Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Another facelift for German Girl Shrine

Photo by Faizah Jamal

It appears that Datuk Guniang at the German Girl Shrine will be getting a new temple face lift. Faizah Jamal reported on 10 Feb 2015 that the altar is now residing in a temporary shelter while the old hut of a temple has been demolished. In its place, a new brick and mortar temple is being constructed.

Photo by Faizah Jamal

Faizah wrote:
"Was at Pulau Ubin last weekend with a group of students and as has always been my practice, to take visitors to the German Girl Shrine as an example of the living culture of Ubin important to people beyond the island's residents. Horrified to find that the shrine as I knew it is no longer there. Instead there is to be a newly constructed - and what looks to be much bigger and modern- shrine."
This is not the first facelift that the temple has had at its current location. 10 years ago in 2004, we reported a change in the facade of the temple as well. Even before that, the shrine was relocated in 1974 from its original site on a hill to its current location when the original site was required for quarry expansion. From a crumbling wooden structure to a bright airy spruced up shrine, to a more permanent brick structure, the german girl shrine is still very much a symbol of cross-cultural 'fusion' in Singapore that holds a special place in many of our hearts.

Last reported change on Pulau Ubin Stories in 2004

Facelift aside, and more importantly, I hope the large granite boulder that, according to stories from my mother, marked the temple when it was on the hill, will continue to stand guard at the new temple when it is completed. I do recall seeing it previously at its current location, outside the shrine and appearing to be rather significant to devotees. It is definitely something worth checking out when the new temple is completed.