Week 40: 30 Sep to 06 Oct

30 September

Red Cross work in Singapore began in 30 September 1949 as part of the British Red Cross Society and the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) was incorporated by an Act of Parliament on 6 April 1973.The SRC is part of a world-wide, non-political, non-religious movement which bases its work on the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. An independent humanitarian organisation, we raise our own funds in serving humanity and furthering our work locally and internationally.

Lee Kuan Yew first met Kwa Geok Choo in 1944 at a party and courted her from 1946. She married him in secret in London in 1947 and then remarried in Singapore on 30 September 1950.

In 2006, Carrefour sold all 16 stores in Korea to E-Land and exited Korea. In the same year it also sold all 11 Czech stores to Tesco in exchange for 6 stores and two shopping centers in Taiwan, plus €57.5 million. In 2010, Carrefour announced a decision to leave Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In November 2010, Carrefour sold its Thailand operations and kept its Malaysian and Singaporean stores. Carrefour had already exited Singapore's market since 30 September 2012.


1 October

Nagore Durgha Shrine is located at 140 Telok Ayer Street, in 1827, a piece of land at the corner of Telok Ayer Street and Boon Tat Street was granted to a man named Kaderpillai, on condition that it not be used for a wood or attap building. Lease 325 (Survey No. 7453) was issued for 99 years from 1 October 1827. One of the earliest houses of worship in Singapore, the Nagore Durgha Shrine was built of brick and plaster and completed in 1830. It is said that the shrine was built by brothers Mohammed and Haja Mohideen as a memorial to a holy man, Shahul Hamid of Nagore in southern India.

G.D. Coleman was the architect of the Church of St Andrew (St Andrew's Cathedral). It opened for services on 1 October 1834 and it was consecrated on 6 October 1834 by the Bishop of Calcutta. A spire was added by J.T.Thomson in 1842 because the Church looked like a Town Hall, College or Assembly Room.

The Singapore Free Press, Singapore's second English language newspaper after the Singapore Chronicle, was published for the first time on 1 October 1835. Launched by William Napier with co-founders G.D. Coleman, Edward Boustead and Walter Scott Lorrain, the Singapore Free Press remained in circulation until 1869. It was revived in 1884 by Charles Buckley, bought over by The Straits Times in 1946 and merged with The Malay Mail in 1962.

On 1 October 1924, Kandang Kerbau Hospital was opened with 30 beds and 12 children’s cots. The hospital was led by Professor J S English, Singapore’s first Professor of O&G. On that momentous day, five babies were born – three Malays, one Chinese and a Japanese. In those days, maternal and infant mortality rates were high. The hospital’s mission then was to provide good maternity care and midwifery training for medical students and pupil midwives to bring the mortality rates down.

United Overseas Bank site marked the beginnings of one of Singapore’s largest banks. Founded on 6 August 1935, it was known as the United Chinese Bank. Open for business on 1 October 1935 in Bonham Building, it became the United Overseas Bank in 1965. The 30-storeyed UOB Building was officially opened on 19 October 1974 before the twin-tower UOB Plaza was officially opened in 1995.

When the Toa Payoh Town Centre Bus terminus opened on 1 October 1971, all of its Toa Payoh Services clustered in 3 terminals were called to the new bus terminus located at the town centre.

In April 1971 the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister announced the formation of Malaysian Airline System or MAS. Following this, on 30 June 1972, it was announced that Singapore would have its own airline, to be called Singapore Airlines or SIA. On 1 October 1972, Malaysia Singapore Airlines or MSA ceased to exist and in its place emerged two new flag carriers, SIA and MAS.

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) was formed on 1 October 1973 with the merger of the National Sports Promotion Board (NSPB) and the National Stadium Corporation (NSC).

The Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR) was originally established in 1963 as the Industrial Research Unit within the Economic Development Board. This unit was later renamed SISIR in 1969 and tasked with promoting quality consciousness among local manufacturers as well as serving as a technical and consultancy agency. On 1 October 1973, SISIR became an independent statutory board and it continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of the manufacturing sector. However, in April 1996, SISIR merged with the National Productivity Board (NPB) to form the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB).

Dato' Tay Siew Lee, Jannie nee Chan (Dr), managing director of The Hour Glass, voted one of the top 50 Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 1997 and the first female President of the Asean Business Forum and the Singapore Retailers Association. Tay had always dreamt of owning a luxury watch boutique. On 1 October 1979, she and her husband started The Hour Glass with Metro Holdings. The shop was set up in Lucky Plaza and specialised in Swiss watches. With $200,000 expenditure on its furnishing, it projected a classy image for her customers. Under her directorship, The Hour Glass expanded to nine local outlets and six overseas outlets, namely Hongkong, Taipei, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Later, she diversified her business and went into property investments, restaurant business, jewellery and antique arts collection.

The Victoria Memorial Hall was renovated in the late 1970s to serve as a concert hall, with its seating capacity increased by the addition of a gallery. This major undertaking was related to the formation of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the same period, and the two came together in a glittering occasion, the first concert, re-opened as Victoria Concert Hall, in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, on 1 October 1980.


2 October

The Singapore Gujarati School has come a long way since it opened its doors at its Waterloo Street premises on 2 October 1947, serving the educational needs of a small but important community in our country. At that time, the Gujarati community felt strongly the need to provide their children with opportunities to learn their language and culture. Over the years, the Gujarati community continued to rally their support behind the school, putting in resources so that their children would continue to benefit from being in touch with the language and culture of the community.

Home Nursing Foundation (HNF) was set up on 2 October 1976 by Dr Toh Chin Chye, then deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health to address the urgent need for cost-effective home nursing services to serve the large numbers of elderly coping with ailments living in the rural areas.

Chua Chu Kang CC at 35 Teck Whye Avenue, Singapore 688892, official opening was on 2 October 1993.


3 October

When rubber and tin tycoon Loke Yew died in February 1917, his wife Loke Cheng Kim took over the management of his assets. To take advantage of Malaya’s growing cinema industry, she and three partners incorporated Associated Theatres Ltd in Singapore in July 1935. The partners were Khoo Teik Ee, a relative; Max Baker, a British friend; and Loke’s son Wan Tho, then an undergraduate at Cambridge University. Khoo managed Associated’s businesses, which were initially film distribution and exhibition. He oversaw the building of the Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, a 1,200-seat cinema that opened in 1936 and was the company’s first. From 1937, Khoo supervised the construction of the Cathay Cinema and Building, which later became an iconic building in Singapore. It featured the country’s first air-conditioned cinema and where one could sit in an arm chair to watch a film, which was rare in those days, the first and tallest skyscraper in Singapore and in Southeast Asia, with 16 storeys of apartments, a restaurant and a hotel - with a height of 83.5 metres from the Dhoby Ghaut entrance to the top of the building's water tower. The 1,300-seat Cathay cinema opened on 3 October 1939 with a screening of The Four Feathers. The Cathay Building was designed by British architect Frank W Brewer.

Formerly known as Pasir Panjang Park, it was renamed Kent Ridge Park in honour of the Duchess of Kent and her son, the Duke of Kent, who visited the ridge in 3 October 1952.

The Great Singapore Workout, a fitness routine under the National Healthy Lifestyle Programme, was launched on 3 October 1993 by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at the National Stadium. The Workout is a specially designed aerobic programme of 15 steps with five basic steps. It aims to promote the message that exercise is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


4 October

Horse racing was introduced in Singapore and Malaya by the British in 1802. On 4 October 1842, the first racing club to be established was the Singapore Sporting Club by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read, later to be renamed the Singapore Turf Club in 1924.

On 4 October 1938, rickshaw coolies struck to obtain lower rates of hire from owners. A settlement was not reached until 15 November; it was the longest, most bitterly fought, and the last strike of the rickshawment. They were paying 20 cents to the owners, referred to as 'profiteering proprietors', for half a day, from 6 am to 2 pm, or 2 pm to 6 am. Unauthoritative reports had been made in the press that the owners intended to raise the half-day rate per rickshaw.

Helicopters have played a big part in RSAF operations since 1969 when the first of the Alouette III helicopters landed at Seletar Airbase on 30 September that year. In fact, the Alouette Squadron (later renamed 120 Squadron) was the first operational unit in the RSAF (then known as the Singapore Air Defence Command). Since the début of the humble Alouette, the RSAF has gone on to expand its helicopter capabilities. Among the helicopters introduced into service were the Super Pumas, first formed in Feb 1985 and officially inaugurated on 4 October 1985.


5 October

After a local Chinese-language newspaper paused publication in 1898, Lim Boon Keng and his father-in-law Wong Nai Siong took over its publication. They renamed the paper Jit Shin Pau and turned it into a mouthpiece of the reformists. The inaugural issue of Jit Shin Pau was published on 5 October 1899. The paper championed social reforms among the Chinese like queue cutting and banning of opium smoking. It ceased publication in 1901 due to economic reasons.

First airmail was despatched from Singapore on 5 October 1928. It was sent by sea to Marseilles and thence to London by air.

The Singapore Golf Association was registered on 5 October 1961 by three gentlemen, Mr JW Stogdon, then the President of the Royal Singapore Golf Club, Mr CY Koh and Mr Joseph Quah, with the objective of encouraging and promoting the game of golf in Singapore.


6 October

The second cemetery site was located on the lower slopes of Fort Canning Hill, and was originally about a quarter of the size of the present-day site. The new site was listed as “Lot 576 – Burial ground on Government Hill, two acres” in the register of lands issued by Raffles and the second Resident of Singapore, John Crawfurd. A number of gravestones were relocated from the first site to the second, and the burial ground was divided into separate areas for Protestant and Catholic burials. However, the available space was soon used up, and Reverend Robert Burn, the resident chaplain, applied for a new burial site in May 1827. In April 1830, after some bureaucratic delays, Governor Robert Fullerton authorised Reverend Burn to select and report on a more suitable site, or submit a proposal to enlarge the existing cemetery. Reverend Burn opted for the latter and included in his proposal a plan to enclose the newly enlarged area with a wall. On 6 October 1834, the newly enlarged cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of Calcutta, Daniel Wilson.

G.D. Coleman was the architect who built the Church of St Andrew, which was similar to St George's Church in Penang and St George's Cathedral in Madras. The Church of St Andrew was completed in 1834. It opened for services on 1 October 1834 and it was consecrated on 6 October 1834 by the Bishop of Calcutta. A spire was added by J.T.Thomson in 1842 because the Church looked like a Town Hall, College or Assembly Room. Before the erection of this Church the Anglican congregation worshipped in an overcrowded Chapel at the junction of Bras Basah Road and North Bridge Road.

On 12 October 1978, at 2:15 pm, an explosion occurred on the Greek tanker, S. T. Spyros, whilst the vessel was undergoing repairs at Jurong Shipyard, causing a fire and leading to 76 dead and 69 injured. Background The S. T. Spyros was owned by Ulysses Tanker Corporation of Liberia and operated by International Operations, S A. The Liberian-registered vessel was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan in 1964 and it is a steam turbine-driven tanker of 64,081 tons deadweight. On 6 October 1978, S. T. Spyros arrived in Singapore for a full special survey and general repairs at Jurong Shipyard. One of the items for repair was the replacement of the missing cover for the drip tray of the vent pipe leading from the aft starboard fuel oil tank.