Church of the Blessed Sacrament
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament is Queenstown’s first Catholic church. The Church was officially opened on 9 May 1965 by then Archbishop, Michael Olcomendy. The Church comprised a parish hall which served as a religious instruction centre, a kindergarten and a presbytery to house the priests.
Designed by YG Dowsett in the Modern style, the Church’s most striking feature is the dramatically structured slate roof, which was constructed in folds in the shape of a tent, symbolising the “tent of meeting” in the Old Testament of the Bible. The roof dips downwards to wrap the interior with portions touching the ground, reminiscent of anchoring pegs. In addition, the slits of glass panes between the cruciform create “a dramatic play of light and shadow” that brings light into the sanctuary. The multicoloured strips of glass panels inserted within the triangular concrete grids at the three main entrances further create an air of vibrancy when viewed from the inside of the hall. Besides its attractive façade, the Church was popular for its miniature farm which kept animals such as monkeys, goats and dogs. Adaline Teo (b. 1978) recalled, “The cassowary would always spread its feather and the dog would wag its tail whenever there were visitors to the church.” The farm was removed in 2003. The Church of the Blessed Sacrament was gazetted for conservation in November 2005.Sri Muneeswaran Temple
The Sri Muneeswaran Temple at Commonwealth Drive is believed to be Southeast Asia’s largest shrine for the Sri Muneeswaran deity. The temple was consecrated on 1 February 1998 to replace the old Queensway Muneeswaran Temple, which was demolished for a road widening project. In the Temple’s compound stands a 3-storey multi-purpose hall, administrative offices and a prayer hall.
Sri Muneeswaran Temple first started as a shrine in 1932 when Malayan Railway employees living in Queenstown planted a sulam (or trident) and a triangular stone in an attap hut under a banyan tree. This wooden hut was known as the Muniandy Temple where Hindu devotees would congregate for daily prayers. In January 1970, a new temple was constructed along Queensway to replace the shrine. Statues of deities such as Muneeswaran, Vinayagar, Mariamman and Murugan were imported from India.
The Queensway Muneeswaran Temple was known for its close proximity to the former Malayan Railways. Anantha Sayanam (b. 1966) was a long time worshipper at the Temple. He recalled, “The Temple stood on land belonging to the Malayan Railways. When the trains travelled past the Temple, they would sound their horn and the children would dash towards the tracks.”
After relocating to Commonwealth Drive, the Temple underwent several renovations in 2004, 2008 and 2011 to expand its facilities so as to cater to the growing congregation of Hindu devotees in Queenstown. The Temple held her 4th consecration ceremony on 10 July 2011.