I find myself at the National Museum, be it for work or for pleasure, every now and then. A recent blog post by a Singaporean in America prompted this American in Singapore to seek out the Revere bell in the Singapore History Gallery on my last visit.
Joseph Balestier, for whom Balestier Road is named, was the first American Consul to Singapore. His wife, Maria Revere Balestier, gifted a bell to the first Church of Saint Andrew (now Saint Andrew’s Cathedral) in 1843. The bell was cast by a foundry associated with her father, Paul Revere. There are only 23 surviving Revere bells and this bell is the only one outside the United States.
o o o o o
Now, I don’t do “homesick” and I’m not particularly patriotic, but that day, I found myself thinking about how one’s national identity shapes one’s psyche. I told a friend back in the States that the longer I live overseas, the more I realize how American I really am. This observation is not particularly profound, I know, and perhaps even Maria Revere Balestier came to the same conclusion all those years ago.
More importantly, I left the Museum with another task to add to The List: learn more about ties that bind my country and my (albeit temporarily) adopted country together.
(Additional credits: Photograph by Brian J. McMorrow.)