11 September 2008

Old Singapore Quiz (1)

I am starting my very own "no-prizes old-Singapore" quiz series of which this is the first one.

Below are photos of two very similar-looking structures. Both are still standing today somewhere in Singapore. You will probably be more familiar with the one on the left as it is situated in a very central location. The one on the right is in a more obscure location; so much so that you may not even notice it when you are in its vicinity. (I am not joking, I saw it only on my umpteenth visit to its location. And yet I am often described by some people as being the very observant type. Haha.)

There, I hope you have enough clues to work with. Now please attempt the quiz questions below the photos. Have fun guessing. (I better confess first that I do not know all the answers to my own questions.)

Update on 18 Sep 2008 - answers to the quiz:

I guess most of the questions for this quiz were quite easy for the majority of you. Most who answered got the answers correct. Ordinary Guy gave the most comprehensive answers here.

In fact, if you know what to search for, you can find most answers (not just for this quiz) by doing a search on the Internet. More likely than not, what you want to know has already been documented by some website or blogged by someone before.

Actually, when I took the photos of these two structures, I did not know that Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) already has the mystery solved here.

You can also read more about the Labrador Obelisk at the Infopedia website here.

1. What is the generic name for this type of structure?

Obelisk - A tall 4-sided shaft of stone usually tapered and monolithic that rises to a pyramidial top.

2. What are the names given to the structures?

Left photo - The Dalhousie Obelisk.

Right photo - The Labrador Obelisk. (May not be the official name.)

3. Where are they located?

Left photo - Empress Place in the vicinity of ACM, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

Right photo - Labrador Park, near the machine gun pillbox.

4. What are their significance, i.e. what do they commemorate, what do they stand for and why are they erected?

Left photo: To commemorate the second visit of the Marquis of Dalhousie in February 1850. He was Governor General of British India and his visit to Singapore was for the purpose of "liberating commerce from all restraints".

Right photo: According to SPI who consulted a historian, the Labrador Obelisk used to be the marker of the most southern tip of Asia continent. However, according to the
Infopedia site, the white obelisk marked the Western Harbour limit. So who is really right?

5. When were they erected? Were they built around the same time?

Left photo: Erected in 1850.

Right photo: In the 18th Century. (Exact date unknown.)

Hence they were not built around the same time.

6. Were they designed/built by the same person?

Probably not.

7. Who is (are) the designer(s)/builder(s)?

Left photo: Designed by John Turnbull Thomson. Built by prominent merchants and traders.

Right photo: Not known.

Below is a photo of the plaque found at the Dalhousie Obelisk. (The Labrador Obelisk does not have any accompanying plaque.)


yg said...

these structures are located at the places where you 'putt torr'....long time ago.

someone blogged abouthere

Icemoon said...

Eww, found the second photo on SPI. Hope it is not haunted ..

Regarding the significance, I wonder whether the structure would be built if there was a bridge connecting the big island to that small island ..

yg said...

i have been to the park so many times but i do not recall seeing the needle-like structure.

Sathiya said...

Not sure of any of the answers but eager to know..
1. Tomb?
2. Burial Chamber?
3. Cemeteries?
4. It's a memorial for people who are dead?
5. It can be built any time after a person is dead?

Anonymous said...

o bligh me, I surely do'nt catch no ball.
OK let me try.

1. Oblisk in Empress Place. dont ask me why they built it. For Dalhousie or what?
2. Macritchie Reservoir - some Japanese Shinto shrine

yg said...

the one on the left is the dalhousie obelisk at empress place. it was designed by john turnbull thomson. it was erected to mark the visit by lord dalhousie - whom we studied about in the history of british india. the other one is found at labrador park.

Anonymous said...

The one on the right is pretty near your office. It's in Labrador park right?

No idea to all the other questions.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes, you are very observant ... but only when it comes to the pa-kua things lah :)

Anonymous said...

Or ham-sup things ... Hahahaha

Sorry, I don't know all the answers.

Icemoon said...

Don't know why, when I saw photo 2, I was reminded of the chimmy at Jalan Lam San. I think their "texture" is similar.

Lam Chun See said...

Wah. Nowadays Victor's IT skills getting more kilat yeah? Can put the links with updates at the side like that. Now we know the Lao kok kok did not change his jeans for 2 weeks liao! Yucks.

Pls teach us IT-ignorant oldies how you do it leh.

Victor said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I will reveal the answers (those that I know) in a few days' time after the mirror post has been published on yesterday.sg.

Chun See, I am not kilat in IT skills. The "My Blog List" comes with your Blogger settings. You just need to go to "Layout" and "Edit" it from there. Specify the blogs you want to add to the list. Don't worry about exploring the features. So long as you don't "Save" the changes, nothing will be changed.

Icemoon said...

Today I saw somebody shooting the Pasir Panjang pillbox.

Victor said...

Icemoon - And who did you suspect it was?

Icemoon said...

Could it be Victor? Maybe that photo for his quiz 2.

But the photographer not hup-sum looking leh, in fact he looks a bit like Zen - gentlemanly-looking. Not stocky or plump, just lean.

Victor said...

This is getting interesting. What time did you see that man? Were you on sentry duty inside the pillbox at that time?

Icemoon said...

Should be around 1400.

I installed a video cam inside the observation hole, to find out who are the heritage otakus in Singapore.

Victor said...

Alright then, I confess. It was this "otaku" (what does it mean?).

I got a funny feeling that I know you.

Icemoon said...

"Otaku is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games."

Gotcha. But didn't manage to check on the windscreen. That gentleman never parked his car beside the pillbox.

Victor said...

>But didn't manage to check on the windscreen.

Huh? You lost me there.

That part of the road is so narrow, how to park next to the pillbox? My car was parked in the Shell station.

Darn, now I have to look for something else for Quiz 2.

Icemoon said...

Even in the Shell station, there are cabs perpetually parked near the exit, I think.

The windscreen, I wonder has it been repaired.

Anonymous said...

The generic term should be "Obelisk" It is a tall, thin, four-sided, tapering monument. Ancient obelisks were made of a single piece of stone .

Anonymous said...

Oh is the other obelisk at the Raffles Hotel?

Anonymous said...

The photo on the left is the Dalhousie Obelisk sited at Empress Place while the other is the Labrador Obelisk. I have posted my comments in Yesterday.sg. Thanks for putting up this post which helped me to know more about such monuments during my research process.

Victor said...

Thanks to everyone for your answers. I have updated the post with the answers that I know.