Monday, 26 December 2011

On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day 25th Dec 2011, we set off to the Riverside point at Clarke Quay (1800s) to watch the paranoma view scenery that been changed after the trading business were ended since 1970s. There are lots of people around and full of tourists too.
History of Clarke Quary
Sir Raffles was landed in Clarke Quay on the 6th of February 1819. He is supposed to have landed where his statue is located today. In mid-1819, on his second trip to Singapore, Raffles reserved the north bank of the river for the government use and the site for warehouses and gowdowns.
He realised on the next trip between 1820 and 1823 that it was not permitted to build anything there and he altered his original plan to the area of present-day Clarke Quay.
Raffles soon signed a territorial treaty with the local Malay leaders and established his trading entrepot. Within a few years, he laid out city plans and ordered land reclamation projects that created a series of five quays, and one of them was Clarke Quay.
Clarke Quay was landfilled, and auctioned off and developed by Europeans and Chinese Entrepreneurs.
Brick houses, godowns, and establishments, mostly built of brick and plaster, presented and eye-catching sight. Especially the crescent formed by the long range of gowdowns. The crescent was named Clarke Quay after Sir Andrew Clarke, governor of the Straits Settlement from 1873-1875. He was also well-known for signing the treaty of acquisition of Perak and Selangor states in Malaysia.
Singapore River was the heart of the town, and up to the 1840’s all shipping took place at its mouth and along the crescent of Clarke Quay. Merchants had their offices and gowdowns either at Clarke or Boat Quay, or commercial square.
Before the Clarke Quay in 1819, it was once then a muddy mangrove. The scene was rather idyllic, covered with many different species of trees.
Human skulls of various rotting stages littered Clarke Quay’s riverbank. It was said to be that the Bugis pirates found that the river was a convenient dumping ground for unwanted cargo and dead bodies.
Before 1819, Clarke Quay was the focal point of trading activities between the Orang Lauts and the Bugis pirates. The Riverside point now stands where Orang Lauts and sea nomads took refuge.
At the river mouth (now known as Clarke Quay), they were many pieces of stones carved. One of them was shaped like a garfish.The local sea gypsies believed that the garfish was a symbol of ghosts and they, which they thought had a significant value to their beliefs.
Clarke Quay Sunday Flea Mart which helds every Sunday, is a regular event which both locals and tourists can look forward to. The bustling flea mart adds colour and flavour to the ambience of the Clarke Quay Festival Village, where street activities and street life are abundant. Visitors can bargain their way through the 120 stalls selling a wide range of antiques, collectibles and handicrafts. There will also be a demonstration cum sale of clay, crystal and beaded jewellery, free ice cream and balloons for the first 500, in-line skating performances,$1 rickshaw rides, music, games, as well as buskers performances are held there.
There are Boat rides too.