Tucked away in a quiet location at 12 Tai Gin Road, the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a site with high historical value. This villa was built in the 19th century and was then known as Wan Qing Yuan (晚晴园). Over the years, the place has undergone numerous revamp and restorations.
First, a little bit of history. Dr Sun Yat Sen is often referred to as the founding father of Republican China. When the Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912, Dr Sun was the first provisional president. Singapore was the headquarters of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance movement in Southeast Asia. While in Singapore, Dr Sun would stay in Wang Qing Yuan and use it as a base for his revolutionary activities.
In 1964, the villa was restored by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCCI) and turned into a museum to trace the history of the life of Dr Sun. In 1994, the Villa was gazetted a national monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board and later renamed as Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.
The memorial hall consists of 2 levels with several galleries. Outside the memorial hall is a small courtyard garden featuring a number of sculptures and stone monuments. As Singapore landscape changes so rapidly, I am glad that this part of history is still remembered and preserved. When I visited the place, there was hardly any crowd. I guess not many people are aware of this place and Dr Sun’s revolution activities in Singapore.
Latest update: The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is closed for renovation and is schedule to reopen to the public in October 2011.