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  • Edmund William Barker

    E W Barker with Devan Nair at a football final in 1983 at the National Stadium

    Edmund William Barker was one of the prominent members of the ‘Old Guard’ that led Singapore from its early days of Independence. For 25 years, he served as the Minister of Law on top of other portfolios that included Home Affairs, National Development, Science and Technology, Labour, and Environment.

  • Benjamin Sheares

    Benjamin Sheares at the 1972 National Day Parade

    Best known to most Singaporeans as the second President of Singapore, Dr. Benjamin Henry Sheares was a well-loved and respected man whose early career in the field of medicine saw him achieve numerous breakthroughs including the internationally recognised technique of the lower Caesarian section.

  • Black and White Houses in Singapore

    A Black and White Bungalow from the 1900s

    In land-scarce Singapore, the sight of one of the estimated 500 remaining Black and White Houses often conjures up memories of the colonial era in Singapore. Although a majority of these houses were built within a short span of around 25 years between 1903-1928, its uniqueness to the region and unrivalled architecture has made it an invaluable part of Singapore’s history.

  • Bukit Ho Swee Fire

    Bukit Ho Swee Fire displaces 16,000 households

    On 25 May 1961, a massive fire raged through the Bukit Ho Swee estate, destroying schools, shops, factories and attap houses across a 100-acre area. The fire claimed four fatalities and left some 16,000 kampong dwellers homeless. The displacement of families would prove to be a key moment in the development of modern Singapore, paving the way for a massive shift towards the Government’s public housing programme.

  • Telok Ayer: Street of Diversity

    View from Mount Walllich

    Telok Ayer Street is one of the oldest roads in Singapore and was once the coastline and the first landing point for migrants who arrived by sea. Today, reclamation projects have pushed the coastline further from Telok Ayer Street, but the place and stories have remained.

  • Yusof Ishak

    Yusof Ishak giving a speech in 1962

    Yusof Ishak is the first President of Singapore. He tided the republic over a period of uncertainty following the separation with Malaysia in 1965. His values and beliefs in meritocracy, multiculturalism and modernisation underpinned Singapore’s success through the nation-building years and left a lasting legacy with the nation.

  • Queenstown - The Queen of Housing Estates

    Building Works at Queenstown

    First developed by the colonial administration’s Singapore Improvement Trust, and later completed by its successor, the Housing and Development Board, Queenstown was used as a test bed for much of Singapore’s public housing. It would be the satellite town to pioneer many firsts, including the first HDB flats, tallest public housing blocks, first point blocks and first community and social institutions – with a polyclinic, branch library and neighbourhood sports complex.

  • Toh Chin Chye

    Toh Chin Chye at the 1959 National Loyalty Week

    Dr Toh Chin Chye was one of the founding fathers of modern Singapore. He was the co-founder of the People’s Action Party along with Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Keng Swee and S. Rajaratnam, and served as its founding Chairman. Toh was also Singapore’s first Deputy Prime Minister, and was responsible for leading the committee in the design of the Singapore Flag, State Crest, and National Anthem.

  • Shirin Fozdar

    Shirin Fozdar in 1977

    Shirin Fozdar is a pioneer women’s rights activist. She championed social issues for women in Singapore and was a key figure in the implementation of several laws and policies that benefited women in Singapore. Together with her husband, they were among the first to introduce the Baha’i Faith in Singapore.

  • Sinnathamby Rajaratnam

    S Rajaratnam speaking at the 1959 General Elections

    S. Rajaratnam is a founding member of the People’s Action Party, a long-serving minister of many portfolios, published author and former journalist. He is one of the pioneer leaders of independent Singapore who has devoted much of his life to public service. His most enduring legacy is the National Pledge that he penned, which is recited at school assemblies and national day ceremonies today.

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