The former Rochor Community Centre cuts a diminutive figure along Prinsep Street.
The building’s architectural design – distinctively asymmetrical with a strong vertical tower on its left –marked a phase of rapid modernisation under Singapore’s then newly elected government.
Officially opened in 1963 by then acting Prime Minister, Dr Toh Chin Chye, Rochor Community Centre was the heartbeat of the local community for many years.
On the ground floor, an Outpatient Dispensary (OPD) served the medical needs of the populace. Patients could undergo routine check-ups, collect medication, and receive help for wounds and vaccinations – all at a subsidised fee. From November 1998 onwards, an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) counselling centre provided free advice to AIDS patients.
Notably, the second floor was where Dr Toh, for a period of time, held Meet-the-People Sessions for residents of the then Rochor Constituency.
25 years later, the Community Centre was eventually relocated to 50 Queen Street on 31 December 1988. The new property, initially called ‘Queen Street Community Centre’, was renamed Rochor Community Centre less than a year later.
Although the OPD was originally slated to close at the same time as the Community Centre, with the announcement in 1993 that a new Institute of Health will be built, a petition made by 1,100 residents kept the dispensary – which was conveniently located to service many elderly residents – in operation until 1998.
Since 2001, the former Community Centre has been leased as a childcare premise by Life Care Society (生命关怀之家), with all three floors dedicated to the care of children aged two months to six years old.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of October 2019 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.