Royal Visitors To Pagoda Street
Robinson's Dept Store Fire @ Raffles Place
Major Events of 1972
- A Royal First For Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre & Pagoda Street
In 1972, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by her husband the Prince Philip and their daughter visited Singapore. They first visited Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre where they spent about 20 minutes watching a Cantonese opera performance by Joanna Wong and her troupe.
At Pagoda Street, the Royal family walked a considerable length of Pagoda Street, ending at Sri Mariamman Temple. They were accompanied by Mr. & Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew and Dr. Goh Keng Swee. It was reported that Mr. Lee bought a pot of plant for Queen Elizabeth, impromptu.
For the royal visit, Pagoda Street was washed and scrubbed twice that day. It was never cleaner. A few months before that, shophouses along the street were served notices by the building authority to repaint their external façade.
- Robinson’s Department Store Fire
- On 21 November 1972, a huge fire gutted the entire Robinson’s Department Store. A total of 9 persons died in the fire. After the fire, Robinson’s relocated to Specialists Centre at Orchard Road. The move added impetus to the development and growth of Orchard Road as the shopping and tourist street of Singapore.