Former Victoria School (Tyrwhitt Road)
On the newly marked Jalan Besar Heritage Trail is the People’s Association Headquarters (former Victoria School). Founded in 1876, Victoria School occupied the Tyrwhitt Road premises from 1932 to 1984.
It is said that a Victorian never forgets his formative years in Victoria School, even if he would only realise it many years later. The symbolic school motto Nil Sine Labore (Nothing Without Labour) was introduced at the Tyrwhitt Road premises in 1940.
The Public Works Department of Singapore who also designed the Hill Street Police Station and Barracks, Supreme Court Building, Clifford Pier and the old Kallang Airport designed the building.
The neo-classicial architectural building often exudes a haunting feeling in the Jalan Besar neighbourhood with its faded grey walls, long corridor, and faded wooden doors. One cannot help but to imagine the likes of Devan Nair, S R Nathan, and Edwin Thumboo as eager pupils in those square classrooms. It also served as Jalan Besar Boys’ School during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore.
The hall-cum-canteen block built after the war as an enhancement to the main school block, is the earliest school hall prototype developed by Public Works Department to remain today.
People’s Association Headquarters opened on 29 January 2010, after Urban Redevelopment Authority gazetted the site for conservation in 2007. Today the site is featured in the Jalan Besar Heritage Trail, as part of National Heritage Board’s on-going efforts to document and present history and social memories of places in Singapore.