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Mr Sir handed out a card to all the children. It bore the logo of the Singapore Post Office Services and we were encouraged (more like forced) to start our first savings account. Stamps were stuck on the little boxes in the card. When filled, we are to hand in the card and receive our very first ‘bank’ book.

My brother laboured at the naval dockyards and received a weekly salary on Friday. His income supplemented my mother’s efforts as a dhobi (laundry woman).

On Fridays, the family had money and as a treat, I received ten cents on Saturday. Five cents went towards buying a stamp. Sunday – no school, no pocket-money.

Very early in life, I learnt about cause and effect. Be ’cause’ there was no school on Sunday, the ‘effect’ was I had no money to spend. But I learnt to amuse myself in other ways – that is another story.

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*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2011 ***