Week 37: 09 Sep to 15 Sep

9 September

Mr Gan Eng Seng came to Singapore after his father's death when he was sixteen and went into the nutmeg business. Later on, he was taken on as an apprentice by Messrs. Guthrie and Company. He married his first wife, Koh Chwee Neo at the age of eighteen and he adopted his first son. After a year, he was promoted to the post of Assistant storekeeper and then Chief storekeeper of the company and for 25 years, he was the Chief Compradore of the company. He died on the 9 September 1899 at the young age of 55 at his house which was then known as No. 87 Amoy Street.

Gopal Baratham (Dr) was born on 9 September 1935. He is a prominent neurosurgeon and distinguished author of three novels, five volumes of short stories and a non-fiction book, was considered a literary light during his lifetime. His first book, the political thriller, A Candle or The Sun, won the Southeast Asia Write Award in 1991 and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize in 1992. One of the first Singapore writers to have their work published by a British publisher, he received international praise for his fictional writings that are based on Singapore society.

CapitaLand's new office development in the Central Business District, CapitaGreen, officially opened on Wednesday, 9 September 2015.


10 September

On 10 September 1863, St. Andrew's School moved from Chin Chew Street to Upper Hokkien Street because of the need for a better building and more space for the growing School. Soon after, Mr Cheok Loy Fatt was appointed the Headmaster and he proved to be the excellent choice.

The Syonan Chureito (also called the Syonan Memorial to the Spirits of the Loyal Soldiers who died in the Battle for Singapore) was unveiled at 11:00 am on 10 September 1942. The unveiling was followed with a religious ceremony carried out according to Shinto rites. Representatives of the four main communities, Dr Lim Boon Keng (pictured) representing the Chinese, S.C. Goho for the Indians, Ibrahim bin Haji Yaacob for the Malays and Dr C. J. Paglar for the Eurasians, were in attendance. Syonan Chureito was built by 500 Allied Prisoners-of-War. It consisted of a 40-foot wooden pylon crowned in a brass cone. At the rear was a small tiled hut, surrounded by a wooden fence. Ashes of a soldier who perished in the Battle for Bukit Timah were placed within this hut. The Bukit Batok Memorial, which consisted of the Syonan Chureito and the British Memorial Cross, was built during the Japanese Occupation to honour the dead soldiers of the Japanese and British forces. Located at the Bukit Batok Hilltop (present Bukit Batok Nature Reserve) in Lorong Sesuai, off Bukit Timah Road, the memorials were destroyed and removed after war. Today, all that remains from the memorial site is a flight of steps leading to where the monuments used to be.

On 10 September 1959, Speaker Oehlers invited Members “to accept that the Mace is an essential part of the equipment of this Assembly and that this Assembly cannot, in future, be considered to be properly constituted unless the Mace be first brought into the House and laid on the Table”. An ornamental club representing the authority of Parliament and the Speaker. Upon the election of the Speaker, the mace is brought to lie on the Table of the House and rests on the upper brackets. It remains on the upper brackets whenever the Speaker is in the Chair of the House and is removed to the lower brackets beneath the Table when the House sits in Committee. During the Speaker’s procession, it is carried by the Serjeant-at-Arms on his right shoulder as he leads the way when the Speaker enters and leaves the Chamber. Except on occasions when the President addresses Parliament, the House cannot be constituted and no proceedings can take place without the mace.

The Road Courtesy Campaign launched by then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye on 10 September 1966 is the first national campaign to try and instil more awareness of road safety in all road users. It marked the start of a sustained effort in Singapore to bring down the number of road accidents and improve civility on the roads. In 1966 tiny Singapore had the unenviable reputation of having the third highest traffic death rate in Asia. Earlier ad hoc road safety initiatives in Singapore included a traffic game sponsored by Shell in May 1960 for schoolchildren to teach them road safety. At the same time, the Automobile Association ran a road safety campaign.

After the war, the hospital reopened as the principal British Military Hospital in Asia. It was handed over to the Singapore Government on 10 September 1971. It reopened as Alexandra Hospital, a civilian hospital, on 15 September 1971.

On 10 September 1992, the Special Operations Command (SOC) was formally created to combine the Police Task Force, the Police Tactical Team, and the Police Dog Unit under one command.


11 September

Mount Emily swimming pool was a municipal reservoir before the decision was made on 11 September 1929 for the Public Works Department to convert it into a pool. It was one of the two service reservoirs constructed in the 1880s along Upper Wilkie Road to supply the town with fresh water. In 1929, a larger storage reservoir at Fort Canning was opened and those at Mount Emily were adapted to different uses. While one became a swimming pool, the other was used to store water for town cleansing and drain flushing. It became outdated eventually and was demolished in 1983 to make way for a public park.

Gedung Kuning (the Yellow Mansion) is synonymous with Haji Yusoff 'Tali Pinggang'. This is because Haji Yusoff was the owner of the mansion (formerly called Rumah Bendahara) from 1912 until it was acquired by the Singapore government. On 11 September 1999, Gedung Kuning was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act and now belonged to the Singapore Government. The beneficiaries who were staying in Gedung Kuning had to leave the mansion.

The Bukit Merah Polyclinic will re-open on 11 September 2000. The clinic was closed on 2 May 2000 for a period of about five months to undergo major renovations and upgrading of facilities. With the renovations, the polyclinic's physical environment and facilities have improved significantly.


12 September

Following the surrender of the Japanese on 12 September 1945, Singapore was temporarily administered by the British Military Administration. The British Military Administration proclaimed that all Japanese Proclamations and Decrees ceased to have effect, and that "all laws and customs existing immediately prior to the Japanese occupation will be respected". The British Military Administration came to an end on 31 March 1946. The Straits Settlements were disbanded and Singapore was made a separate Crown Colony on 1 April 1946. The Supreme Court, consisting of a High Court and a Court of Appeal, was constituted by the Singapore Colony Order in Council. The Court of Criminal Appeal continued to function. Final appeals lay to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.

The prolific growth of specialised medical treatment in the 1970s fuelled the need for an expansion of existing medical infrastructure. Consequently, the construction of a new Singapore General Hospital complex was commenced in the late 1970s. Built at a cost of S$180 million, the new eight-block complex housing over 1,500 hospital beds and 300 specialists was integrated into the site of its 1926 predecessor and was officially opened by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 12 September 1981.

Library@Esplanade, officially opened on 12 September 2002, is Singapore's first performing arts library. It is located in the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay building.

The Singapore Maritime Gallery was opened on 12 September 2012 by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport.


13 September

The standard time zone in Singapore is UTC/GMT +8 hours. That is to say that Singapore standard time is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8). Between 1905 to 1932 it was GMT+7; from 01 Jan 1933 to 31 Aug 1941 it was GMT+7hr20m; from 01 Sep 1941 to 15 Feb 1942 it was GMT+7hr30m; from 16 Feb 1942 to 12 Sep 1945 it was GMT+9 (Tokyo Standard Time); and from 13 September 1945 to 31 Dec 1981 it was GMT+7hr30m. From 01 Jan 1982 to present is GMT+8.

On 13 September 1952, the new Singapore Camera Club clubhouse at 57 Pheng Geck Avenue was opened by then Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia Malcolm MacDonald.

On 13 September 1961, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew delivered the first in a series of 12 radio talks that aimed to expose the Communists -- including their ideology and modi operandi -- and reveal their intentions for opposing merger with the Federation of Malaya.

On 13 September 2011, OCBC announced that there was a technical problem which affected the system at their branches and the operation of their ATM network and internet and mobile banking channels island wide, it started at around 9 am and were fully operational by 1 pm.


14 September

The name of the island was also changed to reflect its new image as a tourist attraction (The Straits Times, 30 Sep 1970, p. 20). In 1970, the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board held a nationwide contest to rename Pulau Belakang Mati. From the hundreds of entries, the name “Sentosa”, which means “peace and tranquillity” in Malay, was selected (The Straits Times, 10 Sep 1970, p. 10). The new name was gazetted on 14 September 1970 (Government Gazette Extraordinary, 14 September 190, G.N. 2873, p. 3570).

On 18 December 1974, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Alumni Association was formally registered with the Registry of Societies. On 14 September 1975, the association held its inaugural meeting at the Singapore Cricket Club, where a nine-member executive council was set up, consisting of Song Chwee Him, Yah Chin Tong, Goh Sin Hooi, Tan Ping Chiang, Lee See Sin, Leng Joon Wong, Li Fengxi, Low Hai Hong, and Ho Chee Park. Song Chwee Him was unanimously voted president of the association. An inaugural art exhibition was held at the Victoria Memorial Hall from 20-23 September in conjunction with the launch of the association thus laying the foundation for the future development of NAFA Alumni Association.

MINDS Woodlands Gardens School - The school started more than 36 years ago on October 1968. At that time Mrs. Dorothy Williams began providing services to 13 children and youth at Jurong Centre within the premises of Jurong Christian Church and Civic Centre.It was then adopted by then Singapore Association of Retarded Children (SARC) in 1969 headed by Ms Clare Goh. Ten years later, the centre moved out to Block 28 Teban Gardens and was officially opened on 14 September 1980.


15 September

The restoration of the Raffles Institution building was completed around May 1837. On 15 September 1837, the Singapore Free School submitted a formal application to occupy the building. The trustees of the Raffles Institution accepted the proposal and the Singapore Free School moved into the Raffles Institution building, which was finally used as a school in December 1837.

Chung Hwa Girls’ School (name of school before 1987) was the first Chinese girls’ school established in Singapore. It was opened on 15 September 1911 in response to Dr Sun Yat-sen’s call for the provision of education for girls in Singapore. The establishment of a girls’ school in the early 20th century was a reflection of a turning point for women in the Chinese community in Singapore.

Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in February 1819, and was administered from Fort Marlborough, Bencoolen, Sumatra, until June 1823. Thereafter Singapore was a dependency of Bengal until 1826, when it was amalgamated with Malacca and Penang to constitute the Presidency of the Straits Settlements. In 1946, the Straits Settlements was dissolved and Singapore became a Crown Colony and included the dependencies of Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Islands. On 15 September 1963, Singapore joined Malaya, Sarawak and British North Borneo to form Malaysia. On 9 August 1965, Singapore left Malaysia and became an independent Republic.

When the British troops withdrew from Singapore in 1971, the Singapore government took over the British Military Hospital after presenting a token of S$1 note in a frame to Britain. It was renamed Alexandra Hosptial and on 15 September 1971, it was officially opened to the public.

Merlion Park is home to the 8.6 metre-tall, water-spouting Merlion and her cub. The whimsical lion-headed, fish-tailed sculpture has been iconic to both locals and visitors since it was erected in the 1960s. On 15 September 1972, the park was officially opened at an installation ceremony of the statue, officiated by then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The original Merlion statue used to stand at the mouth of the Singapore River, at the tip of the current The Fullerton Waterboat House Garden with Anderson Bridge as its background. The completion of the Esplanade Bridge, in 1997, blocked the views of the Merlion from the Marina Bay waterfront. So, in 2002, the statue and its cub were relocated 120 metres to the current Merlion Park that fronts Marina Bay where it stands on a newly reclaimed promontory in front of The Fullerton Hotel. The unprecedented feat of relocation began on 23 April 2002, and finished on 25 April. Exactly 30 years after it was officially launched, then-Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew returned on 15 September 2002 to ceremonially welcome the Merlion again – this time in its new home (photo). A viewing deck now stretches over the Singapore River, allowing visitors to pose for a photograph with a front or side view of the Merlion, including a new city skyline backdrop in the picture. The sculpture was aligned to face East, a direction advised to be most auspicious.

LilliPutt was started in 2003, was temporarily shut down in 2006 when Big Splash was closed for renovations. It re-opened in February 2008. Originally located on the first storey, the indoor golf course cost almost $500,000 to relocate to the third storey. Their last day of operation was on 15 September 2016.