Week 31: 29 Jul to 04 Aug

29 July

At 4 pm BST (British Summer Time) on 29 July 1948, King George VI of the United Kingdom declared open the 14th Olympic Games held in London. High-jumper Lloyd Oscar Valberg was one of 6,000 athletes in the stadium to witness the opening ceremony. As the colony’s sole representative in the games, Valberg became the first athlete to represent Singapore in an Olympic Games.

School of Nursing & Vicker’s House - In the early years after the founding of Singapore, nursing duties were first performed by convicts. It was only until 1885, with the arrival of 11 convent sisters from England that female nurses made their presence at the hospital. The war had served as a catalyst for public recognition of nursing services. In 1949, all nurses are to be registered for practice in Singapore. In 1951, the General Hospital saw its first batch of local nurses to be promoted to Ward Sister. To cater for the increasing demand for more trained nurses, Vicker’s House, a new Nurses’ Hostel was declared opened on 29 July 1953, while a new Nurse training School and Nurses’ Hostel (PTS Hostel) were formally opened on 10 Sep 1956. With the increase intake of student nurses, a new School of Nursing, constructed on the site of the old Maternity Hospital was opened in Sep 1959.

Yusof Ishak Secondary School was established in 1965 as Jubilee Integrated Secondary School. It was an integrated school offering secondary education to an enrolment of 984 pupils and 37 teachers of two streams, in English and Malay. On 29 July 1966, then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew declared open Yusof Ishak Secondary School (YISS) at Jubilee Road. We are the only school to be named after a President of our Republic. In 1992, we became the first school to top the value-added ranking in both the Express and Normal Streams. In Dec 1998, we moved to our Bukit Batok Campus. The new school building was officially opened on 29 July 2000 by Dr Ong Chit Chung, MP, Bukit Timah GRC.


30 July

When Singapore stepped up its industrialisation programme after 1965, then Minister for Finance Goh Keng Swee identified domestic savings as one of the ways to promote the growth of industries. Such savings could provide the government with a non-inflationary source of funds for national development. To facilitate the bank in carrying out this new role, the Post Office Savings Bank Bill was introduced in parliament on 30 July 1971 to turn the Post Office Savings Bank into a statutory corporation.

Singapore’s first waste-to-energy incineration plant at Ulu Pandan officially opened on 30 July 1979. During its operational period, it handled on average of 1,100 tonnes of waste per day, which forms about 15.3% of the total waste disposed of per day in Singapore and generated an average of 5,800 MWh of energy each month, enough to power some 16,000 four-room HDB flats for a month. It officially ceased operations on 11 August 2009.

Dr. Richard Hu Tsu Tau, Minister for Finance (May 1985-Nov 2001), unveiling the plaque to mark the opening of CPA Centre, the clubhouse of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore or ICPAS, in a two-storey colonial bungalow on Turf Club Road on 30 July 1990.

Work began on Saturday, 30 July 2011, on Southeast Asia's first ecological corridor, Eco-Link@BKE, to connect Singapore's two biggest nature reserves across the expressway. Ever since the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) was constructed more than 20 years ago, animals in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Reserve have been separated from each other. But when the S$17 million Eco-Link@BKE is complete, they can soon be reunited by travelling across the link. After the link is complete in 2013, public access will be restricted for the first few years, while ecological monitoring continues to assess its effectiveness as a wildlife corridor. And when finally ready, NParks will consider guided walks on the link which will be a forest habitat in itself.


31 July

The Borneo Company Limited was formed in 1856 to exploit the business opportunities in Borneo (Sarawak). It was also active in other parts of Asia. The company was unique among the early British trading houses for being associated with large-scale motor vehicle trade, ever since the introduction of the motorcar into the region. In Singapore, the Borneo Company was established on 31 July 1857, and became a member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in 1860. MacEwen & Co.'s branches in Batavia and Siam were formally transferred to BCL in 1857. The firm also established branches in Sarawak, China, India, Hong Kong, Thailand and Java, with Singapore as the centre of BCL's network in the Far East.

Singapore’s fifth power station, Senoko Power Station, was officially unveiled on 31 July 1977 by then Minister for Foreign Affairs S. Rajaratnam. Situated at the former British Naval Base in Sembawang, Senoko was the largest power station in Singapore when it was finally completed in 1983.

Singapore Management University (SMU) held its inaugural opening convocation on 29 July 2000, and welcomed the first batch of students at its temporary campus on Evans Road. The university moved to its permanent campus at the Bras Basah area on 31 July 2005, which was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 20 January 2006.


1 August

Noting that there was no English school in Singapore at the time, Reverend F. J. Darrah, who was then Chaplain of the Mission Chapel, appealed to the government for a grant to establish a free school and a lending library. The ruling government in Calcutta, India, while agreeing on the benefits of setting up a school, did not have the funds to finance the endeavour. Undeterred, Darrah began Sunday afternoon classes at the Mission Chapel. While the school building was being built, the government offered the loan of an empty house on High Street at the foot of Fort Canning Hill to serve as temporary premises. The Singapore Free School opened on 1 August 1834.

The Rediffusion company in Singapore was a subsidiary of Broadcast Relay Services (Overseas) Ltd, a London-based company pioneering the use of cables to broadcast radio services. As part of the company's expansion into Asia, it entered Singapore in 1948, setting up broadcasting studios at the site of the former railway station at Tank Road (now Clemenceau Avenue). On 1 August 1949, Rediffusion (Singapore) Ltd was officially opened by Governor Sir Franklin Gimson. It was Singapore's first commercial radio station. It was also Singapore's first and only cable-transmitted radio station.

During 1952, Dr Haridas, Professor Monteiro, Professor of Clinical Medicine, and Dr G Keys Smith felt that there was a need for a Society to advance the knowledge and practice of clinical paediatrics, promote child health and to encourage the development of paediatrics as a profession. So on 1 August 1952 the Singapore Paediatric Society was founded.

Singapore ceased to be a colony in August 1958, when the British Parliament on 1 August 1958 passed the State of Singapore Act which converted the colony into a self-governing state.

A total ban on the use of fireworks in Singapore was put in place when the Dangerous Fireworks Act came into operation on 1 August 1972. While the ban remains, the authorities have in recent years granted permission for fireworks to be used at certain events where appropriate safety precautions have been adopted.

Geylang East Swimming Complex is situated within the vicinity of various popular amenities, it has been serving the community around its location since 1 August 1978.

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) is a non-profit, non-government organisation founded on 1 August 1991. Its mission is to enable Singaporeans everywhere to think globally, feel Singaporean, be responsible world citizens and foster friendships for Singapore.

Compass Point in Sengkang opened its doors on 1 August 2002, with all its space fully taken up. On opening day, Compass Point received 40,000 visitors. The mall closed on 26 October 2015 for upgrading works and is scheduled to open in the 3rd quarter of 2016. But the name that was picked - 1 Sengkan Mall - was criticised for being boring and lacking in creativity. Many also requested that the mall retain its original name. Now it will be known as Compass One.


2 August

John Crawfurd, the second resident of Singapore, was the one who officially made Singapore a British possession. He signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on 2 August 1824 in which the Sultan and the Temmenggong handed over the whole island to the British East India Company thus marking the start of the island's modern era.

Minister for Finance Hon Sui Sen at the opening of the Test and Finish Building of Fairchild Singapore at Toa Payoh on 5 August 1975.

Dr Hon Sui Sen (picture facing front) was the first Chairman of the Economic Development Board (1961-1968). He played a key role in the implementation of Singapore’s industrialisation strategy, with the Jurong Industrial Estate as the first major project. Sited on swamplands in the west of Singapore, the JIE soon became the centrepiece of an industrialisation programme that stretched from garments and toys to petrochemicals and electronics. The first factory in Jurong, the National Iron and Steel Mill, was opened on 2 August 1963. By 1968, there were about 300 factories employing 21,000 people in Jurong.

Communal riots of 1964 broke out on the eve of the planned massive celebrations for Prophet Muhammad's birthday when a protest demonstration by Malays escalated from a verbal war of taunts and insults with Chinese bystanders. The ensuing violence which continued for five days, left 22 people dead and 454 injured. Curfew hours were imposed to restore law and order. The curfew was gradually relaxed by 2 August 1964.

When the SPF underwent a streamlining exercise, PTS was renamed as the Singapore Police Academy (SPA). It was officially opened on 2 August 1969 by Mr Lim Kim San, the Minister of Interior and Defence then. The birth of SPA marks a significant milestone in the history of the SPF as it reaffirms and demonstrates the importance attached by the latter to training as one of the major means for improving and upgrading the calibre of its officers.

Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) was officially declared open on 2 August 1985 by Bishop Ho Chee Sin of the Methodist Church in Singapore. It started off with 1455 pupils in 37 classes. Miss Cheong Yuen Lin became its first principal. She was with the school until 1988 when she was posted to the Ministry of Education to become an Inspector of Schools.

Clementi CC at 220 Clementi Ave 4, Singapore 129880, official opening on 2 August 1986.


3 August

The original Supreme Court, a gazetted national monument in the Civic District, was officially opened on 3 August 1939. One of most striking feature of the building’s fa├žade, is an intricate sculpture of Justice by Milan born sculptor Cav Rodolpho Nolli.

Shenton Way was officially opened by the Governor of Singapore Sir Franklin Gimson on 3 August 1951 at 10.30am.

Singapore became a member of the IMF and World Bank on 3 August 1966.


4 August

Pulau Ubin, (Pulo Obin) island, located in the north-eastern coast of Singapore, with Selat Johore to the north and Serangoon Harbour to the south. In 1825, exactly one year after Singapore was ceded to the British, Dr John Crawfurd the Resident, made an expedition trip around the island, Pulau Ubin or Obin as it was spelt, to take formal possession of it. On 4 August 1825, they landed in Pulo Obin, hoisted a British Flag there, and fired a 21-gun salute. The occupants then were a few local woodcutters who lived in huts. It is believed that a certain Encik Endun Senin who had been living along Kallang River, had initiated the major move for local settlers to the island in the 1880s. Chinese quarry workers soon followed.

View Road Hospital was a little known mental hospital located in Admiralty. A subsidiary of Woodbridge Hospital, it was opened in 1975 and closed in 2001. In June 1972, the building was handed over to Woodbridge Hospital. The hospital was officially completed on 27 May 1975 and commissioned on 1 August 1975. The first batch of patients were admitted to the hospital on 4 August 1975.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Limited was incorporated on 4 August 1984 as a new holding company to effect the merger of Times Publishing Berhad, The Straits Times Press (1975) Limited, Singapore News and Publications Limited and Singapore Newspaper Services Pte Ltd.

The Hindi Society (Singapore) was registered on 4 August 1990.

As the tallest and densest residential building in Singapore when completed in 1976, Pearl Bank Apartments was one of Singapore's pioneers of high-rise, high-density living, and influenced urban development in Singapore and other cities in southeast Asia. On 4 August 2007, the Pearl Bank Apartments which is located on a 8,000 m2 (86,000 sq ft), 99-year leasehold site was put up for an en bloc sale. The tender closed on 18 September 2007, but fetched no bids. Another tender closed on February 19, 2008, failing again, and the collective sale agreement lapsed on August 1, 2008.