Year 1971

Singapore Youth Flying Club Established

Wednesday, 1st December 1971

The Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC) was established in December 1971 as the Junior Flying Club (JFC) by the then newly-formed Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Its mission is to promote aviation among youths and inculcate in them a strong passion for flying. This is done through its aeromodelling courses for secondary school students and flying training for JC and Polytechnic students. Its vision is to be a world class aviation training centre for youths and it strives to develop them to take up a career in the Republic of Singapore Air Force.


Tree Planting Day

Sunday, 7th November 1971

The Singapore government launched the annual Tree Planting Day. Dr. Goh Keng Swee launched the event by planting a rain tree in the morning at 9:30am on the summit of Mount Faber. A total of 8,400 trees and 21,677 shrubs and creepers were planted on that day. Because schools did not have classes on Sunday, they celebrated Tree Planting Day earlier, on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 November. Over 60 schools planted 600 fruit trees during those two days. Subsequent Tree Planting Days were held on the first Sunday in November. Initially, trees were selected for planting based on their quality and ease of propagation. Therefore free-seeding species such as acacia, sea apple, rain tree and pong pong were widely planted. But as they were slow in growing and making an impact, "instant trees", propagated from two-meter stem cuttings, were used and transplanted directly as semi-mature trees. In 1990, the 20th and last Tree Planting Day was held on Sunday 4 November 1990. The last Tree Planting Day


Sex Change In The City

Thursday, 4th November 1971

Kandang Kerbau Hospital, located near Little India, successfully carried out a second sex change operation. The operation was performed by a team of doctors – which included a psychiatrist – headed by Prof S. S. Ratnam of the University of Singapore’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The patient was a 25-year-old bachelor who was said to be working in the hotel industry. The first sex change operation was successfully carried out in Singapore in July 1971.


Beginning of the Five Power Defence Arrangements

Monday, 1st November 1971

The Defence Ministers of five country (Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom) declared the establishment of FPDA (Five Power Defence Arrangements) as a consultative defense arrangements. Under the FPDA, in the event of external aggression or threat of external aggression against Malaysia or Singapore, the five members will immediately hold consultations for the purpose of deciding on the necessary measures to be taken jointly or separately in response to the aggression or threat.


Last British military forces withdrawn

Sunday, 31st October 1971

The last British military forces leaves Singapore.


The Last British Parade in Singapore

Friday, 29th October 1971

It was a spot lit farewell parade, the Last Parade, at Kangaw Barracks in Sembawang for Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burnett, the last British Commander-in-Chief, Far East, and his three service commanders at dusk today. It marked the end of a hectic posting for Sir Brian, who oversaw the last 17 months of the final British military rundown and the setting up of the new Anzuk Force (Australia, New Zealand and the UK). He was accompanied at the saluting dais by his three service commanders – Rear Adm J.A.R. Troup, Commander, Far East Fleet, Maj-Gen W.B. Thomas, Army Commander and Air Vice Marshal N.M. Maynard, Commander of the Far East Air Force.


First Batch Of SAFOS Scholars

Saturday, 25th September 1971

The first five to receive the prestigious SAF Overseas Scholarship (SAFOS) were 2nd Lieutenants Boey Tak Hap, Lai Seck Khui, Lui Taun Kie, Sin Boon Wah and Lee Hsien Loong (the Prime Minister's son). These scholarships to British universities on exceptionally generous terms to induce the best of Singapore's youth to join the armed forces as regular officers.


Two-hour rain causes heavy flooding

Thursday, 23rd September 1971

A strong 22-Knots (40km/hr) Sumatra storm from the Malacca Straits hit Singapore this morning. In just over two hours it caused heavy flooding, power failures, landslides, monster traffic jams and a chain of road mishaps. At the Paya Lebar Airport, two arrivals and two departures were delayed due to poor visibility. Several kampong homes in Geylang Serai had their their roof-top blown off. Flood were reported at Bukit Timah Road, Kampong Java Road, Kheam Hock Road and Holland Road. Even the Botanic Gardens was under water. Several trees throughout the island were uprooted.


SADC Took Over Tengah

Wednesday, 15th September 1971

Singapore Air Defence Command (SADC) took over full operational control of Tengah Air Base from the British Royal Air Force (RAF).


Sixth Singapore Grand Prix

Sunday, 11th April 1971

This is the year that cigarette advertisement was banned. This signal the end of the pervasive Rothman boards found all over the Thomson Road Street Race Circuit. However, it did not prevent Rothmans from parking their vans (plastered with advertisement) and transporter equipped facilities for circuit marshals . The event saw a phenomenal level of entries from top driver from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan. There are over 50 entries for Motorcycle Grand Prix, 52 for Clubman Race, 48 for Saloon and Tourers Race and 34 for the main Grand Prix Race. The race was won for the third time by New Zealander, Graeme Lawrence.


RAF Hand Over Seletar Air Base

Wednesday, 31st March 1971

RAF Seletar was officially transferred to the Singapore Government. When the Singapore Government took over Seletar Airbase, they discovered that the facilities in the 2 camps (East & West) that made up the airbase were larger than what was actually required for flight training. Some of the buildings were used by the Government to house other SAF units, while some of the quarters that the British had built were released for rent to the public.


The Preservation of Momuments Act Legislated

Friday, 29th January 1971

The Preservation of Momunments Act is legislated to ensures the preservation of Singapore's unique culture and heritage, and the stability of old building structures came into force.


Jurong BirdPark Open

Sunday, 3rd January 1971

The idea of a bird park in Jurong was first conceived in 1968 by Dr Goh Keng Swee, the then Minister for Finance. During a World Bank Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Dr Goh visited a zoological garden and was impressed with its free-flight aviary. The Park has more than 9,000 birds from 600 species.


Benjamin Henry Sheares swore in as President

Saturday, 2nd January 1971

Doctor Benjamin Henry Sheares becomes the second President of Singapore.