Singapore River Trail to get a new lease of life

30-Nov-2015 7:18 PM

American Express pledges first heritage grant of US$160,000 to revitalise the Singapore River Trail. Public invited to share personal stories on the river at American Express’ Heritage Exhibition.

SINGAPORE, 18 May 2015 – Once a place for thronging coolies, bumboats and bustling
trade, the Singapore River is home to generations of pioneers. In October, Singaporeans will
enjoy a renewed experience as the Singapore River Heritage Trail undergoes a major
revitalisation – the first in more than a decade – thanks to a two year US$160,000 donation
by the American Express Foundation.

The donation commemorates American Express’ 90th anniversary in Singapore and
Singapore’s jubilee year. The donation also marks American Express first direct heritage
grant to the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the first corporate to adopt one of NHB’s 13
Heritage Trails in the last decade.

Mr Cheng Heng Chew, Country Manager of American Express Singapore said, “American
Express is a strong supporter of heritage and conservation efforts worldwide. We are glad to
be partnering the National Heritage Board for our first direct heritage grant in Singapore and
hope the refreshed Singapore River Heritage Trail will attract more members of the public to
understand the heritage and historical significance of the area as well as be inspired to be a
part in preserving Singapore’s heritage.

Mr Cheng added, “The Singapore River is also close to our hearts as American Express
started our long history in Singapore at Union Building, near Collyer Quay, in 1925. We are
delighted to do our part to provide a more immersive and experiential trail experience at the
Singapore River.”

Unveiling the refreshed Singapore River Trail

The self-guided Singapore River Trail was launched in 2005 by the NHB to connect more
Singaporeans with its history by sharing stories of the places where we live, work and play.
Located in the heart of the central business district, the trail documents the rich heritage and
development of the country’s economy from the 14th century till the present day.

To create renewed interest in the heritage of the Singapore River, the grant will fund
additional research by NHB, production of new site markers and update the content on
existing trail markers. The grant will also go towards developing maps and booklets of the
Singapore River Trail and a mobile website.

Mr Tan Boon Hui, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Board, said, “We are
happy to have American Express as a partner in our heritage trails. Their support will help us
share an exciting story of how the River has resonated with many people over the years,
leaving behind precious stories and memories. With the refreshment of the Singapore River
Trail, we hope more Singaporeans will take the opportunity to rediscover some of
Singapore’s most iconic and historic sites such as Boat Quay, Masjid Omar Kampong
Melaka and the Former Thong Chai Medical Hall, among others, while enjoying the many
new and upcoming offerings along the river, and around the Civic District.”

Looking back at American Express’ History through a Heritage Exhibition
As part of its 90th anniversary celebrations, American Express also launched a two-week
heritage exhibition at ION Orchard today. The heritage exhibition showcases the company’s
milestones in Singapore, interesting artefacts such as the first traveller’s cheque, the
evolution of American Express cards in Singapore, old advertisements, archival clippings
and more. As a prelude to the re-launch of the Singapore River Trail, the exhibition also
recreates the mood and atmosphere of the Singapore River in the past. The exhibition will
be held from May 18 to May 31.

Mr Chris Chong, Chief Executive of Orchard Turn Developments said: “ION Orchard is a key
Singapore landmark located on Orchard Road which has a rich heritage as a nutmeg and
pepper plantation. As the strategic partner for American Express, we are delighted to be able
to support their endeavour to promote Singapore’s unique heritage and history with not just
Singaporeans but tourists alike as we celebrate the re-launch of the Singapore River Trail.”

For the next two weeks, members of the public are invited to the exhibition to contribute their
personal stories of the Singapore River. These stories will be shared with NHB and may be
used for their publications. Members of the public can also contribute their stories via Private
Message on National Heritage Board’s Facebook page

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For more information, please contact:
Michele Batchelor
Head, Public Affairs & Communications
American Express
6317 6338

Media contact

Michele Batchelor
Head of Public Affairs & Communications

Tel: +65 63176338

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