Yeah, 1860. I enjoy reading about the history and heritage of Singapore and in fact have written 3 books related to Singapore’s heritage and I am now working on the 4th.


View of Singapore River from Fort Canning, 1860 (Source:

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction to An Anecdotal History of Old Times in Singapore 1819 – 1867 by Charles Burton Buckley, which I am reading now:

Most Westerners led an unhurried but physically active life, going to bed early, rising at dawn, and walking or riding for an hour or two before breakfast. Offices opened about 1030am, and there was a break for a light luncheon, and for reading the newspapers which came out about midday. After gossipping at the Exchange, everyone returned for a couple of hours’ work before repairing to the cricket ground about 430pm. 

I can deal with that. Of course, this is the colonialist’s point of view. I would have loved to hear a parallel account from the locals. But I don’t think the coolies and dhobywallas ever wrote and published a book.

And it was never Youtubed. And I’m glad for that. I can exercise my imagination.