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  • Playgrounds of the Past

    Playground at Hong Lim Park 1960s

    As Singapore progressed through the nation building years, the public housing landscape underwent a complex transformation. The former Singapore Improvement Trust’s low-rise 4-storey housing blocks gave way to the Housing and Development Board’s modern 30 to 40-storey high clusters; common play areas in the estates evolved, as playgrounds went from simple swings and see-saws in sandy pits to thematic plastic play sets on rubberised mats.

  • First National Day Parade in Singapore

    March Past by Chinese Cultural Group

    Although nation-wide celebrations marking Singapore’s self-governance began from as early as 1960, 9 August 1966 remains the historic day that Singapore held her first National Day Parade as an independent nation. The theme for the first National Day Parade was “National Pride and Confidence in the Future”.

  • Green Bus Company

    A close-up of one of the buses owned and operated by Green Bus Company. Photograph courtesy of Patrick Ong

    The Green Bus Company was formerly known as Rochor Bus Co. and established in 1935 by Ong Kim Hock’s brothers and other partners with a fleet of about 35 buses.

  • Beginnings of the Singapore Improvement Trust and Tiong Bahru Estate

    Singapore Improvement Trust flats dating to 1950s

    Established in 1920 following recommendations of a housing commission set up to review living conditions of the overcrowded central area of Singapore, the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) grew out of an idea first mooted more than a decade earlier in an editorial of The Singapore Free Press. SIT's first major housing project was Kampong Tiong Bahru.

  • Opening of the National Stadium

    Singapore Youth Festival Opening Ceremony 1988

    The old National Stadium, or the Grand Old Dame of Kallang, as it was affectionately called, was a site that brought and saw Singaporeans from all walks of life gather in unity to cheer their hearts out. It was a place where students proudly bore their school colours, where local heroes were born and where national records were broken.

  • MacDonald House Bombing

    MacDonald House bombing

    The MacDonald House bombing was the worse of the 42 bombings that occurred in Singapore during the period of Indonesian Confrontation or Konfrontasi (1963-1966), an era that arose as a result of Indonesia’s opposition to Singapore’s merger with Malaya.

  • Festivals in Singapore

    Mid Autumn Festival Light Up in Chinatown

    Modern Singapore is well-known to be a society where a hybrid of cultures and communities of different faiths and beliefs coexist in harmony. This rich and vibrant multicultural heritage of Singapore is celebrated through her many diverse festivals, spread over the calendar year.

  • Goh Keng Swee

    Dr Goh Keng Swee celebrating victory at 1963 Legislative Assembly General Elections

    Dr Goh Keng Swee is often referred to as the architect of modern Singapore. He played a key role in the founding of the People’s Action Party, and has held the post of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Defence, Education, as well as the being the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other government-led companies.

  • 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.

  • Implementation of National Service

    Old Temasek Green Cotton Drill Uniform

    Whether it was scaling the treacherous Peng Kang Hill in Jurong, being part of the pioneer batches trained by the Israeli Army, or simply taking the ferry from Tanah Merah to Pulau Tekong, the memories of National Service still resonate very much in the minds of the 900,000 male citizens who have completed their National Service duty ever since it was introduced under the National Service (Amendment) Bill in 1967.

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