Week 11: 11 Mar to 17 Mar

11 March

The Singapore Harbour Board Staff Association (SHBSA), currently known as Singapore Port Workers' Union, was Singapore's first union to be officially registered under the Trade Unions Ordinance in October 1946. On 11 March 1957, change in constitution to allow SHBSA to represent all port workers and to enable transfer of Singapore Harbour Board Workers' Union members to the Association later.

Self-government for Singapore in 1959 gave 1 SIR the opportunity to mount the Istana Guards in place of the Gurkhas. A key milestone was a parade to introduce the change of the Battalion Cap Badge which was held on 11 March 1961 at Ulu Pandan Camp. The Old Regimental Badge (with the colonial emblem of a lion standing on a tower) was replaced by the present one with the State Coat of Arms and the motto: ‘Yang Pertama dan Utama’ (First and Foremost).

The tunnels and cannon at Labrador Park were officially launched by Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development on 11 March 2005.


12 March

Anderson Bridge, crosses the mouth of the Singapore River, connects Empress Place with Collyer Quay, and is in the Downtown Core located in the Central Region. Governor Sir John Anderson, K.C.M.G. Commander-in-Chief of the Straits Settlements, for which it was named after, declared it officially opened on 12 March 1910. It was built to allow heavy transport including horse and ox carts to cross between the government administrative area on the northern bank and the commercial district (now Raffles Place) on the southern bank of the Singapore River. It remains an iconic link today, connecting the financial district to downtown Singapore.

On 12 March 1927, a clash in the Kreta Ayer neighbourhood between police and largely Hainanese Kuomingtang supporters revealed the strength of leftist influence on the local Chinese population. A memorial service at Happy Valley to mark Sun Yat-sen's death was followed by a procession of Chinese, many of which were young Hainanese Kuomintang members. They crowded Kreta Ayer and sparked disturbances which ensued into a conflict with the police. The police fired into the mobs, killing six people. In the days that followed, incendiary reports by the Chinese led to further riots and agitation until late May 1927.

The MRT system began its inaugural service on 7 November 1987 and was officially launched on 12 March 1988.

The grounds of Istana Kampong Glam which was once the seat of Malay royalty. This area is part of the conservation project of Kampong Glam. On 12 March 1999, it became the Malay Heritage Centre.

The commencement date for Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange (picture) along with the Woodlands extension of the North South Line was on 10 February 1996. It is the first underground interchange and the third biggest bus interchange in Singapore. The old Woodlands Bus Interchange was converted into a terminus, later it was deemed obsolete and ceased operations. Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange, adjacent site along Woodlands Square, to start operations on 12 March 2016. The Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange (兀兰区域巴士转换站) will undergo addition and alteration works as part of the construction for the new Woodlands Station along the Thomson-East Coast Line.


13 March

Dr Sun Yat Sen arrived in Singapore on 13 March 1906 with Mr Tan Chor Lam, Mr Teo Eng hock and Mr Lim Nee Soon, along with nine others to set up the Nanyang Branch of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance at Wan Qing Yuan. In July 1910, Dr Sun arrived in Singapore for the eigth time. In mid-August, at the Chinese United Library, Dr Sun commented that women in Singapore were not participating in the revolutionary movements, as they had little opportunity to be educated. Deeply inspired, Mr Tan Chor Lam, Mr Teo Eng Hock and the members of the chinese Revolutionary Alliance planned to set up the Singapore Nanyang Girls' School. The difficulties that they had experienced earlier with lending financial support to the revolution did not stop them from the idea of setting up a girls' school. The school was finally establised in 1917.

The former Beach Road military camp is located opposite Raffles Hotel, along Beach Road. It began as the headquarters of the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC) in the 1930s and later doubled up as the headquarters of the Singapore Military Forces (SMF), which was set up in 1954. It also served as the main registration centre for national service recruits called up under the new conscription policy and as a training camp for the national servicemen. The passing-out parade of the first batch of 400 national servicemen was held here on 15 December 1954. Singapore's first infantry regiment made up of professional regulars was officially born at the SVC drill hall, for this was where the first 22 privates of the 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment were sworn in on 13 March 1957. After Singapore became an independent nation, some of the country's first military units were based here. The camp was closed in 2000 and its three buildings (blocks 1, 9 and 14) were gazetted for conservation in 2002.

On 13 March 1962, a nine-man commission, chaired by then acting vice-chancellor of the University of Singapore (now National University of Singapore), Lim Tay Boh, was appointed to study the government’s education policy, its content and administration in all fields except vocational and technical education, and make recommendations.

The Serangoon new town was developed by HDB in the early 1980s, whereby a new interechange in Serangoon Ctrl would be built and completed at the end of 1987, expected date. But then on 13 March 1988 - the big move of the Serangoon Garden Services to Serangoon Int was the new chapter of housing its services at the new Serangoon Int, and 217 join in the big move. Before the interchange opens, there was a roadside terminus along sernagoon ave 3, which houses services 312 and 315.


14 March

During the trials of Japanese war criminals, the world was shocked to hear of terrible atrocities committed by the Japanese in Singapore. The trials were witnessed by relatives of the victims from the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere including Singapore. 14 March 1946 was one of the days where the Japanese War Criminals were hanged at Changi Gaol.

Confrontation had tapered off. The British had begun withdrawing some of the troops thy had brought in to support the fight against Confrontation. Meanwhile Dr Goh Keng Swee, our first Minister of Defence, was moving the second reading of the National Service (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on 13 Mar 1967. It was finally passed by Parliament on 14 March 1967, making registration for NS for all males who had reached the age of 18 compulsory. This was the turning point in the lives of Singaporean males. Between 28 Mar and 18 Apr 1967, registration began in earnest at the Central Manpower Base (CMPB) and its district offices in Katong, Serangoon and Bukit Panjang. Pink reminder cards were sent by post to the first batch of citizens who were born between 1 Jan 1949 and 30 Jun 1949 - some 9,000 of them.

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) was launched in 2001 to provide lift access on every floor of older Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Flats built before 1990 were not designed for lifts to stop at every floor. In view of Singapore’s fast greying population, the government embarked on the LUP to hasten the process of lift upgrading in order to improve accessibility and mobility for the elderly. In response to the requests from the MPs and the recommendations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Ageing Population to make homes and the environment more elder-friendly, then Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan announced in parliament on 14 March 2001 that the government would be implementing a stand-alone lift upgrading programme. The government estimated that it would take 15 years and S$4.8 billion to retrofit 4,000 HDB flats with new lifts and shafts.


15 March

The bronze elephant at the Old Parliament House was a gift from King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V of Siam (Thailand) as a token of appreciation after his stay on 15 March 1871, the first by a Thai monarch. It was originally located at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall but it was replaced in 1919 with a statue for Stamford Raffles, which then was relocated to its current location. King Chulalongkorn otherwise known as Phra Piya Maharaj or the "the most beloved king", was the fifth sovereign of the royal dynasty which founded Bangkok and is credited for modernising Thailand.

The Lian Yak Building, better known as Hotel New World collapsed on 15 March 1986 at about 11.15am and killed 33 people, 17 survivors were pulled out from the rubble. It was one of the worst tragedies in post-war Singapore. The six-storey building at the junction of Serangoon Road and Owen Road collapsed due to structural faults and sub-standard construction. The hotel occupied the four upper floors, and a nightclub and a bank were on the lower floors. In 1994, the seven-storey Fortuna Hotel opened on this site and still stands today. (Source: The Sunday Times, 10 January 2016).

Read -> Hotel New World: When survivor and rescuer meet - A Yahoo Singapore exclusive by Nicholas Yong and Safhras Khan, 15 Mar 2016. (Cached)

The establishment of the Singapore School Transport Association was founded by Mr. Xu Kunfeng and Mr. Huang Qingquan and joined the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce as a member on 15 March 1992. The Association started with an initial 50 members, many of whom were self-employed school transport vehicle drivers. The purpose of the establishment was to unite people of the same trade for close cooperation, to improve services, avoid competition, mediate disputes and provide support to the members.

An exhibition featuring the skeleton of the sperm whale that washed ashore in 2015 will be open to the public at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum from 15 March 2016. The adult female sperm whale, named Jubilee Whale - or "Jubi" for short - was found off the coast of Jurong Island in July, during the nation’s Golden Jubilee year. Jubi is the first record of a sperm whale in Singapore waters. However, she is not the first whale to be on display in the country.


16 March

Joseph Christiaens (1879 - 1919), the man who flew the first airplane in Singapore 100 years ago, demonstrated a Bristol Box-Kite biplane at the old Race Course (now Farrer Park) on 16 March 1911, on a humid afternoon and it was a flight demonstration at the first aviation meet held in Singapore. It was a flight demonstration at the first aviation meet held in Singapore. The Box-kite, a modified version of the early Henri Farman biplane, was built in 1910 by British and Colonial Aeroplane Company (British’s first aircraft factory in Bristol, later known as Bristol Aeroplane Company). In 2011 will be the centennial of Singapore aviation.

The United Front is a political party in Singapore that was formed on 16 March 1973 by a splinter group from the Workers' Party led by Seow Khee Leng (former Assistant Secretary-General of WP, 1971–1972). The United Front contested three consecutive elections (1976 general election, 1979 by-election and 1980 general election) before being renamed the Singapore United Front on 5 March 1982, and contested again in the 1984 general election. SUF chief Seow Khee Leng was then sued by Lee Kuan Yew and the ruling PAP government over defamatory remarks made at two rally speeches that Lee and his cabinet were guilty of corruption.

Lianhe Zaobao is the flagship Chinese daily in Singapore, established since 16 March 1983, following the merger of two established Chinese newspapers, Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Jit Poh, which dates back to 1923. With its strong history, Lianhe Zaobao is the most-read Chinese newspaper in Singapore and a trusted information source for the Chinese-speaking community.


17 March

On 17 March 1824, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty is signed between Sultan Hussein of Johor, Temenggong Abdul Rahman and Sir Stamford Raffles.

The Tanglin Barracks housed its first full battalion- the 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers)- when it arrived on 17 March 1872. Subsequently, it accommodated 26 officers and 661 men of the sole infantry battalion in Singapore, two artillery batteries, a company of Royal Engineers, and some Sikh soldiers from the Chine Gun Lascars by 1893.

The Maxwell Road Food Centre, which had went through a major renovation, did not complete on time for the hawkers to move in by 17 March 2001 as scheduled. This is because the contractor for this project is facing some problem and is unable to meet the deadline.