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  • Traditional Trades

    Traditional Teochew Confectionery

    While many traditional trades and craftsmen have since retired or developed into other trades, a good few such as the Bumboat operators of Pulau Ubin , Traditional confectionaries and Second-hand book sellers continue to provide daily necessities and services to a small but grateful audience. Their contribution to Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit is an invaluable asset that contributes not just to the socio-economic makeup of our society, but the identity of Singapore as nation.

  • Founding of Modern Singapore

    View of a part of Kampong Glam

    The history of Modern Singapore began in the early 19th century with the arrival of the British East Indies and Sir Stamford Raffles. While Singapore had long existed in the centuries prior to the British arrival – as a settlement under various names such as Singapura and Temasek – it was the signing of the 1819 treaty that signalled the founding of Modern Singapore.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • David Marshall

    David Marshall on a goodwill visit in Jakarta as Chief Minister

    David Saul Marshall was a top-notch criminal lawyer, best remembered for his strong oratorical skills and dedicated service to his country. His passion and talent led him to be elected the first Chief Minister of Singapore and founder of the Worker’s Party in 1957.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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