Week 42: 14 Oct to 20 Oct

14 October

Dunman High School (formerly known as Dunman Government Chinese Middle School) was born out of political necessity on 14 October 1956. The pioneer batch of students consisted of about 100 boys with a teaching staff of about 10.

In May 1982, the Government gave the go-ahead and work on the construction of the MRT began. The S$5 billion project was targeted to be completed in 1992. The 67 km-long route would boast 42 stations, of which 27 would be above ground and 15 under ground. The north-south line was implemented first as more people need to be ferried across the busy Orchard corridor and the Central Business District. On 14 October 1983, the MRT Corporation was established and took over the roles and responsibilities of the former Provisional Mass Rapid Transit Authority.

Jurong Island was officially declared opened by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on 14 October 2000. The opening marks the completion of a plan by the government to develop Jurong Island into a premier hub for the chemical industry in the Asia Pacific. So far, the island has attracted S$21 billion in investments from 61 companies that plan to capitalise on the optimal concentration of the fully integrated petroleum, petrochemical and chemical industries there.


15 October

The Horsburgh Lighthouse, which is located on Pedra Branca, started daily operations on 15 October 1851 (Wednesday). Horsburgh Lighthouse was named after James Horsburgh, the Hydrographer of the East India Company from 1810 to 1836. John Turnbull Thomson was the architect, engineer and surveyor of the entire project.

On 15 October 1945, the first day of registration at Sin Min High School, the villagers were overjoyed. On the first week, there were 620 students registered for the school. The villagers were overjoyed as since the end of the Japanese Occupation, there was an island-wide lack of schools which made school fees too expensive for the villagers to enroll their children in. With the opening of Sin Min High School, the Chinese children were finally able to have education at affordable school fees.

Singapore Chinese Orchestra building was opened by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore on 15 October 1965.

The admission of Singapore as the 22nd member of the Commonwealth on 15 October 1965.

The Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) Building was officially declared open by Mr S Dhanabalan, then-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for National Development, on 15 October 1987.

The Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium opened in Resorts World Sentosa on 15 October 2011.


16 October

Tanglin Secondary School was officially opened on 16 October 1964 by Mr. Ong Pang Boon, Minister of Education and MLA for Telok Ayer. The school was previously known as Tanglin Technical School also known as the 'RI of the West'. The school is a happy learning community where everyone strives for success and where students are developed into world-ready youths. It aims to develop intellectual, cultural and social capital in our youths through holistic education.

On 16 October 1981, the National Registration Department became part of Ministry of Home Affairs.

Singapore government guarantees all local and foreign currency fixed deposits with a $150 billion pool for that in view of the financial crisis on 16 October 2008, joining governments around the world in doing so.


17 October

The health conditions in the 19th century was deplorable with the poor and sick given little outlet to seek medical treatment. A pauper's hospital, the precursor of the Singapore General Hospital set up in 1821 by the British government, was in the 1830s beset with problems due to lack of funding. Tan Tock Seng, an immigrant from the Fujien province in China who became a wealthy merchant, donated $5,000 to set up a hospital for the poor. He was responding to the Governor's request for advice on how to legally enforce the rich to contribute to the welfare of the less well-off. In a letter dated 17 October 1843 to Governor W.J. Butterworth, he also offered land for the hospital. On 25 July 1844, the foundation stone for Tan Tock Seng's Pauper Hospital was laid on Pearl's Hill. The hospital was first called the "Chinese Pauper's Hospital", which was the name engraved on the brass plate commemorating the founding of the hospital. It was later called "Tan Tock Sing Hospital", and it was only in the 1850s when the spelling of the name was officially changed to "Tan Tock Seng".

The Singapore Film Society is the longest established organisation on film appreciation in Singapore. Inaugurated on 17 October 1954, it was set up for the “promotion and appreciation of good films among its members”, and membership was “open to people of all races”.

TradeNet is an electronic data interchange system that links traders, hauliers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, airlines and handling agents with government agencies like the Trade Development Board (TDB; now known as International Enterprise Singapore), Singapore Customs, and the air and sea port authorities. TradeNet functions as an electronic clearing house for trading papers to be processed and approved by the relevant government agencies. TradeNet is officially launched on 17 October 1989.

The official opening of Fusionopolis Phase I took place on 17 October 2008, with the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong as guest of honor, under tight security measures.


18 October

The St Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH) was founded as a dispensary, the St Andrew’s Medical Mission. St Andrew’s Medical Mission was established on 18 October 1913 by Charlotte E. Ferguson-Davie, a medical doctor and wife of the first Anglican bishop of Singapore, the Right Reverend Charles James Ferguson-Davie. She was a medical missionary in India before arriving in Malaya. With donations from the St Andrew’s Cathedral, the Singapore Diocesan Association and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and a box of instruments and dressings from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), Charlotte rented a house on Bencoolen Street and started the mission as a dispensary for women and children. Its services were provided free to those who could not afford them.

An order placing Sri Sivan Temple under the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Board (set up in 1907) was gazetted on 18 October 1915. In 1968, the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) was formed to manage four temples including the Sri Sivan Temple.

On 18 October 1960, Singapore Nurses’ Christian Fellowship was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies. In 1998, S.N.C.F. mission was finally revised to : "SNCF seeks to bring Jesus Christ to nurses and nursing, helping them to find meaning and purpose in their work, and to see their workplace as a mission field."


19 October

The first Basic Airborne Course conducted for NSFs was completed on 19 October 1974. A silver wing was given to every graduate of the course. This wing, a design sanctioned by LTC (Ret’d) Clarence Tan, is made up of a pair of spread wings on both wigs of a deployed parachute. To differentiate a Commando from other wearers of the wing, Commando graduates wear a crimson velvet backing to denote their elite status. This course comprises of a total of 7 jumps, of which 5 are held in the day and 2 at night, and only Commandos jump on a regular basis.

On 31 May 1970, the Toa Payoh Mosque Building Committee was formed. Among the fundraising efforts the committee undertook were house-to-house fundraising and food sales, and they managed to raise more than half of the Masjid Muhajirin’s eventual cost of nearly S$900,000. Construction of the Masjid Muhajirin began on 19 October 1975 and the mosque was opened by Minister for Social Affairs Othman Wok one and a half years later on 8 April 1977. The original mosque featured an onion-shaped dome of the Persian-Indian architectural style atop its minaret, and also bore influences from traditional Minangkabau design.

On 1 October 1935, United Chinese Bank (UCB) opened for business in the three story Bonham Building. In 1965, UCB changed its name to United Overseas Bank (UOB). To meet the Bank’s expansion needs, Bonham Building was knocked down for a larger building in its place. On 19 October 1974, the 30-storey UOB building was officially opened.


20 October

Elim Church (Singapore) is one of the first Pentecostal churches to be established in Singapore. Founded in 1928, it was pastored by Rev. Cecil and Edith Jackson. In 1937, the church secured a property at 1079 Serangoon Road, today it is approximately 550 metres from Boon Keng MRT Station. The place was named Elim Church Assembly of God. A Dedication Service was held on Friday, 20 October 1939.

The official opening of "Union House" at 20 Beng Wan Road by Comrade Ho See Beng then Chairman, NTUC, on 20 October 1965.

The National Orchid Garden is located in the Central Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens at 1 Cluny Road. Officially opened on 20 October 1995 by the late Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, it has one of the largest and most comprehensive orchid displays in Asia. Its attractions include colour-themed orchid displays, a cool house simulating a tropical montane environment, a bromeliad collection, and a specially created hybrids collection named after visiting Heads of State, dignitaries, VIPs, organisations and occasions.