If, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, than how much more valuable it is to go and visit places and see history reveal itself in front of our eyes.
More than 30 students in Singapore acquainted themselves better with the past of their gleaming metropolis on a recent Saturday, by participating in the Sino Junior Reporter Programme organised by the Sino Group, The Fullerton Heritage and The Fullerton Hotel Singapore as the country celebrates 50 years of progress.
What better way to express support for the development of Singapore from a humble sea port before 1965 to the important business hub it is today than visiting the historic buildings of The Fullerton Heritage Precinct, receiving first-hand information on their history from a guide who recalls vividly when these buildings were used in their original function and writing an article to be published in TODAY, the second most-read English language newspaper in Singapore.
‘Each year, we want students to cover a topic of interest. For instance, last year we covered “green” for students in Hong Kong, and many of them found our green initiatives an eye-opener. This year, we focus on heritage, which holds a special meaning as Singapore is celebrating the Golden Jubilee. It is an opportune time to reflect on the heritage and map the way forward,’ says Ivan Yau, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Communications of Sino Group.
The students spent considerable time at every historical and newly developed building of The Fullerton Heritage precinct on Marina Bay’s longest uninterrupted waterfront, starting with the elegant The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Opened in 1928, the building used to house the General Post Office, The Singapore Club and the Chamber of Commerce. With a two-year renovation lasting until 2000, the Sino Group managed to keep most of the building’s original features and, with minor changes, create an impressive atrium with high ceilings, bathed in sunlight.
The Customs House, built in the 1960’s, and Clifford Pier, which was the landing point for immigrants in the early days of Singapore, now houses an exquisite waterfront restaurant; they vividly demonstrate the phenomenal development Singapore went through in the past 50 years.
‘We hope that through the programme, students can hone their writing skills by learning from an experienced journalist, get to understand journalism a bit more, and apply what they learnt during the field trip and practice session. By writing about an interesting topic that is also relevant to them, we hope they can learn to appreciate things from a different perspective,’ Yau says.