The Singapore River has made its mark on many commemorative objects, including banknotes, stamps and coin medallions. When Singapore issued her first currency in 1967, the reverse side of the old five-dollar note showcased Singapore River and Singapore’s beginnings as a port city. The river was also featured in 20-cent stamps that were issued in 1990 and the Singapore-Egypt joint stamps issued in 2011. Most recently, at the 2019 Singapore International Coin Fair, a medallion made with 1⁄4oz 999 fine silver featuring the past and present Singapore River, was launched.
Since the good old days, the Singapore River has been a place for foodies. In 1970, the Singapore River was already a gathering place for food hawkers and their customers. Three years later in 1973, the Boat Quay Food Centre was built to cater to the working class people in the area. To make way for MRT construction and redevelopment plans, this hawker centre was eventually demolished. Today fortunately, the riverside area remains a food haven for locals and tourists alike. With dozens of pubs, restaurants and cafés serving a delectable range of food from all around the world, visitors are often spoilt for choice.
The Singapore Stone is a large sandstone fragment that dates back to between the 10th and 13th century. The fragment originates from a stone slab that was discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles and his labourers at the southeast side of the Singapore River mouth in 1819. The slab had been inscribed with 50 or 52 lines of unknown script, which Raffles himself tried to decipher but to no avail. Sadly, the entire slab got blown up in 1843 to widen the passageway at the river mouth. Thankfully, several fragments were recovered and one of them returns to be displayed at the National Museum of Singapore. The inscription is believed to be in Old Javanese or Sanskrit, and the stone is said to be part of the grave of Badang, a legendary wrestler who defeated regional challengers in the Kingdom of Singapura.
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