ReTRIeVIA

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Page 80

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NATURE PARKS

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore’s first botanic gardens were located at Fort Canning.  It was opened in 1822 and was abandoned in 1829.  The second Botanic Gardens was founded at its present site in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society.  These Gardens were situated on a 23-hectare site previously owned by Hoo Ah Kay (Whampoa).  In 1866, the Society bought another 100 hectares of land from the Napier Estate.  By 1874, the Society could not keep up with the cost of upkeeping the Gardens and the Government stepped in and took over its administration.  The Singapore Botanic Gardens are bounded by Holland Road, Cluny Road and Tyersall Avenue.

The Botanic Gardens may be credited for the birth of the rubber industry in South-east Asia.  The interest in rubber started in 1877 from the twenty-two seedlings planted in the Gardens by the Gardens’ first Director, Henry Ridley.  He was often referred to as ‘Mad Ridley’ for his fervent and oftentimes overly-enthusiastic advocacy of rubber cultivation.  From 1870 to 1903, the Botanic Gardens also housed Singapore’s first zoo.  It closed down for lack of funds.

The familiar cone-roofed structure in the stamps is the Bandstand.  Here the well-loved Police Band used to perform regularly for the public.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens recently acquired some 11 hectares of land for expansion on its Cluny Road section.  This includes the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden along Bukit Timah Road to be… (cont’d in next page)

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Written by victorkoo

29 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Philatelic Book

Tagged with , ,

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