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Dover Heritage Field Trip

Neither the Central Business District, nor a social hub. Not an Orchard road, or a Chinatown. For large parts of Singapore’s history, Dover remained a quiet village in the less developed West. Despite such obscurity, Dover has maintained a rich culture and heritage not seen anywhere else in Singapore. 

On 26 July 2022, the ACJC History Society (made up of the JC1 committee: Christopher Wong, Dawn Tan, Ivan Khoo, Luke Chow, Pei Jun and Yi Xuan) conducted a Dover Heritage field trip for a group of Fairfield Methodist Secondary School students. The trail brought the students through the pristine black and white colonial houses, along the abandoned Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway (Malayan Railways), to the rich culture of Ghim Moh market, and finally ending at the small Muslim praying area at the void deck of Block 2. Observing the convergence of old, new, and constantly changing landmarks, students were introduced to the diversity of living histories in their school’s neighbourhood. 

This field trip was designed to spark interest for the history of Singapore through exploring the heritage. Walking through Dover provided experiences for students to recognise the historical significance of this neighbourhood to the British military. Through the guided trail, students could stand in the shoes of people from various walks of life and periods in Singapore’s history. From the wealthy British officers to the street hawkers trying to make an honest living, personal histories can show how we have come from colonial Malaya to forging our own independent Singapore. 

The Dover Heritage Trip was the first in-person inter-school event conducted by the History Society since the pandemic. We are grateful that students from both ACJC’s History Society and Fairfield Methodist School could gain a deeper appreciation for Singaporean culture while having fun together! 

Written by: 
The ACJC History Society