Singapore— Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said on October 15, Tuesday that an additional amount of S$15 million has been put aside for the use of monument owners’ restoration initiatives through 2024.
The amount will be held by the National Heritage Board (NHB)’s National Monuments Fund.
The custodians of 31 religious or non-profit national monuments may apply to avail of the earmarked funds until the end of October. Included among them are the Sri Mariamman Temple, St Andrew’s Cathedral, and Hajjah Fatimah Mosque.
This is the biggest of the three amounts set aside by the government for the restoration of monuments since the grant was first launched 11 years ago. That year, in 2008, a funding of S$5 million was set aside. In 2015, S$11.7 million was earmarked for the same purpose.
Ms Fu has said that to date, there have already been 28 beneficiaries from the grant, which includes “many repeat recipients.”
The Minister made this announcement at the occasion of the gazetting of three of the country’s river bridges Cavenagh, Anderson, and Elgin, now considered to be Singapore’s 73rd national monument.
The National Heritage Board announced on its Facebook page on Tuesday,
“Say hello to our 73rd National Monument – the Singapore River Bridges, a trio of historic bridges along the Singapore River.
The Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgin Bridges together represent the importance and efficiency of trade in Singapore, as well as the technological advancements of early bridge construction, placing them as architecturally and historically significant structures of our nation.
To celebrate their gazette, NHB is presenting a series of installations on the three bridges from 15 to 28 October 2019, as part of its new Milestones Through Monuments programme.
Come discover the living heritage of the Singapore River Bridges this October, and learn about their rich history in connecting Singapore to the world!”
CAVENAGH BRIDGEYear of Completion: 1869Designer: Likely G. C. Collyer, R. M. Ordish and Municipal Engineer A. H. De…
ELGIN BRIDGEYear of Completion: 1929Designers: T. C. HoodThe present Elgin Bridge is the 5th bridge to be built on…
ANDERSON BRIDGEYear of Completion: 1909Designer: Robert Peirce, Municipal Engineer from 1901-1916, and his assistant…
Yahoo Singapore quotes Ms Fu as explaining that this means that the bridges are under the protection of the law, and may be preserved by the government for the enjoyment of “future generations.”
She continued, “The gazette is especially meaningful as it takes place as we commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial this year. The bridges have witnessed the progress of our nation over the past two centuries. The historic mouth of the Singapore River was the old harbour of Singapore. It is the place where many of our forefathers first set foot ashore, and later made a living working in, or around the port.
They also showcase the close economic links between Singapore and Great Britain, with the structures of all three bridges shipped to Singapore after being manufactured there.”
Ms Fu made note in her remarks that Tuesday’s gazette occurred on the same day 54 years ago when the country became part of the commonwealth after it had gained independence.
On August 3, the gazetting of the three bridges as national monuments was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Last month, TISG reported that Thian Hock Keng Temple, Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Chesed-El Synagogue, Maghain Aboth Synagogue, and first-time recipient St Andrew’s Cathedral were among the 15 national heritage sites or monuments that would receive S$2.61 million for restoration and maintenance funding works, as announced by the National Heritage Board (NHB) on September 10.
Jean Wee, the director of NHB’s Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, said, “Our national monuments are important symbols of our past, protected today by the diverse communities they continue to serve.
Fourteen of the 15 grant recipients this year, are repeat applicants. This augurs well as an indication that earlier restoration has spurred them to continue and widen their preservation efforts on site.”/ TISG