Queenstown, located 5km to Orchard and 8km to Shenton Way, was a large piece of swarm land in the 1940s and 50s. Close knitted kampung communities were home to Hokkiens and Hakkas who worked as farmers. Many had moved to Queenstown from the overcrowded inner city slums in Telok Ayer for an opportunity of a more hospitable living condition. There wasn't any form of luxury in this rural land.
Aerial View of Queenstown in the 1950s
Village life at the Boh Beh Kang was drawing to a close when the British colonial government made concrete plans to develop the land in Queenstown. Farmers were moved to other farmlands in Jurong, Lim Chu Kang and Choa Chu Kang. Development of the estate began with Princess Estate in 1952. Terrace houses and four storey flats made up a large part of the Strathmore Avenue neighbourhood while the iconic Forfar House stood as the tallest flat of its time.
Forfar House in construction
The construction of the new district outside Singapore's city centre coincide with ailing health of Britain's reiging king, George VI. George VI became the King of United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 after his elder brother abdicated for his insistence in marrying a twice divorced socialite. Through World War II, King George VI provided morale boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom, visiting bomb sites and military forces abroad. Their high public profile and indefatigable determination secured his place in Britain history. However, the stress of the war had taken its toll on his health. He suffered an arterial blockage 1949 and Queen Elizabeth, then a Princess, took on more royal duties. He died on 6 February 1952.
Queen Elizabeth II during one of her visit to Singapore
Queen Elizabeth II ascended the thrones of the British Dominion countries and was proclaimed Queen. The coronation was held a year after the accession on 2 June 1953. All across British territories in the rest of the Commonwealth, coronation celebrations were held. In Singapore, the seafront promenade along Esplanade was named Queen Elizabeth Walk and the newly constructed SIT estate in south-western Singapore was renamed Queenstown.
Princess Margaret Estate Became Part of Queenstown
Singapore was one of the first few destinations for the newly coronated Queen of British Empire. In all of her trips to Singapore and Queenstown in particular, she has visited Commonwealth Close Block 81 and Queenstown Wet Market.
So, Queenstown only got our name after a section of the estate was built! =)
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