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Stories of Yesteryear: Sands of Time

The Oral History Centre produced five videos as part of a collaboration with the Audiovisual Archives for the premiere season of Sands of Time.

Explore all seasons of Sands of Time at:
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Season 1

Kallang Airport
Interview with LEE Liang Hye 李良海
Accession Number 002186

Opened in 1937, Kallang Airport was Singapore’s first purpose-built civil airport. Before the airport could be built, acres of mangrove swamp had to be reclaimed in the Kallang Basin area. Listen to Lee Liang Hye’s account of crocodiles in the swamps, seaplanes, and the airport’s unique runway which intersected Mountbatten Road.

Japanese Occupation
Interview with CHOY, Elizabeth (Mrs) @ Yong Su Moi 蔡杨素梅
Accession Number 000597

The British surrender of Singapore on 15 February 1942 led to three-and-a-half years of Japanese occupation. In this oral history interview, war heroine Elizabeth Choy shares her experiences from when the first bombs fell on Singapore in December 1941, to the end of the Second World War in 1945.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
Interview with GABRIEL, Vincent
Accession Number 002909

The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated with much fanfare in Singapore. Watch rare footage of the day and night parades, as Vincent Gabriel recounts the sights and sounds of the elaborate floats, decorations, and festivities which marked this momentous occasion.

1957 Citizenship Ordinance
Interview with LIM Joo Hock 林猷鹤
Accession Number 000904

In this oral history interview, Lim Joo Hock explains the process for people to register as Singaporeans, following the passing of the 1957 Citizenship Ordinance. By the end of the nationwide drive, over 300,000 Singaporean citizens had been registered.

Women's Charter
Interview with SEOW Peck Leng (Mrs) 萧柏龄夫人
Accession Number 000721

The Women’s Charter was passed in 1961 and provides for the fundamental rights for women, such as ownership of properties, equal status in a marriage, and fair treatment during a divorce. Despite these benefits, Seow Peck Leng, former president of the Singapore Women’s Association, recounts some of the difficulties faced in garnering support from women at the time.