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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jul 5, 2015

Singapore Constitution Exposition 1959

Photo of the Singapore Constitution Exposition with courtesy of the National Library Board, Singapore.
Recently, the irememberSG group on Facebook posted this message:
[In 1937, the Kallang Airport, Singapore's first purpose-built civil airport, was opened in the Kallang Basin area.
Since ceasing operations following the opening of the Paya Lebar Airport in 1955, it has been conserved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and was even used as one of the main venues for the 2011 Singapore Biennale!

This photo above shows the entrance of the Singapore Constitution Exposition, held in 1959 to celebrate Singapore's self governance, ...on the former airport's runway.

Do you have any memories of the old Kallang Airport?]

Memories of the old Kallang Airport and Singapore Constitution Exposition in 1959

I did not have any memories of the old Kallang Airport when I was 11 years old in 1959 while living at the Bukit Ho Swee kampong where I was born.

As a child, I knew very little about Singapore except for the stuff I learn in school from textbooks.

I knew nothing about the Singapore Constitution Exposition which was held at the old Kallang Airport.

For many years until I went to secondary school, I was accompanied by my mother and did not roam or travel around Singapore on my own within a radius of 3 miles of the place during my kampong days. 

No wonder I was considered a "suaku" or "kampong bumpkin" as a child.

From research material from the online resources at National Archives of Singapore, National Library Board's newspaperSG e-resources and other resources on the Internet, I learn more on this blog topic to share with my heritage friends.

The emblem of the Singapore Constitution Exposition features four intertwining circles representing the major races in the Colony.  One of the exposition fountains was depicted along with the City Council's crest and the motto "Majullah Singapura".  Source:  Free Press.

The Singapore Constitution Exposition held at the Kallang Park in 1959
The location layout of the Singapore Constitution Exposition 1959

Singapore Constitution Exposition 1959 under construction

The Singapore Constitution Exposition (SCE) 1959 at Kallang Park was organised by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the full internal self-government to Singapore.

The SCE was described as a spectacular exhibition and the most outstanding celebration of its kind ever to be staged in this part of the world.

The Exposition represents a cross-section of races, cultures, goods, goods, costumes and ways of living into view the daily life in Singapore of racial harmony and tolerance.

(Source:  The Singapore Free Press,  11 February 1959).

What's New?

Ballons for the children.  These happy youngsters were just a few of the many children who celebrated Chinese New Year on 9 February, 1959 with a visit to the Singapore Constitution Exposition.  And for them at least, one of the most popular men there was the ballon sellers.

The organisers strongly recommended that visitors to the Exposition during the month to go by sea from Clifford Pier or by public transport so as to avoid traffic congestion along the roads leading to the exposition as well as at the car parks around the Exposition site.

The 20 girl receptionists of the travelled in launches from Clifford Pier to see the Exposition from the sea.  The boat-ride, which was a trial, took about 20 minutes and gave the general impression of the Exposition at night - a glowing fairyland.

Freebies for visitors to the Singapore Constitution Exposition

It appears that the SCE was a grand scale of trade fair or exhibition which I first attended at the Great World Amusement Park with my mother in 1958. 

My guest blog on this topic was posted to Good Morning Yesterday here .

Long ago before visitors were attracted to the public events with free "goodies bags" for distribution, visitors were made happy with nice plastic shopping bags at the Singapore Constitution Exposition.


In 1959, the newly invented American kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, food freezers, dishwashers, automatic clothes washing machines were introduced for the first time in Singapore.

Stage Performance at the Singapore Constitution Exposition

Female Receptionists at SCE

"Miss Exposition" Contest

The experience of crowd-control at the Singapore Constitution Exposition 1959

Policemen pushing the surging crowd to clear the path for Prince Philip's Land Rover at the Exposition.  About 200,000 jammed the fair to catch a glimpse of the Queen's Consort.

The lessons to learn from the public exhibitions in Singapore over the decades


The Evolution of Public Exhibition Management in Singapore

Singapore Expo, a leading purpose-built "Meetings, Incentive Travel, Convention and Exhibitions (MICE) industry continuing to thrive.

With a total of 100,000sqm of column-free indoor and outdoor space available, Singapore EXPO is the venue of choice for any MICE activities and events in Singapore. From exhibitions, consumer shows, corporate meetings, world-class conventions, prestigious award ceremonies, mega concerts to gala banquets, Singapore EXPO has led the way in hosting some of the biggest and most spectacular shows here. Annually, it welcomes more than 8 million visitors and 800 events.
Located only one MRT stop or 5 minutes by car from the Changi International Airport, this purpose-built facility boasts ten exhibition and conference halls, meeting rooms, The MAX Pavilion, as well as a convention wing, MAX Atria.  All the halls are designed with ceiling height of 8 to 16 metres, and floor loading of 20 to 30KN/sqm, allowing exhibitors complete versatility in booth, product display or stage designs.

The venue is also well-served by an extensive range of amenities, including WIFI-enabled network and 3.5G mobile coverage, a well-equipped business centre, internet kiosks, automated teller machines (ATMs), nursing rooms, prayer rooms, stationery supplies, a 2,500-lot car park, and energy-saving building automation systems.

In delivering the best event experience, we have on hand a team of dedicated and customer-oriented event service professionals, ready to offer assistance at every step of the way. From build-up/tear-down, logistics, event planning to on-site operations, we ensure that every finest detail is attended to.



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