Week 6: 05 Feb to 11 Feb

5 February

William Farquhar joined the military service of the British East India Company at 17 and saw action in the Indian sub-continent in the early 1790s. In 1795, he was involved in the taking of Malacca from the Dutch and by 1803, he was appointed Commandant of the settlement. On 5 February 1819, Raffles appointed Farquhar, known to be a practical and pragmatic man, as Resident and Commandant of Singapore.

This anchor (picture) was salvaged from the RMS Empress of Asia, a pre-war passenger liner converted into a troopship. It transported last-minute reinforcements of British troops from England to Singapore. On 5 February 1942, the ship was spotted by Japanese planes as it approached Singapore. It was the slowest and last ship in the convoy, and it was bombed and sunk despite the fierce defence put up by nearby ships. The ship's crew and most of the troops were rescued, but all the weapons on board were lost. After the British surrender, the rescued soldiers were taken as prisoners-of-war and many were sent to the Thai-Burma "Death Railway".

On 5 February 1956, the Singapore Camera Club was renamed Photographic Society of Singapore. The name change was considered as early as 1954.

 

6 February

On 6 February 1819, the Singapore Treaty is signed between Raffles, Sultan Hussein and the Temenggong with Commanders from the accompanying seven ships witnessing the event. The Union Jack is officially raised. This date is recognised as the official founding of Singapore.

The foundation stone for Singapore’s first civil prison was laid by Captain Charles Edward Faber, in the presence of Governor Colonel William J. Butterworth C.B., a short distance from Outram MRT Station on 6 February 1847, Saturday morning. The prison was officially known as H.M. (Her Majesty’s) Prison, but was probably better known as ‘Outram Prison’ (a.k.a Outram Road Gaol). This is the only large prison facility until Changi Prison was built in 1936.

The old racecourse at Farrer Park, or the Serangoon Road Race Course built in 1842, hosted grand parades such as the Centenary celebration of Singapore's founding on 6 February 1919. Centenary Day was to commemorate 100 years since Singapore's founding by Stamford Raffles.

The Singapore Gun Club at Rifle Range Road was started in the early 1950s. It first operated from a tiny zinc-roofed wooden shed of about four square metres! Before the Japanese occupation of Singapore, British forces used the site at the present clubhouse as an ammunition depot. Over the years, World War II grenades, bombs and even pistols have been uncovered from within the shooting range. Mr F.G. London, a senior partner in the architectural firm of Swan & MacLaren, was responsible for the early set-up of the Singapore Gun Club. Construction for a proper clubhouse took six months to complete in the 1972. The Minister for Law and National Development, Mr E.W. Barker, officially opened the Singapore Gun Club on 6 February 1972.

 

7 February

Raffles appointed Farquhar (picture) as Singapore's first Resident on 7 February 1819. In his new post, he quickly set about clearing the plain on the north-east bank of the Singapore River. Raffles left Singapore on this day.

Founded on 7 February 1826, the Singapore Yacht Club organised many of Singapore’s earliest regattas. Unfortunately, without strong patronage, it lapsed into obscurity in the late 19th century.

In the early 1890's, a group of young European men discovered a splendid spot for swimming and recreation located at the southeastern portion of Singapore. The Singapore Swimming Club was, therefore, founded on a sand bank off Tanjong Katong beach. A primitive attap hut with tented covering served as shelter, dressing room and protection from the weather to the 20 man group but was subsequently abandoned in favor of a bungalow they found and rented which eventually became the location of the present day clubhouse. In 1894, things appeared to be looking up. The members painted and spruced up the place themselves. After the bungalow was painted, records maintain that the bungalow location was the inaugural site of the SSC, with the date of launch being listed as 7 February 1894.

 

8 February

On 8 February 1942, Japanese forces first landed in Singapore on the Sarimbun beach. As a result of clever deception by the Japanese who placed heavy artillery attack on the island's north, northwestern Sarimbun was weakly defended, and eventually succumbed to the invading forces.

On 8 February 2007, tunnelling work has begun at the construction site of Singapore’s first underground rock cavern for hydrocarbon storage – the Jurong Rock Caverns (JRC). JTC Corporation (JTC), which has been appointed by the Singapore Government to undertake the project, held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning to mark the commencement of this milestone project. The event was graced by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry.

Ah Meng, the Sumatran orang utan that was considered an icon at the Singapore Zoo, died on Friday, 8 February 2008. She was about 48 years old and had died of old age. In 1971, Ah Meng was confiscated from a family which had illegally kept her as a pet. She then found her home at the Singapore Zoo. Ah Meng was the first to host the Zoo's famous 'Breakfast With An Orang Utan' programme. She soon became a celebrity, both locally and internationally. She had been featured in over 30 travel films and 'interviewed' by more than 300 writers. In 1992, Ah Meng received a special award from the Singapore Tourism Board in recognition of her contribution towards tourism in Singapore. As an icon of the Singapore Zoo, Ah Meng has met numerous foreign dignitaries and world-renowned celebrities such as Prince Philip, David Copperfield, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor. Ah Meng also contributed to the Singapore Zoo's captive breeding programme. She had five children and became a grandmother in 1990.

 

9 February

The start of the Singapore Polo Club can be pinpointed to February 1886 when a notice appeared in The Straits Times advertising that a meeting to establish a polo club was scheduled to be held at the Exchange Rooms on 9 February 1886.

Tampines Mall is a shopping mall conveniently located right at the Tampines MRT Station. Tampines Mall is designed with an elliptical atrium which forms the heart of the shopping mall and where most of the promotional activities are held. The curvilinear shopping corridor doubled their function as a viewing gallery (amphitheatre effect) as well as accentuates prime exposure for the shops. The shopping mall was officially opened on 9 February 1996.

Pioneer Generation Package was introduced on 9 February 2014 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Pioneer Generation tribute at the Istana. Citizens born in 1949 and earlier and who received their citizenship by 31 December 1986 will qualify.

 

10 February

On 10 February 1942 the Japanese forces suffered their heaviest losses while moving up the Kranji River, which caused them to panic and nearly aborted the operation.

Tomoyuki Yamashita was the Army Commander of the 25th Army which captured Malaya and Singapore during World War II. In July 1942, Yamashita was posted to Manchuria without visiting Tokyo or gaining an audience with the Emperor. But by 10 February 1943, Yamashita was promoted to General. He was appointed Commanding General of the 14th Area Army to defend Philippines from an impending American invasion.

The Woodlands MRT line was constructed in the early 1990s, connecting Choa Chu Kang to Yishun. The S$1.3 billion MRT line was officially opened on 10 February 1996 by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. Also known as Woodlands extension line, it is made up of six MRT stations: Yew Tee, Kranji, Marsiling, Woodlands, Admiralty and Sembawang.

 

11 February

The Victoria Memorial Hall (now known as the Victoria Concert Hall), which was built adjacent to the Town Hall, opened in October 1905. The Town Hall was upgraded and re-opened as Victoria Theatre on 11 February 1909.

Singapore's first commercial flight landed on 11 February 1930 at Seletar Air Base. It was a KNILM Dutch Fokker F-7A aircraft with eight 'paying passengers' and a cargo of fresh fruit, flowers and airmail. The flight inaugurated the weekly service between Batavia and Singapore.

The Japanese and Allied soldiers fight fiercely at Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942.

The Singapore flags flew at half mast for the very first time in history on 11 February 2002 as a mark of respect to mourn the passing away of the nation's first elected President Ong Teng Cheong. It was very inauspicious when it coincided with Chinese New Year's Eve.

Conceptualization of such as River Safari began in early 2007, and its construction was officially announced to the public on 11 February 2009, soft opening was on 3 April 2013.