In 2013, Queenstown – home to Singapore’s first polyclinic, sports complex and public library – celebrated its 60th anniversary as Singapore’s first satellite estate. It had come a long way from its time as a swampy valley.
Commemorating the key milestone alongside residents, My Community launched and hosted an exhibition called “Queen of Estates” at Queenstown Community Centre, selected schools and neighbourhood plazas.
My Community and its team of volunteers, partners and residents, not only traced the estate’s historical origins, but also homed in on the stories of the neighbourhood’s longtime dwellers, shopkeepers and hawkers. This provided a refreshing and much-needed injection of community voices in the retelling of the historic town’s history. The exhibition also successfully captured the resilient and pioneering spirit of its early residents who were one of the first few batches of Singaporeans moved from kampungs to highrises. In addition, it discussed the estate’s connections to British royalty and elaborated on how their names and titles influenced the estate’s toponymics.
Beloved Queenstown sites, such as the demolished Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, were recreated and fabricated for visitors to relive their memories. Additionally, photo archives were scoured and photogenic shots of the estate were reproduced as postcards for attendees to take home.
To reach an even wider audience, a mobile version of the exhibition toured the estate. It travelled to places such as the Leng Kee Community Centre, Tanglin Halt Plaza, the Mei Ling Wet Market, Block 88 Tanglin Halt and Queenstown Library.
The exhibition, sponsored by the Lee Foundation and supported by National Heritage Board’s Heritage Industry Incentive Programme, was attended by more than 25,000 visitors.