His white living room was minimalistic and clean, decorated with cute wall stickers and polaroids. However, the Alvin’s “SAF Room” looked like a small exhibition of Singapore’s military memorabilia.
“When I was in secondary school, I used to make DIY figurines from plastic model kits, said Alvin. “However, they were very small and I wanted a life-sized reference. So I began collecting WW1 and WW2 items, before branching out to collect other things from Singapore’s history.”
Today, Alvin’s collection is worth decades of history, with military wear such as the SAF first generation Temasek Green uniform, German uniforms from WW1 and WW2, as well as a gold medallion for the first batch of NSMen in 1967.
Alvin’s most prized possession, however, is a set of bullet pouches which took him two years to find. Sourced separately, the first one cost $25, and the second $60.
As much as space is a problem, Alvin does not intend to stop collecting. “My thinking is ‘do it once, do it good’” he said with a smile. “There are so many things out there still to be collected, and I want to continue sharing Singapore’s history with Singaporeans.”