#SingaporesFirst Community Centre
📸: National Archives of Singapore
#SingaporesFirst community centre was Tiong Bahru Community Centre. In 1948, a few years after World War II, Tiong Bahru residents led by Lau Yew Hock, a prominent member of the community, proposed creating a space where they could make friends, learn skills, and share knowledge with one another.
In 1951, they did just that. They turned an air-raid shelter at Eu Chin Street into a convivial space for movie screenings, weekend dances, basketball games and ambulance and civil defence training. It was also the meeting place for volunteers from the Tiong Bahru Vigilante Corps who patrolled the area where many gangsters were found.
#SingaporesFirst community centre shows that when a community shares the same goals and works together, even dark places can lighten lives. Today, there are at least 108 community centres and clubs with resources to help build strong, safe, and inclusive communities. With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we can look forward to more community activities and opportunities for interactions.