Week 13: 25 Mar to 31 Mar

25 March

The first Hindi classes, organised by the Pro-Tem Hindi Committee, started on 21 Jan 1990 at Beng Wan Primary School. They were mainly for the teaching of Hindi at secondary level. The Hindi Society (Singapore) was registered on 4 Aug 90; Hindi primary classes started on 5 Aug 1990. The Ministry of Education subsequently approved the taking of Hindi as a second language at 'A' levels on 25 March 1991 and the PSLE on 23 Jul 1993.

Topping-Out Ceremony officiated by then-DPM BG (NS) Lee Hsien Loong on 25 March 1994. The Topping-Out Ceremony is for the new SAFTI Military Institute, and the unveiling of the new SAFTI MI Insignia. The construction of the Institute is on schedule, and that SAFTI MI will begin operations in a year's time.

China Eastern Airline's flight will be the first to arrive and depart from Terminal 3. Flight MU545 from Shanghai will arrive at Terminal 3 at 2050 hours on Tuesday, 25 March 2008. The same aircraft will depart for Shanghai at 0055 hours on 26 March 2008.


26 March

Peirce Reservoir was commissioned on 26 March 1912 by his Excellency Sir Arthur Young and was known then as the Kallang River Reservoir. This waterwork, together with Woodleigh, took 10 years to construct and upon completion, provided 9 million gallons of water daily. It was renamed as Peirce Reservoir in 1922 after Robert Peirce, the Municipal Engineer from 1901 to 1916. In 1975, it was again renamed as Lower Peirce Reservoir, after the new Upper Peirce Reservoir Park was constructed.

The Merlion logo had been designed by Fraser Brunner, a member of the Souvenir Committee and the curator of Van Kleef Aquarium. It became the emblem of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on 26 March 1964 and its registration as a trademark was finalised two years later on 20 July 1966. Although by 1997, STB had acquired a new corporate logo, the Merlion is still protected under the STB Act and the use of the Merlion symbol requires permission from STB.

The Singapore Gas Company was formed in 1861 as permission was obtained from the Municipal Commissioners to provide gas lighting for the Town. In 1862, the Kallang Gas Works was built to supply the first piped gas in Singapore to enable street lighting. Gas production continued uninterruptedly for 137 years at the Kallang Gasworks except for short breaks during the world wars. It opened to the public for the first time on 26 March 1998 before it would finally be demolished.

On 26 March 2006, Singapore Changi Airport opens the Budget Terminal.


27 March

On 27 March 1846 William Henry Macleod Read was Elected Trustee (and for many years) of the Singapore Institution (later renamed Raffles Institution). Also elected to the committee of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce, and later became its chairman. He was an established businessman and an active contributor to political and social interests, in the almost 46 years of his life in Singapore. Read Bridge and Read Street are named after him.

Leila Majnun, which premiered on 27 March 1934, is believed to be one of the earliest Malay feature films entirely produced in Singapore.

Singapore Airlines flight SQ 117 was hijacked on 26 March 1991 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur. The hijackers were four passengers who claimed to be members of the Pakistan People’s Party. The plane landed at Changi Airport at 10.24 pm. Commandos of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) mounted a rescue operation at 6.50 am on 27 March 1991, killing all four hijackers and bringing the passengers and crew to safety.


28 March

On 28 March 1874, Resolution of the Legislative Council to establish a Library and Museum in Singapore.

The first registration for National Service opened on 28 March 1967. By the end of the registration, over 9,000 young men of eligible age groups had registered. Ten per cent of the registrants were selected for full-time National Service in the army, while the rest were enrolled for part-time service in either the People's Defence Force, the Special Constabulary or the Vigilante Corps. The first intake of 900 full-time National Service men were enlisted on 17 July 1967 and were enlisted into two newly formed battalions; 3rd Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR) and 4th Singapore Infantry Regiment (4 SIR). They completed their full-time National Service in August 1969 and passed into what was then called the "Reserves".

On 28 March 1969, the Society changed its name from the Malayan Economic Society to the Economic Society of Singapore, in keeping with the independent and sovereign status of the Republic.

Devan Nair a/l Chengara Veetil, also known as C. V. Devan Nair, was the third President of Singapore and was elected by Parliament on 23 October 1981. He served as President until his resignation on 28 March 1985.

Changi General Hospital, a.k.a. New Changi Hospital, located at 2 Simei Street 3, was pitched as the first purpose built regional hospital and was formed through an amalgamation of the Changi Hospital and the former Toa Payoh Hospital at Thomson Road. It was officially opened on 28 March 1998 although its history began as early as 1935.

Bugis+, pronounced as Bugis Plus, formerly Iluma, is a 10 storey shopping mall and opened its doors on 28 March 2009.


29 March

Built in 1872, Clyde Terrace Market was situated on Beach Road near the junction with Rochore Road. It was one of the two largest public markets in the 1960s in Singapore. The other was Ellenborough Market. The Hokkiens also knew it as thi pa sat khauor, and the Cantonese as thit pa-sat hau, and the Malays as Pasar Besi, all of which means Iron Market named after its ironwork. The market was also popularly known as the Beach Road Market. It was demolished in 1983 to make way for the Gateway twin towers that now stand on its site. The corner-stone of the market, laid on 29 March 1873, was given Masonic honours by the Singapore Freemasonry.

Singapore General Hospital officially opened by then Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, on 29 March 1926 with the opening of 800 beds in the Bowyer, Stanley and Norris Blocks. Today, only the Bowyer Block with its historically distinctive clock tower remains. The Bowyer Block is now home to the Singapore General Hospital Museum (SGH Museum).

On 29 March 2005, an 8.7-magnitude temblor in the Indian Ocean caused strong tremors that were felt by people in many areas of Singapore and affected over 200 buildings.

The Jubilee Bridge, which was opened to the public on 29 March 2015. The bridge is part of a trail that highlights Singapore's history, and was built to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee in 2015.

Bugis Junction is an integrated development located at Victoria Street, Middle Road and North Bridge Road in Bugis. The development consists of a shopping mall, an office tower and the InterContinental Singapore Hotel. Construction began in April 1993. The development was completed in 1995. The mall also has a glass covered shopping streets which is the first in the country. Anchor tenants include BHG which was formerly known as Seiyu. It previously used to house a Shaw Theatres cinema at level 4, but due to declining patronage and poor business, it was permanently closed down on 29 March 2016.


30 March

The Singapore Chronicle, the first newspaper in Singapore, was first issued on 1 January 1824. On 30 March 1829, the papers were sold to William Renshaw George. George would later purchase The Singapore Free Press in 1842 which he would sell six years later in 1848 to Abraham Logan who served as its editor between 1845 - 1865.

On 14 January 1955, the Registrar of Societies rejected students' application to form the Chinese Middle School Students Union. Students cited six reasons for re-consideration. On 30 March 1955, students organised a one-day strike. On 2 April 1955, students sent a petition to the Governor. On 21 April 1955, Chew Swee Kee imposed the condition that if the union is registered, it should not participate in politics or industrial disputes. Registrar approved the registration on 6 October 1955.

Masjid Tentera Di-Raja, Royal Military Mosque (81 Clementi Road, Singapore 129797), was built in 1961 by Muslim members of the British army, it was officially opened on 30 March 1962 by Yang Di-pertuan Negara, Mr Yusof Ishak. Its majestic position at a hill's summit is further distinguished by its minaret, topped by a gold-painted dome, which encapsulates its rich history. The Mosque was first built with only $100,000 from Muslim soldiers and there is always a mis-conception that the mosque belongs to Malaysia.

This monument, located at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, was commissioned by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs on 30 March 1998 in honour of the many heroic feats and the rescue of 17 lives from the collapse of the Hotel New World in March 1986.


31 March

By the end of 1863, the cemetery was full once more. A new site at Bukit Timah was identified, but construction delays meant that Fort Canning cemetery was left open until 31 March 1865. The last burial at the cemetery was that of Marie Dominica Scott in December 1868, probably because her parents were also interred there.

After the war, Royal Air Force (RAF) Seletar served as the RAF's main logistics, maintenance and training base in the Far East. RAF Seletar saw a wide variety of RAF aircraft types coming through its 'gates' for either repair or for its transport and helicopter squadrons. A number of its units and their aircraft were detached to take part in operations during the Malayan Emergency, the Korean War and 'Konfrontasi'. Some of the most famous British planes in WW2 like the Spitfire, the Mosquito and the Sunderland also made their last flights from Seletar. With the decision to withdraw British forces from Singapore, arrangements were made to transfer RAF Seletar in stages to the Singapore Government. The first step was the transfer of the Armed Forces Flying Training School in June 1968. On 31 March 1971, RAF Seletar was officially transferred to the Singapore Government.

The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act was passed by Parliament in November 1990 with the aim of maintaining religious harmony and ensuring that religion is not exploited for any political or subversive purpose in Singapore. The Act also provides for the establishment of a Presidential Council for Religious Harmony. On 31 March 1992, the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act came into effect.

Gay World was one of three amusement parks built in Singapore before World War II and around which Singapore's nightlife revolved from the 1920s to the '60s. The other two were New World and Great World. Gay World, located between Mountbatten and Geylang roads, was set up in 1936. The founder was George Lee Geok Eng (of George Lee Motors fame), and the park was originally known as Happy World when it started. Happy World catered especially to families with children. It was renamed Gay World in 1966. Gay World was a popular entertainment joint before the advent of television and shopping malls. It combined a heady mix of eastern and western forms of entertainment including cabaret, operas, movies, gaming, sport matches, stunts and shopping. Ravaged by fires many times, Eng Wah Organisation terminated the lease to the park in 2000, marking Gay World's exit from Singapore's amusement park scene. Land Office, owner of the 3.2-hectare site gave notice to 150 tenants of Gay World to vacate the premises by 31 March 2000.