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Too Young to Die: Position Paper on Modernist Icons

SHS has released our Position Paper on the 3 Modernist Icons of Singapore: Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex, and Golden Mile Complex. Download the paper here.

Three of Singapore’s most iconic and historically-significant buildings from the post-independence era — Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex, and Golden Mile Complex, are currently at risk of collective sale and demolition. To date, no post-independence strata-titled modernist building in Singapore has received official conservation status. Given the historical and architectural significance of these buildings, the Singapore Heritage Society believes that it is timely for current land-use policies and regulatory frameworks to be re- evaluated to facilitate the conservation of modernist structures for adaptive reuse, and for private owners and developers to plan for a longer building lifespan incorporating evolving ideas for rehabilitation and regeneration.

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Research database: Pearl Bank, Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex

Singapore Heritage Society has collated a list of English and Chinese language newspaper references to Pearl Bank, Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex. The database can be viewed here.

This is part of the research work for SHS’s position paper, “Too Young To Die: Giving New Lease of Life to Singapore’s Modernist Icons” (Aug 2018) and the accompanying exhibit of the same name, held at The Substation from 21 Aug – 23 Sep 2018.

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Follow us on Facebook for updates!

Our new website will be launched Q1 2018! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook for daily heritage news and on Eventbrite for our upcoming events. Find out more about us here.


Look out for our new site in future!

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Pulau Ubin Tua Pek Kong temple & festival – a brief guide

In conjunction with Pesta Ubin, the Singapore Heritage Society has produced this information guide to help visitors understand the Tua Pek Kong temple & festival on Pulau Ubin, which is organised annually by the Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Ting Da Bo Gong Temple. This guide was first produced in 2016, and updated in 2017 and 2018.

Download the PDF: Pulau Ubin Tua Pek Kong Temple & Festival Guide 2018

Facebook Event Page:
Pulau Ubin Tua Pek Kong Festival 2018

新加坡传统文化学会去年连同Pesta Ubin制作了一份册子,帮助前往乌敏岛的游客更深地入了解一年一度,由乌敏岛佛山亭大伯公庙主办的大伯公千秋。册子最新的版本包括今年大伯公千秋的日程表,欢迎大家下载:

《乌敏岛佛山亭大伯公庙 2018大伯公千秋简介》

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Talk: Grand Prix: The Upper Thomson Road Prequel 1960s–1970s. Talk by Mr Eli Solomon
Basement 1, Central Lending Library @ National Library, 100 Victoria Street
Saturday, 7 Sep 2008, 2.30 – 4.00pm
The Singapore Grand Prix ran from 1961–1973. The first event was called the Orient Year Grand Prix and held on a stretch of Upper Thomson Road that encompassed the Sembawang Hills Circus and a section of Old Upper Thomson Road. The Singapore Grand Prix was by no means a singleseater procession, and included the Saloon & Tourer, and Sports & GT, car support races, along with the highly popular races for motorcycles. Based on his book Snakes & Devils, Mr Eli Solomon traces the turbulent history of the Singapore Grand Prix through his extensive research examining
documents and doing interviews across three continents.
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Book Launch: A panel discussion- Singapore: A 700-Year History – From Early Emporium to Global City.
Singapore: A 700-Year History – From Early Emporium to Global City
A panel discussion
The Pod, Level 16, National Library, 100 Victoria Street
Saturday, 20 June 2009 | 2.00pm
Hitherto, much of Singapore’s history has been a history of its colonial past, starting from 1819 when the ambitious Stamford Raffles claimed Singapore for the British East India Company. Few contemporary history books trace Singapore’s past before that time. A notable exception is the new book: Singapore: A 700-Year History – From Early Emporium to Global City authored by local historians Tan Tai Yong, Kwa Chong Guan & Derek Heng. Providing a critical examination of this new volume and offering their own perspectives on the writing of Singapore history are three younger academics and teachers: Jason Lim, Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied and Alvin Tan. This forum-styled programme also serves as an engaging and interactive platform between domain experts of the respective subjects with the audience.

Flyer: Singapore: A 700-Year History – From Early Emporium to Global City

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Movie: Premier of Two Documentaries- The Pirate & The Emperor’s Ship. Ah Kew the Digger

Premier of Two Documentaries-

  • The Pirate & The Emperor’s Ship: The notorious Pirate King Tan Lian Lay (aka Tan TeckHui) once terrorised the waters of Perak Malaysia and Bagan Siap-Api, Indonesia. His personal storyand the history of his coastal bases are a mix offact, fiction, legend, myth and religious belief. Fieldresearcher Lee Eng Kew (aka Ah Kew) retraces how anotorious criminal went from being a powerful gangleader to a hunted man, and later a revered deity. This documentary is the second collaboration betweenEng Yow and Eng Kew.
  • Ah Kew the Digger: Follow the efforts of one man – Lee Eng Kew (akaAh Kew) freelance writer and field historian as heexplores temples and grave yards to archive epitaphs,trace lineage and record oral history. For over tenyears, this man in the street has carried out extensiveresearch on the illustrious history of Taiping, a townof many firsts in Perak, Malaysia – focusing on theChinese immigration and contributions to the townand state.

Flyer: Documentaries: The Pirate & The Emperor’s Ship. Ah Kew the Digger

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Talk: Farish A Noor- Remembering Singhapura & Our Trans-Continental Pasts
Presented by Singapore Heritage Society together with The National Library Board
Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library, 100 Victoria Street
Saturday, 3 Jul 2010 | 3.00pm
Southeast Asia is a curious part of the world where multiple histories and geographies overlap. On the one hand we are at the cutting edge of the immediate present, yet the past - and it is an ancient past, mind you – informs our political, cultural and economic choices till today.
Being a Southeast Asian, or an ASEANist, today means having to re-connect with these overlapping geographies and histories and coming to terms with the cosmopolitanism that is inherent in our nations as well as ourselves. But this
also means having to transcend the narrow and parochial perspectivism of ethno-nationalist discourse that has become our postcolonial inheritance.
One avenue for such change happens to be art, and I would argue that the process of re-connecting with our multiple histories and geographies is as much the task of the artist as it is that of the politician, technocrat and geographer.
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Talk: Singapore Historic Buildings 101: GEDUNG KUNING a talk by Ms Hidayah Amin

venue: Visitors’ Briefing Room. Level 1, National Library, 100 Victoria Street
date / time: Saturday, 16 May 2009 | 2.00pm

Very little is known of Gedung Kuning or the Yellow Mansion at No. 73 Sultan Gate. Once a stately residence for a Bendahara or Prime Minister, Gedung Kuning was, from 1912 to 1999, home to the family of Haji Yusoff ‘Tali Pinggang’ or Haji Yusoff the Belt Merchant. Haji Yusoff, patriarch of Gedung Kuning was a respected merchant who toiled at his business and was recognised as one of the great pioneers in the Malay community. Gedung Kuning has witnessed the seasons of Haji Yusoff ’s family through four generations, ad its gate welcomed the poor who came to ask for alms. Even to the very last day when the family moved out, Gedung Kuning stood proud befitting its royal colour and stature. Hidayah Amin, one of Haji Yusoff ’s greatgranddaughters revisits her childhood home, taking you beyond the gate guarded by stone eagles, through rooms with big mirrors and marble floors and shares interesting anecdotes growing
up in Gedung Kuning, the legacy of a Malay family in Singapore.

Hidayah Amin is one of Haji Yusoff ’s great-granddaughters and is fondly known to family members as Cik Idah. She was born and grew up in Gedung Kuning. She is the creator of
Hidayah was a Fulbright Scholar who once volunteered in a medical mission in tsunami-stricken Aceh and taught film-making to Native American children in a Reservation. She hopes to publish her first book Gedung Kuning, Memories of a Malay childhood this year.

Flyer: GEDUNG KUNING talk by Hidayah Amin

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Tour: i ! Heritage Road Show IV- a heritage hunt to illustrate the milestones of Singapore from 1959 to 2009

Our partners the national library board proudly presents:
i ! Heritage Road Show IV- a heritage hunt to illustrate the milestones of Singapore from 1959 to 2009

donate your stories and photographs, click on to the url link,

Do you remember the first broadcast of Television Singapura?

Do you remember the opening of People’s Park?

Do you remember the withdrawal of the British military?

Do you remember the SARS epidemic?

These are events that have transpired in the annals of Singapore’s history and have in one way or the other shaped Singapore in its present form, but more importantly, we want to hear from you about these events, and others that have happened in your own life set against the backdrop of these significant events in the last 50 years.
Were you there to witness any of the historic events or major milestones as part of Singapore’s history?
As part of National Library’s upcoming Heritage Road Show event, we are calling for stories or photographs
that can best illustrate the major 50 years milestones of Singapore’s history from 1959 – 2009. Submit your
stories and photographs to us from now till 1 August 2009 and you stand a chance to win CASH prizes of up to
$5,000! Hurry! You could be one of our lucky prize winners!
You are also invited to the launch of this year’s Heritage Road Show event happening on Saturday, 1 August 2009. You can experience our ‘Changing Landscapes of Singapore’ photography exhibition, listen to a ‘live radio’ interview from our donors as well as walk through the visual geography changing landscapes of Singapore from the ‘I’ visual wall.

Flyer: ! Heritage Road Show IV

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Talk: William Farquhar: Singapore’s ‘Forgotten Founder’ a talk by Mr Jean-Claude Fuchs

venue: Screening Room, The Arts House, Old Parliament Lane
date / time: Saturday, 28 Feb 2009; 2.30–4.00pm

William Farquhar (1774–1839) was born at Newhall, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland. At the age of 17, he joined the
military service of the British East India Company and saw action in the Indian sub-continent in the early 1790s. In 1795, he was involved in the taking of Malacca from the Dutch and by 1803 was Commandant of the settlement. He spent the next 15 years successfully running that colony despite considerable difficulties. With Stamford Raffles,
he established British presence in Singapore and was left in charge of the new settlement after Raffles left for Bencoolen in Sumatra. He fell out with Raffles over the management of the settlement and Raffles arranged to replace him with
John Crawfurd. Farquhar was most unhappy, initially refusing to leave and later sued Raffles for his autocratic behaviour. He finally left in December 1823 and returned to Britain, where he settled in Perth in 1829. In 1837, he was given the rank of Major-General and he died at his home, Early Bank, and was buried in Greyfriars churchyard.
Despite his significant contributions to the early development of Singapore, Farquhar is today, a forgotten figure. Even the little street named in his memory is gone. Jean-Claude Fuchs shares his research on the life of this remarkable man
and his times.

Jean-Claude Fuchs was born in France and is currently a permanent resident in Singapore. Since retiring from his post as an executive with a Swiss multi-national, Jean-Claude has dedicated his time to researching the life and times of Major-General William Farquhar and his family line. The family tree he has constructed now include some 400 descendants of William Farquhar.

Flyer: William Farquhar: Singapore’s ‘Forgotten Founder’

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Tour: One-Day Johor Heritage Tour- a bus tour

date | time Sunday, 6 June 2010 | 8.30 am

Sultan Abu Bakar Museum.
This museum occupies the Istana Besar (Grand Palace) which was specially commissioned in 1864 by Sultan Abu Bakar. Completed in 1866, the Grand Palace incorporated some of the Sultan’s creative ideas in its architecture. In 1990, Sultan Iskandar decided that members of the public should be given the opportunity to view
the Royal Family’s collection in a proper museum setting. His Majesty consented for the Grand Palace to be converted into a museum. Housed within the museum are vast arrays of treasures, works of art, antiquities and furniture belonging to the Royal Family. The picture gallery features past and present rulers of the Sultanate and their
consorts. There is also a large collection of their personal memorabilia, an impressive array of Orders, Decorations and Medals in the gallery.

Kota Tinggi Museum.
Built in 1997, the museum traces the history of the Johor Sultanate. The Museum traces the history of Johor, starting with the reign of Sultan Allauddin Riayat Shah II until Sultan Mahmud Shah II. The Museum’s site was chosen for its
historical significance as the seat of the old Johor Sultanate. Discover the paintings, historical dioramas, weaponry and much more on display only at the museum.

Johor Lama
Johor Lama was the seat of the old Johor Sultanate. It was established by Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah some time around 1540. Its strategic location by the Johor river allowed it to be used as a secure trading post for some 40 years. However, in 1587, the Portuguese attacked the Fort at Johor Lama and destroyed it. You can still see remnants of the settlement and the fort.

One-Day Johor Heritage Tour Johor Trip 6 Jun 2010