in the drama of the anti-colonial struggle, the battle against the communists, and the fight against the communalists..." Wow! Last time I remembered, TS and CC were with WS and me after school, taking part (vicariously) in the drama of action movies at the cinemas, the battle against red marks in our report books as we swotted together before the exams, and the fight against disfiguring the Airfix 1/72 scale model planes we four hobbyists assembled because we had squeezed too much glue onto a small plastic part.      

But, seriously, who cares what others label us. The goodies doled out for the PGers are nice to have, that's all. We four are just happy to call ourselves the G4 and to meet, with our wives, every quarter, for a meal and to talk about old times -- the old times of our time.

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