Week 45: 04 Nov to 10 Nov

4 November

In Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles 4 November 1822 letter of instructions to the Town Committee, the area from the "Boat Quay south-west bank of the Singapore River" was designated a Chinese Campong (British spelling). This self-contained kampung or community settlement became the home of many Chinese immigrants, and a transit point for coolies going to Malaya. Visiting traders sought temporary accomodation here too. By 1824, there were 3,317 settlers, almost one-third of the total population. That kampung and Chinese centre grew, and became Chinatown.

The Singapore Chess Federation was founded on 4 November 1961.

On 4 November 2013, Woodlands is the first MRT station to be awarded with the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark (Gold) and tenants of Woodlands Xchange have become the first shop owners in Singapore to be certified with the Project: Eco-Shop label.


5 November

The Lions Clubs International (LCI) began as the dream of Chicago businessman Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large. In 1957, Noshir Pundole, who was then deeply involved in the Lions movement in India and subsequently became an International Director, paid an exploratory visit to Singapore. This led to the birth, on 5 November 1958, of the Lions Club of Singapore, later renamed Lions Club of Singapore (Host). (Source: lionsclubs.org.sg)

The first examination for diplomate membership, the M.C.G.P., was held on 5 November 1972. This was the first post-graduate examination for family medicine to be conducted in Singapore.

To better serve Singaporeans living in the East, a passport office was opened at Joo Chiat Complex on 5 November 1984, issuing both international and restricted passports. The office subsequently closed its doors on Sep 1999.

Service 171 was derived from Green Bus Company route 4 (Ban San Street - Mandai/Sembawang Terminal) until 1970, then it was renumberd 171. It now runs between Yishun Interchange and Marina Centre Terminal. This service was handed to TIBS on 5 November 1995.


6 November

DONALDSON & BURKINSHAW, established since 6 November 1874, is one of the oldest law partnerships in Singapore. They carry on the practice of Advocates and Solicitors, Notaries Public, Commissioners for Oaths and Agents for Trade Marks, Patents and Designs.

Desiring to amend the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the Republic of Korea for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, with Protocol, signed at Singapore on 6 November 1979.

On 6 November 1999, the first LRT trains on the Bukit Panjang LRT went into operation.


7 November

The idea for a professional Fire Brigade was conceived after a fire in Kling Street destroyed S$13,000 worth of property on 7 November 1855. It was 14 years before a volunteer fire service was started and a further 36 years before Singapore's first proper fire station — Central Fire Station — was built. In 1905, planning for Central Fire Station began under the supervision of the Fire Brigade superintendent, Montague Pett.

The first Tree Planting Day in Singapore was held on Sunday 7 November 1971. A total of 8,400 trees and 21,677 shrubs and creepers were planted on that day.

The Association of Electronic Industries in Singapore (AEIS) is a non-profit organization and the only industry association representing the electronics business in Singapore. Since its inception on 7 November 1973, AEIS has played a vital role in promoting the industries not only within Singapore, but also in the international business community. This is achieved through its ongoing trade development efforts to help Singapore companies better penetrate and favourably positioned itself in the overseas markets.

The Mass Rapid Transit, or MRT, is a rapid transit system forming the major component of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh, opened on 7 November 1987, making it the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila's LRT System.


8 November

Guthrie & Company was established in 1821 by Alexander Guthrie as a trading branch of Thomas Talbot Harrington and Company. It rose to become one of the leading agency houses in Singapore during the 19th and 20th century. First located in a rented godown at Hill Street, the company sold British goods to the European and Chinese quarters of Singapore. When the godown was sold off by its owner, Guthrie obtained Farquhar's help to secure a plot of land at High Street where he built his second godown. Guthrie lost his second godown when the layout of Singapore town was reorganised upon Raffles' return. Undeterred, he leased a patch of swamp from the government in the Boat Quay area where he built his third godown. Business took off and the establishment of Messrs Harrington and Guthrie was formally announced on 1 February 1823. The partnership between Guthrie and Harrington came to an end on 8 November 1823.  Today, Guthrie GTS's core business is in investment holding, engineering, property investment and management.

At a time when Europe was undergoing the industrial revolution and tin became a sought-after commodity, the Malayan tin-mining industry became a major player in the world tin trade. Herman Muhlinghaus, a German entrepreneur, believed that efficiency of tin extraction could be increased by using coal in a larger furnace during the smelting process. He partnered James Sword, a Scottish businessman, and founded the Straits Trading Company Limited in Singapore on 8 November 1887, with an initial capital of $150,000.

The Singapore Glass Manufacturers Co. Ltd. was the sole manufacturer of glass containers in Singapore. Its factory, popularly known as the Singapore Glass Factory, stood on Henderson Road, and was a famous landmark in Bukit Merah for many years, from the late 1940s to the 1970s, before the development of Henderson Industrial Estate. The factory, with a workforce of more than 1,000, provided much needed employment to residents in the surrounding areas including Bukit Merah. However, relations between the Company and its employees had been strained due to several issues such as retrenchment of workers. This culminated in a strike on 28 August 1960 that lasted 73 days before it was settled. After two rounds of talks chaired by James Puthucheary, then manager of the Industrial Promotion Board, the Union and the management of the Company reached an agreement on 8 November 1960 and workers returned in batches to the factory on 9 November.

Muscat Street was named in 1909 after the capital of Oman. Muscat Street was jointly redeveloped in 2012 by Singaopre and Oman. Muscat Street was officially reopened by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Al Busaidi on 8 November 2012. Masjid Sultan is located along Muscat Street.


9 November

The Chai Chee part-time branch library, was the fifth branch library of the National Library, occupied the corner office unit on the first floor of an HDB office building. It was located at the existing car park between Block 26A and Block 26, New Upper Changi Road. It was opened by Haji Sha'ari bin Tadin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Culture on 9 November 1974, after the demolition of the Joo Chiat Branch Library at the Community Centre whose readers were now served by a mobile library service.

On 9 November 1985, the zoo opened its first amphitheatre for holding animal performances.  The popular animal shows staged by the zoo, such as the sea lion, elephant, orang utan and snake shows, have evolved into professional and entertaining programmes that are highly educational in nature.

The establishment of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (PCRH) was provided under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act passed on 9 November 1990. The act was introduced "to prevent religious tensions and conflict caused by insensitive and provocative acts, and to promote understanding, moderation, tolerance and respect for other religions”


10 November

Dhobies or "Indian laundrymen" once washed the clothes of nearby residents on the banks of the fresh water stream of the Sungei Brass Bassa (now Stamford Canal) that ran by Orchard and Stamford Roads. After which they would dry them on the immediate open waste-land, a five-acre lawn that was subsequently occupied by the Ladies Lawn Tennis Club opened on 10 November 1884 till 1924. The land was later called Dhoby Green. The area where the laundry work was once carried out is now an open space and a landscaped Bras Basah Park.

(Photo taken at National Library Board exhibition in Aug 2016)

Marine Parade Public Library was officially opened on 10 November 1978 by Mr Goh Chok Tong, then Senior Minister of State for Finance. The library was relocated to the Marine Parade Community Building on 28 May 2000 at an official ceremony attended by Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong.

The Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS) is an expressway incident management system that monitors and manages traffic along Singapore's expressways with an array of cameras. The system was launched on the Central Expressway on 21 March 1998 and on the Ayer Rajah Expressway on 10 November 1999.