Week 10: 04 Mar to 10 Mar

4 March

On 4 March 1844, the trustees of the Singapore Institution Free School (renamed Raffles Institution in 1868) decided to set up a girls’ department. The main objective of the department was to shelter local girls from a life of servitude and vice. This aim was similar to the other girls’ schools of the time such as St Margaret’s Girls’ School, which was founded in 1842.

On 4 March 1856, Bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta laid the foundation stone of the present St Andrew’s Cathedral building. The building was designed by Colonel Macpherson, to whose memory a cross was erected which stands on the South lawn of the Cathedral compound. The window over the West Door also commemorates this designer who, though unqualified, produced such a fine and dignified building. The building operations were in the hands of Captain McNair of the Royal Artillery. He was in charge of the convict labour and the supply of materials. The use of convict labour for the building of a Cathedral is often a subject of comment. In fact much building in Singapore at this time was carried out in this way.

On 4 March 1961, Mount Alvernia Hospital was officially opened with 60 beds. In 1969, the building of an extension of Mount Alvernia Hospital was made possible through the generous donation by the late Mr Khoo Teck Puat. The beds in this block catered for chronically ill patients. 17 years later, in 1986, the Khoo block started accepting respite patients and the building then became known as Assisi Home. Assisi Home derived its name from the birthplace of Saint Francis, the Founder of the Franciscan Movement.

The Singapore Turf Club (STC), renowned for its horse-racing, is the oldest existing club in Singapore. It was founded by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read and began as the Singapore Sporting Club (at today Farrer Park) on 4 October 1842. In 1924, the Singapore Turf Club (STC) got its name to reflect its racing activities. The new course at Bukit Timah was opened on 15 April 1933. Amazingly, it was only in 1960 that members of the public were allowed to attend races which, before then, were restricted to members and owners. Work began on the new 81.2 ha Kranji course in 1996. The S$5 million race course was opened on 4 March 2000 by the President of the Republic of Singapore, S. R. Nathan with the S$3 million SIA International Cup as its opening race.


5 March

The Straits Philosophical Society was founded on 5 March 1893 to engage in critical discussions on philosophy, theology, history, literature, science, and art. The society played a developmental role in the intellectual and cultural life of colonial Singapore. By the late 1910s, the society was operating under great difficulties as many members were conscripted for the Great War or burdened by business commitments. The year of the society's cessation is not known as no records dating beyond 11 February 1916 have survived.

On 5 March 1930, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Song Ong Siang. He was presented with a silver trowel by the supervising architects Messrs Swan and MacLaren. Present at the ceremony too was a granddaughter of the late Rev B.P. Keasberry who built the first Prinsep Street church. The foundation stone was inscribed “Prinsep Street Church (Straits Chinese) Built 1843 Rebuilt 1930 The architect of the church was an Australian, C.J. Stephens, from the firm of Swan and MacLaren, Civil Engineers and Architects.”

Lorong Halus, a road off the Tampines Expressway, refers also to the area around the road in the north-eastern part of Singapore. Since 1970, the 234-ha land served as a landfill where Singapore's wastes were dumped but it was officially shut down in 1999, as landfill operations were substituted by the new offshore landfill at Semakau Landfill. Since its shutdown, the area has been left untouched, providing an open country habitat as more wildlife are seen inhabiting it. It has also become a spot that birdwatchers frequent. Today, a portion of the unused plot of land on the eastern side of Serangoon River has been converted into a wetland (Lorong Halus Wetland). The Lorong Halus Wetland was offically opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on 5 March 2011.


6 March

The streets of Singapore were first lit on 1 April 1824. The Kallang Gas Works was built in 1862 to provide gas for street lighting, initiating the first piped gas supply in Singapore. Gas lamps were first used to light the streets on 24 May 1864. Gas generated by the Kallang Gas Works was used mainly for street lighting until 1930. A pumping station was installed in 1878 and electric lighting was first introduced in the city of Singapore on 6 March 1906. At its peak, there were more than 4,000 public gas lights for street lighting until almost half were destroyed during the Japanese occupation. The last gas-fuelled street lamp was extinguished in 1956.

Raffles Hotel was built in 1899 by the architect Swan & McClaren. Founded by Martin, Tigran & Arshak Sarkies. Guests include Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Ava Gardner and Michael Jackson. It is also the home of the Singapore Sling. Raffles Hotel was gazetted as a national monument on 6 March 1987.

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) is a Singapore political party that was formed following its official registration on 6 March 1987.

Opening of Cheng San Community Library on 6 March 1997.


7 March

Association of Process Industry (ASPRI), previously known as Process Industry Contractors’ Association Singapore (PICAS) was established on 7 March 1996 with about 50 members. To date, it has grown more than seven folds to about 382 member companies. ASPRI, is a membership-based trade association that represents and actively promotes the interests of the Engineering Service Providers (ESPs) whom supports the process industry in the area of plant construction and maintenance. ASPRI works very closely with several key stakeholders {such as the process plant owners, government agencies and Institute of Higher Learning (IHLs)} to maintain a tripartite relationship with the aim to upgrade the ESPs’ capabilities (ASPRI members); which come from different disciplines and trades and have diverse areas of strengths; offer an extensive range of engineering services, including process design, process pipe fitting, mechanical works, electrical and instrumentation, plant civil works, metal scaffolding, thermal insulation/ refractory and etc.

Singapore Power's Senoko Gasworks was officially opened by Mr Lee Yock Suan, Minister of Trade & Industry and Second Minister for Finance on 7 March 1997. The completion of the Senoko Gasworks marks a new chapter in the development of piped gas industry in Singapore. Built at a cost of $240 million, the Senoko Gasworks has five cyclic and three continuous gasmaking plants with a daily production capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres. This is 45% more than the existing capacity at Kallang. Storage capacity has also increased by six-fold to 300,000 cubic metres thereby further enhancing the reliability of supply. With the completion of the Senoko Gasworks, the old gasworks at Kallang, which has been in operation since 1862 will be phased out by 1998.

Established on 4 March 1844, with six boarders and five day scholars, Raffles Girls' School (RGS) functioned as a moral development and vocational training class at the Singapore Institution. The school progressed as an educational institution which provided for both primary and secondary students. In 1928, RGS moved to a new building at Queen Street which was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. As the student intake expanded, the secondary section of RGS moved to Anderson Road in 1959 and the primary section to Holland Grove in 1979. Above photo is the original RGS School fence from Queen Street c. 1928, the commemorative plaque on the fence was officially unveiled by Brigadier-General (NS) George Yong Boon Yeo (the Minister for Information and the Arts and the Second Minister for Trade and Inudstry) and Mrs Jennifer Yeo on 7 March 1998.


8 March

Commercial Square was renamed Raffles Place, after the founder of Singapore, on 8 March 1858.

The National Heritage Board gazetted Sultan Mosque on 8 March 1975 as Singapore's National Monument.

On 8 March 2011, SBS Transit announced the opening of the Woodleigh MRT station on 20 June 2011.


9 March

On 9 March 1985, Open Mobilisation system was introduced. Code names were broadcast on radio, television, Rediffusion and cinemas.

On 9 Mar 1998, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) shifted to the former Keppel Primary School premises at Cantonment Road. The one-way mirror for Identification Parade was introduced. It was also here that we witnessed the passing out of the first batch of Corrupt Practices Investigation Assistants on 25 May 1998.

There was a partial solar eclipse visible in Singapore on 9 Mar 2016. A partial eclipse is where the sun is partially obscured by the moon.


10 March

For the trails of those Japanese responsible for the massacre of Chinese civilians, Changi Gaol was used to detent the accused. These trials, involving a large number of Japanese officers, began on 10 March 1947. In particular, there was a General Officer Commanding the Imperial Guards Division, called Sugita who shed his blood terribly before the trial. Sugita was to give evidence against his Lieutenant-General Nishimura. One morning his bed was found empty. There was a note on the table. At the back of the cell, one can hear a groan. There he was, sitting on the ground with his face towards the north-east. His neck was smothered in blood. He stretched back, still trying to cut the carotid (two arteries) with a blunt stainless steel table knife. His hand was trembling violently. The guards sprang on him and wrenched the knife away. The held a blood-soaked towel to his neck. He was unconscious and his feeble breath whistled through his throat like a high-pitched note from a flute. His note had read, 'I cannot bear to give evidence against my senior officer. I prefer to kill myself than be a witness for the prosecution. Best regards to our British friends.' (Source: Syonan-My story)

The MacDonald House bombing occurred on 10 March 1965 at 3.07 pm, at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building (now known as MacDonald House) along Orchard Road of Singapore, which was then part of Malaysia. The time bomb was planted by a duo of Indonesian saboteurs, during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (also known as Konfrontasi). The explosion killed three people and injured at least 33 others.

Bukit Gombak MRT Station (NS3) was opened on 10 March 1990; and on 18 August 1987, the station was renamed from "Bukit Batok North" to "Bukit Gombak" and "Bukit Batok South" to "Bukit Batok". It was part of the Branch Line before the opening of the North South Line Woodlands Extension on 10 February 1996.