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Sep 14, 2014

Tete-A-Tete Under A Bright Sun

Former British Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson (Right) and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (Left) visit Sembawang Shipyard.  They enjoyed a "warm" tete-a-tete under a bright sun - a brief break in the current wet spell.

Abandoning previous plans to drive from the shipyard's main building to its newest drydock some 300 metres away, they took advantage of the sunshine, albeit a few minutes, and walked.

Managing Director of Sembawang Shipyard C N Watson (centre) welcoming Sir Harold Wilson and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on January 12, 1978.

Prime Minister (PM) Lee Kuan Yew and former British PM Sir Harold Wilson being briefed by official during their visit to Sembawang Shipyard for a visit.


On arrival at the $50 million drydock, one of the largest in the world, Sir Harold and Mr Lee, accompanied by Mr C.N. Watson, managing director of the shipyard.  Watched a German tanker, Esso Gascogne, under repairs.

He also reminisced of the part Singapore had played in helping obtain compensation for the British Government from the ship's owners.

History of Sembawang Shipyard

Photo credit:  Sembawang Shipyard
Started as a British Naval Dockyard, Sembawang Shipyard was handed over by the British garrison to the Singapore government for a token fee of $1. With that, Sembawang Shipyard Pte Ltd was established on 19 June, 1968, ushering in a new chapter in commercial ship repair in the region.

The Beginning Virtual History Tour (60's & 70's) video to watch here .

The Beginning ; The Golden Era ; The Boom ; The Transformation  of Sembawang Shipyard's "Our Mission“ to be the best in ship repair and conversion, expanding regionally and into growth business.

Note:  A series of these archived photos and descriptions are curated on the nostalgic blogs to share with our heritage friends.  These personal blogs to express for non-commercial and not for profit purposes; and credit with acknowledgement and thanks to the National Archives of Singapore.  Appreciate to share Singapore collective memories of the 5-day visit of Sir Harold Wilson and Lady Wilson to Singapore from January 9 to January 13, 1978 at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.  Thank you.



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