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Oct 5, 2012

Ways Done in the Past - Mobile Services

Government Health Deparment's Rotary Mobile Dispensary in 1951

In the 1950s in Singapore, when we mentioned the word "mobile", we were not talking about mobile phone as a piece of equipment for communication.

The wireless mobile phone owned by almost everyone today was unheard of over 50 years ago.

The archived photos posted on this blog are selected and curated with acknowledgement and thanks to the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) for information and educational purposes for everyone to share.

In the kampongs in the 1950s, essential government services for the libraries, dispensaries, police stations, post offices were located far away from homes in the rural areas and not conveniently available to Singaporeans.

Over the decades, these mobile services are no longer required by the needs of the people.  With more essential amenities built in the heartland nearby and almost to the doorsteps. These public services are  located in the vicinity of almost every MRT stations in Singapore.

Lets take a look at the ways done in the past in Singapore for mobile services.

Mobile Rationing Unit

The Mobile Rationing Unit at Nee Soon, Singapore in 1949 for a short period after the Japanese Occupation.

Mobile Dispensary

Mobile dispensary was also called as "travelling dispensary".


Mobile Dental Services

Mobile Immunisation Team

Mobile Post Office

Mobile Post Office Savings Bank

POSB officer issue new bank account books to account holders in 1951
The Mobile Blood Bank in Singapore  c 1967

Mobile Children's Library

Children of school age in the 1960s are the most eager readers at Raffles National Library with over 700 books issued daily to children belong to the Junior Library.  Housed in its new building, the library has widened its scope for providing better services to its growing young membership.

Students at the Naval Base Secondary School at Nee Soon seeing the books in the Children's Mobile Library.

The opening of the mobile library at Bukit Panjang Community Centre on 7 Feb 1966

At Changi Simei Community Centre, MOLLY  mobile library is provided for the convenience of residents of Simei, at fixed monthly schedule.

Other Mobile Services in the past

Please share nostalgic memories of  this blog topic about ways done in the past in Singapore with stories and/or photos if available at Singapore Memory Portal .  Thank you.



Blogger FL said...

James, thanks for your posting. I wish to add on another mobile service. I remember as a kid in the early sixties, a vehicle bearing "Ministry of Culture" turned up in our kampong in the evenings (at least a few times a year) to show documentary films (in B & W) of Singapore, and neighbouring countries to the kampong folks. They would put up a large big white cloth as a screen. During the early years, most peoples were poor and TVs were not available until around 1963, I think.

October 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you FL for adding the memories of the "Ministry of Culture" Mobile Cinema which I did not mention on this blog.

I have not forgotten the mobile cinema which occasionally visited the Jalan Bukit Ho Swee in the evening after the BHS fire and we moved to the "emergency flats" in the 1960s.

As you described, the screen of the film was on a bigh white cloth and the films were b/w newsreel documentary films, cultural shows and news about the developments in Singapore in the 4 official languages.

October 7, 2012 at 1:10 PM  

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