ReTRIeVIA

:: trivia retrieved ::

Archive for April 2008

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Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901)

Queen Victoria was born in 1819 – the year in which Raffles founded Singapore. Her rule lasted from 1837 to 1901, making her the longest reigning monarch in history.

During her rule the British Empire saw its greatest period of expansion. The countries under the British stretched round the world to form “the Empire on which the sun never sets“.

In Singapore many buildings and places were named in her honour. They include the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in Empress Place, Empress Place Building, Victoria School, Victoria Junior College, Victoria Street, Victoria Park Road, Queen Street and Empress Road. At the Istana there is a statue of Queen Victoria, installed in 1887, celebrating the Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary) of her rule.

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Stamp: 2004 Aug
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Written by victorkoo

30 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Can you remember a time when Singapore was ruled by a King? Many people can’t! However, our grandparents may recall a time when people in Singapore saluted the British flag (the Union Jack) and sang the British national anthem (God Save the King).

British Kings and Queens shown on Singapore stamps include Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Some words about numbers

What do the letters II, V, VI, VII after the names mean? They are Roman numerals, a way of writing numbers.

I – One
II – Two
III – Three
IV – Four
V – Five
VI – Six
VII – Seven
VIII – Eight
IX – Nine
X – Ten

Some kings and queens like to name themselves after their ancestors, so they add a Roman numeral after their names to show the difference. Thus, Queen Elizabeth II would be read as “Queen Elizabeth the Second” and Edward VII as “Edward the Seventh”.

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Stamp: 2004 Aug

Stamp caption: Three small stamps of kings are within the large stamp
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Written by victorkoo

29 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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BRITISH ROYALTY

In the 19th century the British Empire stretched around the world and was known as “the Empire on which the sun never sets”. When Raffles founded Singapore in 1819, it became a part of the British Empire.

Under British rule for about 140 years, the legacy of this rule is evident in the many roads, buildings and bridges named after British VIPs. In addition, we use English as our common language, drive on the left-hand side of the road, and have similar laws and systems of government.

The British Empire no longer exists since the countries under its rule are now independent nations. These independent nations are members of an organisation known as the “British Commonwealth”. There are regular meetings of the heads of these countries to foster goodwill and co-operation. Singapore hosted one such meeting in 1971.

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Stamp: 1971 Jan
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Written by victorkoo

28 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Dr Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925)

Dr Sun was born in China in 1866 but had his school education in Hawaii. In 1892 he graduated as a doctor from the University of Hong Kong. He was active in revolutionary efforts to end Qing Dynasty rule. Between 1900 and 1911, he visited Singapore on eight occasions to raise support for the revolution.

In 1911 the Qing Dynasty collapsed. The Republic of China was formed in 1912 and Sun Yat Sen became its president.

The building that he used when he visited Singapore is now known as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

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Stamps: Left 1998 Nov     Right China 2006
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Written by victorkoo

27 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Professor Eric Holttum (1895-1990)

Richard Eric Holttum, a Botany graduate from the University of Cambridge, was employed as an Assistant Director in the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1922. In 1925 he was appointed to be the Director and held this post up to 1949.

After retiring from the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1949, he was appointed Professor of Botany in the University of Malaya in Singapore. Holttum returned to England in 1954 and continued doing his research and writing at the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Holttum died in 1990 at the age of 95. His name lives on in the many plants that were named after him. The one shown in the stamp here is the orchid known as Arachnopsis Eric Holttum.

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Stamp: 1991 Aug
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Written by victorkoo

26 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Miss Agnes Joaquim (1854-1899)

Agnes Joaquim is best known for discovering the orchid in 1893 that was named after her. The Vanda Miss Joaquim is Singapore’s national flower.

Agnes was the second child among the eleven children of Parsick (Basil) Joaquim, an Armenian merchant. Their family had an illustrious history of public service and philanthropy to the Singapore community.

The tombstone of Miss Agnes Joaquim is kept in the grounds of the Armenian Church. The church is open to visitors on weekdays.

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Stamps: Top Left 2003 Aug Right 1991 Apr
  Bottom Left 2006 Oct Right 1962 Mar
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Written by victorkoo

25 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Abdul Gaffoor (Exact dates of birth and death unknown )

Abdul Gaffoor was a well-educated Indian Muslim and worked as the chief clerk in the law firm of Khory and Bridges.

In 1881 he was appointed to be one of two trustees for a project to build a new mosque for Indian Muslims in the Dunlop Road area of Little India.

As the trustee, he applied for and obtained approval to build several houses and sheds on land round the old mosque. The rental incomes from these properties were used to help build the new mosque which replaced the old mosque in 1910.

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Stamp: 1991 Jan
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Written by victorkoo

24 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Hajjah Fatimah (Exact dates of birth and death unknown)

Hajjah Fatimah was a very rich business woman with the rare distinction of having a mosque named after her. The honorific “hajjah” indicates that she had made a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is situated in Beach Road on the land where her house originally stood. This house was built around 1830. It was burgled and set on fire but she was unharmed as she was away at the time. She believed that it was divine providence that saved her. She donated the land and money to build the mosque. The mosque was completed in 1846.

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Stamp: 1978 Aug
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Written by victorkoo

23 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Tan Yeok Nee (1827-1902)

Tan Yeok Nee was born in China. He came to Singapore at a young age to seek a better life. He started working as a coolie but later became a pedlar selling cloth and textiles.

His business prospered and he partnered other businessmen in opening plantations for growing opium, pepper and gambier and became very wealthy.

He is remembered for the mansion he built in Clemenceau Avenue in 1885. The mansion was built in the style of the grand houses from his village in China. Today the mansion is the home of the Singapore campus of the Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Tan Yeok Nee returned to China in his later years and died there in 1902.

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Stamp: 1984 Jun
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Written by victorkoo

22 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

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P Govindasamy Pillai (1889-1980)

Govindasamy Pillai was just a teenager when he first arrived in Singapore in 1905. He started out as a shop assistant in Little India and eventually saved enough to buy the provision shop when the owner died in 1929. He changed the name of the shop to PGP (his initials). He then expanded his business by selling textiles and clothing. He opened more PGP stores in Singapore and across the Causeway.

Despite his success, Govindasamy Pillai lived a very simple life. He was a generous man and made it a point especially to share his wealth with the poor and less well-off. He donated to many causes, such as the Ramakrishna Mission Home, the University of Malaya Fund, and the Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple.

Incidentally, the Pillai Road off Upper Paya Lebar Road is not named after him. It is named after Naraina Pillai who came to Singapore in 1819.

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Stamp: 2001 Feb
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Written by victorkoo

21 April, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Philatelic Book

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