Saturday, August 31, 2013

Singapore ~ Balestier Road (Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall)

You can find

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall - 12 Tai Gin Road

Originally called Bin Chan House, this villa was built in the 1880s by a businessman named Boey Chuan Poh for his mistress, Bin Chan. In 1905, the house was purchased and renamed Wan Qing Yuan ('Serene Sunset Garden') by Teo Eng Hock (1871-1959), a rubber magnate, as a residence for his mother to enjoy her later years in peace and tranquility. 

Teo was a keen supporter of the revolutionary movement to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in China. IN 1906, he offereed the house to Dr. Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) as the Southeast Asian base of Dr. Sun's Tong Meng Hui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance). The villa served as the centre for Tong Meng Hui's activities and fund-raising effors in Southeast Asia, and important uprisings were planned here during Dr. Sun's visits to Singapore. Later, it became the local headquarters of Dr. Sun's Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang after the 1911 Revolution, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China in January 1912 with Dr. Sun as its first Provisional President. In 1937, the villa was bought over by six Chinese businessmen - Lee Kong Chian, Tan Ean Kiam, Lee Chin Tian, Chew Hean Swee, Lee Chor Seng, Yeo Kiat Tiow. During the Second World War, the Japanese used the building as a communications centre and office for the dreaded Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police). In 1951, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce obtained ownership of the villa. 

In 1966, the Chamber converted the house into a museum called the Sun Yat Sen Villa. On 28 October 1994, the building was gazetted as a national monument. It was renamed the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial hall in 1997. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution, the Memorial Hall underwent a revamp in 2010 and reopened on 8 October 2011. The galleries now house important artifacts  paintings and photographs that trace the story of Dr. Sun and also highlight the contributions made by Chinese communities in Southeast Asia to the Revolution.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Business Hour: 10am-5pm (Tuesday to Sunday, Closed on Monday)
Last admission at 4.30pm
Fees: SGD4 (Adult)
SGD2 (Senior Citizen 60 years old above)
SGD2 (Student & Children)
SGD12 (Group of up to 5 persons)

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