Malayan Banyan, Goodman Road

Malayan Banyan, Goodman RoadJacquelyn Soo Mei An, 34, artistThis Malayan Banyan is a towering presence in Goodman Road, serving as an important landmark for variousstudents over the years. This is because, just next to the tree is a building that has housed three different schoolsover the years: Tun Seri Lanang Secondary School (1962 to 1995), LASALLE College of the Arts (1992 to 2007),and School of the Arts (SOTA) (2007 to 2009). Now the building is known as the Goodman Arts Centre, housingthe National Arts Council alongside artist studios.Former Lasalle student and lecturer Zainudin Bin Samsuri remembers the tree as a meeting point. Students hungout there in its shade, some to chat, some to smoke. “ To some, it was more like a spot to pass art materials toother classmates,” he says. “In the past it was more of a care-and-share culture, as most of the students were notable to buy the expensive art materials.” Meanwhile, former student Lydia Wong says, "The tree was always thefirst to greet us as we reached the school. It remained a constant in our temperamental lives as young artstudents.”In 2014, when there was news that trees, including the Malayan Banyan, were going to be cut down to make wayfor the widening of Goodman Road, artist Jacquelyn Soo stepped in with a petition to save the tree. The formerLasalle student said, “This tree is bigger and older than all the other trees. It has been here probably long beforeWorld War Two, and has caused no obstruction to the students of Lasalle or the former SOTA.”She succeeded, and the tree was retained.One line at the back of postcard:No.21Malayan Banyan, Goodman RoadThe School Tree