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Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 8:30:20 AM
Drawing mixed views: The arch put up as part of the Queenstown’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
An archway in Queenstown proclaiming “Long live the Queen” has left some scratching their heads, even as residents gathered for a concert to mark the estate’s 60th anniversary.
The arch was put up as part of the celebrations at the estate, which was named after Queen Elizabeth II.
Nine of 15 Singaporeans described the arch as odd, calling it a “colonial hangover”.
“It’s not appropriate as we are an independent country and no longer under British rule,” said polytechnic course manager Tia Boon Sim, 57, who lived in Queenstown for the first 16 years of her life.
Since Sept 13, the estate has been marking its anniversary with a two-week-long arts and heritage festiva.
Over 22,700 residents attended these events. An anniversary concert was held at Tanglin Halt Community Plaza last night.
“It’s actually just good fun,” said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on the arch, on the sidelines of the concert.
“It’s just part of our heritage... and to recognise how Queenstown started 60 years ago.”
In his speech, he also conveyed the well-wishes of Queen Elizabeth II in a letter from her private secretary Christopher Geidt.
The festival, organised by civic group My Community and supported by the Queenstown Citizens Consultative Committee, was to showcase the area’s history.
My Community founder Kwek Li Yong, 24, said the arch – featuring a photo of the Queen and decorated with the Union Jack – is a re-creation of a larger one that was erected in 1953 in North Bridge Road to celebrate the Queen’s coronation.
“History teaches us to look back at events. So, we are tracing the estate’s roots back to when the British started it, as Singapore’s first satellite town,” he said.
Residents said the arch, which had been up at the entrance of Tanglin Halt’s community plaza near Block 46-2 since Sept 15 and would be taken down today – could have come with a sign explaining why it was there.
“Otherwise, the proclamation seems out of place in the Singaporean heartland,” said secretary Aileen See, 53.
But others, some of whom posed for photos under the lit-up arch, said it “need not be taken too seriously”.
Older residents, such as L.H. Khoo, 74, said it was a fitting tribute because the British had a role in building Singapore’s first modern town. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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'Long live the Queen' archway in Queenstown raises some eyebrows
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