Week 4: 22 Jan to 28 Jan

22 January

The library, being a part of the Singapore Institution, was open to its students and staff. However, for 25 cents a month, any member of public could use the library and borrow books as well. However, following increasing public calls for the library to be open beyond school hours, the Singapore Library was formed and officially opened on 22 January 1845. Invited members of the public could use the library after paying a monthly subscription of $2.50. The Singapore Library was thus Singapore’s first subscription library.

The Bukit Timah Cemetery was a Christian cemetery that existed from 1865 to 1907, and derived its name for the road along which it was situated. Land for the cemetery had been purchased from the Honourable East India Company on 22 January 1864. The cemetery was consecrated by Bishop McDougall of Sarawak, and the first burial took place on 15 April 1865.

By 1911, the church began to be called the “Baba Malay Church” as the congregation was made up predominantly of Straits Chinese who spoke Peranakan, a patois of Chinese and Malay. Later, to avoid confusion with the Baba Presbyterian Church in Prinsep Street, it became known simply as the Middle Road Church (155 Middle Road). The church remained at the Middle Street building for about 36 years until it was sold to tycoon Eu Tong Sen and moved to its new building at Kampong Kapor. The Middle Street building changed hands a number of times before becoming Sculpture Square, an exhibition centre for contemporary three-dimensional art, in 1999. The National Heritage Board declared the building a historic site on 22 January 2000.


23 January

Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) was founded by the Dutch to operate a regional shipping line in the Indonesian Archipelago. At its height, KPM operated more than 140 ships ranging from small vessels of less than 50 tons to large passenger liners exceeding 10,000 tons with services extending from the Dutch East Indies to South Africa to the west, Australia to the east and China to the north. Part of its fleet was based in Singapore. KPM's fleet expanded rapidly, but two vessels were lost in Singapore Harbour in the early 1900s - Reijniersz was destroyed by fire on 23 January 1907, and Djambi sank in 1909 after it collided with the Messgeries Maritimes steamer, Polynesien. With the increase in operations, KPM set up an office at 2-3 Collyer Quay in 1914, and a service from Penang and Singapore to the China ports was started in 1916. By around 1920, KPM had 92 vessels that operated 50 services with about 300 ports of call.

On 23 January 1971, construction of the East Coast Parkway (ECP) begins with the land reclamation of East Coast.

Woodlands Waterfront was launched on Sunday 23 May 2010, about three hectares were opened to the public for this first phase. A 700m-long cantilevered waterfront promenade was open to the public in November 2010, also brings visitors closer to the coastline. On 23 January 2011 was the official opening by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan. The S$19m project took about two years to build.


24 January

Masjid Malabar is Singapore's only Malabar Muslim mosque, located at the junction of Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan. The mosque was constructed in 1962. On 24 January 1963, Malabar Mosque was declared open by the Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Yusof Ishak. It continues to be the focal point of the Malabar Muslim community who gather there every Friday and on Hari Raya and other religious occasions for prayers and celebrations. This mosque was designed and built by A.H. Siddique.

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) was inaugurated in 1979 with 41 musicians, performing its first in a series of three concerts at the Singapore Conference Hall on 24 Janurary 1979.

Serangoon Road was awash in dazzling colours and lively music on 24 January 2016 as crowds of devotees and onlookers gathered for the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which featured "live" religious music for the first time in 42 years. Thaipusam is a thanksgiving festival that falls on the full moon day of the Tamil month of Thai, and is a day for devotees to celebrate the fulfilment of their vows. Thaipusam was celebrated with a religious procession fthat began at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road and ended at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. Live music had been banned due to concerns over unruly behaviour.


25 January

St Andrew's Cathedral, at 11 St Andrew's Road, next to the City Hall MRT station, first service was held on 1 October 1861 and the church building was consecrated on 25 January 1862 by the Right Reverend George E. L. Cotton.

Al-Falah Mosque logo was designed by Mr Hj Sanwan Rais, former Chairman and present Vice Chairman of the Mosque. The logo was unveiled during the official opening of Al-Falah Mosque on 25 January 1987 by Dr Ahmad Mattar, the former Minister for Environment and Minister In-Charge of Muslim Affairs.

The Public Works Department began accepting tenders for the construction of the 3.7 km phase two of the CTE in April 1986. It was not only touted as the single most expensive road project of Singapore at that time because of the construction of two underground tunnel ways, but was also considered a complicated and difficult road to lay because of its design. Construction of the road commenced on 25 January 1988 and excavation work for the underground tunnels began in June 1988. The government acquired nearly 54,000 sq m of land around the areas of Orchard Road, Cavenagh Road and Clemenceau Avenue for the project, after first earmarking the areas in 1986. The total cost of the phase two of the construction was S$350 million.


26 January

George Dromgold Coleman (a.k.a. G. D. Coleman) became the first Government Superintendent of Public Works when he was appointed in 1833. On 26 January 1826, Coleman was given his first important commission - designing a large Palladian house for David Skene Napier. His other achievements include the construction of the Paliament House (picture), Armenian Church of St. Gregory and many others.

The Singapore Swimming Club was officially inaugurated and opened on 7 February 1894. After its humber beginnings, the Club's membership began picking up. It steadily rose from 65 men in 1894 to 79 in 1895. In 1895, the Club decided to allow ladies in on Wednesdays. On 26 January 1895, the first 'Aquatic Sports' meet of the Club was held with a reportedly large turn-out.

St. Hilda's is an Anglican church of the Diocese of Singapore, founded in 1934. During the war years, St. Hilda's came to be a sancturay of peace, as well as a beacon of faith, hope and love to many fear-stricken people. Revd. John Handy continued God's work in the post-war depression years by raising with the parishioners $60,000 to build a new chapel. On 26 January 1949 the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Leonard Wilson.


27 January

The opening of Singapore as a free port in 1819 attracted many British private traders. These were merchants who operated within the Asian circuit but were prohibited from doing a direct trade with London as this was reserved for the British East India Company (EIC). Alexander Guthrie was one of these merchants and he arrived in Singapore on 27 January 1821 to start a local branch of the firm Thomas Harrington and Company.

The Singapore Island Country Club story - also the dawn of golf in Singapore - began on 17 June 1891, with the opening of The Golf Club (picture above), Singapore's first golf club, at the race course (now Farrer Park) by Governor Sir Cecil and Lady Clementi Smith. Golf mania spread, mainly among the British, as only they could join the Golf Club. Even ladies, who were not allowed to become members, took full advantage of golf on Tuesdays, the only day in the week they were allowed to play. With increasing enthusiasm and membership, a $3,000 clubhouse was built and opened for golfers on 27 January 1894.

Fraser & Neave was founded in 1883 by John Fraser and David Neave as the Singapore and Straits Aerated Water Company to produce carbonated soft drinks. The company  was renamed Fraser and Neave, Limited (F&N) on 27 January 1898.

Singapore City Gallery, formerly known as the URA Gallery , which had an initial cost of 4.2 million Singapore dollars, was opened on 27 January 1999, by Lim Hng Kiang, who was National Development Minister at the time.


28 January

Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on 28 January 1819 to establish a free trading port. Travelling on the indiana with a squadron which included the schooner Enterprise, he anchored off at St John's Island at 4pm. The landing site of Raffles on 29 January 1819 is along the Singapore River (picture). Singapore River quickly became the island's lifeblood, as commerce flourished along wharves like Boat, Clarke and Robertson Quays.

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board was set up on 28 January 1954 following the enactment of the Central Provident Fund Ordinance on 11 December 1953. The CPF office was located in the Victoria Memorial Hall.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is the national carrier of Singapore. It was incorporated as Mercury Singapore Airlines on 28 January 1972 before it was renamed Singapore Airlines on 30 June the same year. Mercury Singapore Airlines was previously part of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA).