Forgotten Cemetery @ Lucky Gardens

​Hidden away in Siglap is a small Bawean cemetery that is located amongst the landed houses in Lucky Gardens, just opposite Lucky Gardens Playground. The Baweanese or Boyanese are a significant community among the Malays of Singapore. They were originally from Pulau Bawean (Bawean Island) in East Java and migrated to Singapore in the early 19th century. In the early days, many of them worked as horse-trainers, horse-cart drivers, and later as motorcar drivers.

They built the Kampung Boyan (Boyanese Village) by the banks of the Rochor River, between Jalan Besar and Syed Alwi Road since the time of Munshi Abdullah. They could not be considered poor as their lands in Bawean were fertile; they had come in search of cash earnings. They wanted to purchase jewellery made of gold and goods that they could bring back to their villages. Some also wanted to build a better life for themselves in Singapore.

Most of them were young men who came and supported themselves, living in communal houses called pondoks. There were several such houses built in Singapore. They were found in places like Adam Communal House in Ann Siang Hill, Teluk Dalam Communal House in Dixon Road and Dedawang Communal House in Sophie Road. There was also a village within the town area that was inhabited by the Baweanese called Kampung Kapur (literally ‘Lime Village’) in the western part of Kampung Boyan.