I remember that day when my father happily told me that my brother Chieu Yue was in the news in the newspaper as he was the top graduate in the 50th batch of Singapore seamen in the training ship Singapore, the TS Singapore, in 1970.
My brother was 17 years of age then, and he graduated in catering after three months at sea on board the training ship. And then he went for a three-week scholarship at the Outward Bound School in Pulau Ubin which was awarded to him. And after that he started work on board a ship. And he had given me gifts which he bought when his ship was in port overseas. And I like that nice T-shirt and a souvenir from Acapulco (Mexico), and a 1980 Moscow Olympic coin.
Today the TS Singapore is no longer at sea as it had "retired" in 1979. But my brother is still sailing and uses the skills which he had acquired in the training ship. And in June this year (2014) we four siblings had dinner together in a restaurant before he left Singapore by air to join his ship.
(In the picture above, my brother receiving his certificate from Captain Chan on board TS Singapore.)