Many step forward to join project

ST News
Nov 6, 2011

Many step forward to join project

More than 150 people have signed up to help document the Bukit Brown graves since the team leading the effort put out a call for volunteers last month.

Comprising volunteers and paid workers, the majority are Chinese and under 40, with women outnumbering men by about two to one. A quarter are students.

Dr Hui Yew-Foong, who is leading the documentation effort, said he was overwhelmed by the response.

'Many are motivated by a monumental sense of our common heritage,' said the anthropologist at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Both volunteers and paid field workers will be involved in documenting around 5,000 graves likely to be affected by the roadworks. They will use writing and visual tools, such as cameras and geographic information system technology.

Starting later this month, teams of two will be sent out daily to cover a set number of graves, said Dr Hui.

One member will take photographs, while the other will copy Chinese inscriptions that do not photograph well.

Dr Hui said a workshop will be held in a few weeks' time to prepare those working on the project.

'Field workers should also be prepared to work through uneven terrain, and endure the sun, rain and mosquitoes,' he said.

Encouraged by the healthy response so far, Dr Hui, who had expressed reservations earlier about completing the work in time, told The Sunday Times: 'I am now more confident we'll get the job done.'

To be part of the Bukit Brown project, go to, or e-mail

Yen Feng