1981: Baharuddin Vocational Institute
1993: Temasek Polytechnic (Stirling Road Campus)
1998: ITE Bukit Merah (Campus 2)
2001: Queenstown Vocational Training Centre
2007: MDIS University Campus
Are you amazed and confused by the different names? I certainly am. But I am too lazy to go and research this subject. All I know is that the ITE, which stands for Institute for Technical Education (and not It’s The End), was formerly called VITB, or Vocational and Industrial Training Board; which itself was formerly called STI, or Singapore Technical Institute. I think the first name in my list, BVI was probably a part of the VITB. As for the 4th name – QVTC, this is the first time I come across it.
I think I‘d better leave it to our retired teacher, YG to blog about this bit of history and not confuse readers with my speculations.
As you know, our government is very fond of re-branding and changing names of places and institutions. That gives rise to a lot of confusion among the younger generation. For example, the other day, I was driving my youngest daughter to Hougang. I noticed that she pronounced the name How-Gung (as in ‘how are you?’ and gung-ho). I corrected her saying that she should use the hanyu-pin (Mandarin) pronunciation and explained that the place was originally called Ow Kang which was a Hokkien pronunciation.
Another example is Safti. Like me, my son is now going through OCS training in Safti; but the confusion is that his Safti and mine are two different places. Mine is just down the road and had its name stolen and now has to bear a less glamorous name called Pasir Laba Camp.
Anyway, I shouldn’t be criticizing the government because I myself am guilty of causing this type of confusion by giving my children both dialect and pinyin names. Hence at home we call them by their pinyin names whilst in school they are called by the dialect names (though mispronounced) and in church it’s a mixture; to the extent that a girl asked my daughter recently, “How come your brother’s name is so different from yours?
Anyway, as always, I have digressed. Let’s take a look at this 1981 map of the Queensway/Tanglin Halt area. Practically every major landmark there has changed.
The Queenstown Circus is no more. In its place, are a traffic lights junction and an underpass.
Most of the schools around it have been either vacated or rebuilt. The mosque has been rebuilt I believe. I am not sure about the Queenstown Community Centre. (Strange – I thought they have all been renamed, or rather re-branded, community clubs)
The Queenstown Police Station was vacated some years ago. It was replaced for a time by another uniformed organisation. Do you know its name? That too moved out, and now it is occupied by a student’s hostel.
Across the road, there used to be a Police Reserve Unit. Now the signboard says, Police Special Operations Command.
But this church and Hindhu temple along Commowealth Drive haven’t changed much.
Likewise this row of flats at Tanglin Halt Road. But how long will they last, I wonder?