ReTRIeVIA

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Archive for December 2009

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Elizabeth Walk

The stamp above depicts  Elizabeth Walk in the early 20th century.  This was before land reclamation pushed the mouth of the Singapore River out towards the sea.  Elizabeth Walk (named after Queen Elizabeth II) was popular with families and courting couples strolling by the waterside.

Queen Elizabeth Walk is still popular with tourists and locals alike.  Along Elizabeth Walk, you can see a few other prominent landmarks.  The first landmark, located neares the Esplanade is the Tan Kim Seng Fountain.  This fountain commemorates the contributions of Chinese pioneer philanthropist Tan Kim Seng to the development of the waterworks and piped water in Singapore.  Another historical landmark along the route is the Cenotaph which commemorates the British and Commonwealth soldiers who died during World War I and World War II.  The other landmark on the other end of Elizabeth Walk is the Lim Bo Seng Memorial.  This Chinese pagoda style structure reminds the people of the bravery and sacrifice of the military leader and World War II hero Lim Bo Seng.

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Written by victorkoo

31 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Philatelic Book

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Raffles Statues

There are two statues of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, modern Singapore’s founder.  The earlier bronze statue in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall (depicted in the stamp on the left) was erected in 1887.  It was done by English artist, Thomas Woolner (1825-1892).  This statue was originally placed in the Padang but was moved to its current location in 1919.

The white marble statue, standing between the Old Parliament House (now Arts House) and the Empress Place Asian Civilisations Museum was erected in 1972 at the spot Raffles supposedly first landed on 29 January 1819.

Written by victorkoo

28 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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THE CIVIC DISTRICT

The Padang

After Sir Stamford Raffles discovered Singapore and decided to establish a British trading port on the island, he signed a treaty with the Malay ruler, Sultan Hussein.  This important treaty was signed under a tent in this spacious and prominent field known simply as the ‘Padang’ (meaning ‘field’ in Malay).  The stamp on the next page (top right) is an artists’ impression of the Padang from 1851.

The stamp on the left shows what the Padang was like in the old days a hundred years ago.  In the early 19th century, it was a popular meeting site for picnics, sports and informal gatherings.  Today, this field is also used for sports as well as National Day celebrations.

The stamp on the right shows a rugby game in progress in the foreground and the landmark buildings of City Hall and Supreme Court in the background.  The Padang is a popular venue for rugby and cricket.  Often, these games are organised by two clubs: the Singapore Cricket Club and the Singapore Recreation Club.  These clubs are located on the opposite sides of the Padang.

Written by victorkoo

24 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Philatelic Book

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CHIJMES

The Convent of the Holy Infant Jeseus (CHIJ) School in Victoria Street was started by the Jesuit priest Father Jean Marie Beurel in 1854.

The beautiful CHIJ Chapel in the school grounds was built in 1903.  The school moved to Toa Payoh in the 1980s.  The convent was deconsecrated and the entire complex was converted into a commercial development known as CHIJMES.  It was gazetted as a National Monument in 1990.

Armenian Church of St Gregory

At the foot of Fort Canning hill, sits Singapore’s oldest surviving church – the Armenian Church.  Located at the junction of Hill Street, Coleman Street and Armenian Street, it was built by the Armenian community in 1835 and it was designed by George Dromgold Coleman.

The tombstone of Agnes Joaquim, after whom our national flower Vanda Miss Joaquim is named, can be seen in the church grounds. School children interested in plants may like to know that there is a Saga Tree and an Assam Tree in the church grounds.  The Church was gazetted as a National Monument on 6 July 1973.

Written by victorkoo

21 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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St Andrew’s Cathedral

An important religious landmark in the Civic District is St Andrew’s Cathedral. It stands on St Andrew’s Road between City Hall and modern Raffles City.  An earlier church on the site has been built by George Dromgold Coleman in 1835.  However, the building was damaged by lightning strikes in 1845 and 1849.  The present Anglican cathedral was built in 1856.

It was designed by Colonel Ronald Macpherson, Executive Engineer and Superintendent of convicts.  To cut cost, Indian convict labour was used.  The Church’s foundation stone was laid by Reverend Daniel Wilson, Lord Bishop of Calcutta, on 4 March 1856, and the first service was held on 1 October 1861.  It was consecrated by Reverend GEL Cotton on 25 January 1862.  St Andrew’s Cathedral was gazetted as a National Monument on 6 July 1973.

Written by victorkoo

17 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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Thian Hock Keng Temple

On Telok Ayer Street is the Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Chinese religious landmarks.  Originally a simple prayer house dedicated to the sea goddess, Ma Chu, the present temple complex was constructed in 1839-1842.  The biggest donation for its construction came from the well-known philantropist Tan Tock Seng (depicted in the stamp on the left) who also donated generously towards building a pauper’s hospital.  The Tan Tock Seng Hospital bears his name.  The Thian Hock Keng Temple has been featured on stamps twice.  It was gazetted as a National Monument on 6 July 1973.

Written by victorkoo

14 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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Hong San See Temple

A number of landmarks have been preserved in the face of many changes in the area.  An example is the Hong San See Temple off Mohamed Sultan Road.  The predecessor of this temple was built in 1829 in Tras Street in the Tanjong Pagar area but it was demolished to make way for road expansion in 1907.

The new temple was then built on high ground in Mohamed Sultan Road overlooking the Singapore River.  The Temple was built by the Lam Ann (Nam Ann) Clan Association and was constructed between 1908 and 1912 at the cost of $56,000.

In recent years, the Mohamed Sultan Road area has become better known for it pubs, eateries and night spots than for this magnificient temple.  When you visit the temple, look out for the beautiful ornate carved pillars.

The Hong San See Temple was gazetted as a National Monument on 10 November 1978.

Written by victorkoo

10 December, 2009 at 1:00 pm

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