Photo No. 1
This was taken in June 1946 from an RAF aircraft. Cathay Building is viewed from Kirk Terrace. There is Amber Mansions and parts of Clemenceau Avenue in the background. Notice that the site where the Supreme House (now called Park Mall) along Penang Road is empty land.
You can also see:
b) United Engineers (tall chimney) around Mohd Sultan Road,
c) Orchard Presbyterian Church,
d) Fort Canning.
From what I read in my grandfather's notes, the British Army requisitioned all the warehouses/godowns around Pulau Saigon, Mohd Sultan Road, Roberston Quay for their logistic base after the recapture of Singapore from the Japanese, The tongkangs will sail up the Singapore River after collecting all the military cargo from Keppel Harbour.
Later the British Army decided to build their own base instead of renting from the Chinese merchants. This new place was called Alexandra Camp which is now Dawson Estate and Prince Philip Avenue.
Talking about the Amber House, I recall an experience there in the 50’s. My father brought me to visit a dentist at a unit facing the Orchard Presbyterian Church. I remember the building being very ‘solid’ and having green colour stained glass windows. The name of the dentist was Dr Woon (or maybe Oon). Anyway, I was so terrified that I absolutely refused to let the dentist remove a rotten tooth. Thank God, my teeth today are still in good condition. And my children have no fear at all of the dentist.
Here’s a quiz for you. This photo shows the Cathay Building in the distant background. It was from the George Shaw collection sent to me by Russ Wickson.