McDonalds is more often associated with causing obesity rather then promoting the terms heritage and community, yet the recent closure of the East Coast Park McDonalds has brought about a different kind of emotional outpouring to a place that could be marked as one of the more unique heritage sites you would never study about in a textbook.
East Coast Park itself is part of the reclaimed area that was meant to expand Katong back in the 1970’s, while the first McDonalds landed at Liat Towers in 1979.
The ECP or Marine Cove outlet only opened in 1982, but over the years has become synonymous with all visitors to the park, it was the first place people thought about whenever they were hungry, and also holds the distinction of being the first drive-thru and skate-thru outlet in Singapore.
From after-school students, to couples and families heading there after a day at the beach, many people hold fond memories of this particular McDonalds outlet, be it birthdays, time spent chatting or simply pretending to fall off your roller blades so the girl you are dating will help lift you up.
In many ways, the recent outpouring of emotional attachments does show that Singaporeans do have fond memories and associations with places, and are more than eager to express or show support for something they hold dear to.
While these places may not necessary be historically labelled ‘heritage’ sites, it is welcoming to see from this instance, how we can further develop on the word ‘heritage’ and perhaps diversify it to include and generate awareness amongst a wider scope of people.