In search of love in the old GPO

14 04 2017

I loved the old GPO. It was a post office like none other in Singapore. Its main hall, which you entered after a climb up a short flight of stairs, was grand and airy. Stretching almost the entire length of the building, the hall was also where the long postal counter was found. That ran along the hall’s length and held the distinction of being the longest in the world.  Like all old buildings, the GPO – now the Fullerton Hotel has its collection of stories, including ones that tell of romantic liaisons.

In search of romance – a civil servant, played by Isabelle Chiam, gets everyone at the Minsitry of Finance involved.

An opportunity to discover the romances of the past, and also the building’s colourful history – in a fun and amusing way – presents itself with “A Fullerton Love Story Tour”.  Led by a resident tour guide, participants are taken on a search for romance – not of their own – but between a love struck postman at the GPO, played by Edward Choy, and his love interest – a civil servant with the Ministry of Finance housed in the same building – played by Isabelle Chiam. Participants also become part of the story as they move through various historic spots that include the Singapore Club, Fullerton Square, the Presidential Suite and the location of the Fullerton Building’s former lighthouse.

The love struck postman, played by Edward Choy.

View from the lighthouse towards what used to be the harbour.

Tours, which will be held from 8pm to 9.30 pm on 29 April, 6 May and 13 May 2017, are available for booking at http://afullertonlovestorytour.peatix.com. Priced at $78 nett for adults and $58 nett for children between 6 to 11, the tours will be followed by desserts at The Courtyard crafted by Executive Pastry Chef, Enrico Pezzelato.

The resident tour guide.

Besides the tour, which is being held in conjunction with the Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, the Fullerton Hotel is also bring back the TENG Ensemble for a showcase of brand new Singapore-inspired works. The showcase, “Where the River Always Flows II”, will include songs by P. Ramlee and Zubir Said and two East-West pieces specially commissioned  by the Fullerton Heritage.  Tickets for the concert, which will be held at the East Garden on 29 April 2017 at 7 pm, are available at $3 each at http://wheretheriveralwaysflows2.peatix.com.  More information on the concert and the tour can be found at the Fullerton Heritage’s website.

Enchanted Garden – one of five desserts guests on the tour will get to choose from.

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The Fullerton Hotel National Day light up

2 08 2015

As a child, one of the highlights of National Day was the nighttime drive to see the city’s birthday lights. The beautifully lit landmarks, buildings and the fountains that once graced the city, although much simpler then, brought a wonderful burst of colour to the city and its surroundings. Among my favourites were the illuminations of the City Hall, the old Supreme Court, and also the old St. Joseph’s Institution, now the Singapore Art Museum, which always seemed to be bathed in green, and where I would eventually attend school at. The fountains looked especially beautifully lit at night, besides the ones that would be normally illuminated at the roundabouts, there was one located at the filter beds off Bukit Timah Road, close to its junction with Cavenagh and New Cemetery Roads, that would be specially turned on and illuminated for the special occasion.

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Light-ups to celebrate our special days these days, tend to be more than just the simple illuminations of old, involving video projections of both light and sound. One to look out for in the lead up to our nation’s 50th anniversary is the video mapping show that is being seen on the face of the last of the grand edifices of our once glorious waterfront, the grand old Fullerton Building, over nine evenings from 1st August.

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Produced in collaboration with Hexagon Solution Pte Ltd, the light-up, an eight minute long projection entitled “A Celebration of  Our Heritage”, will take the audience through key moments in Singapore’s history and the connection the building, the former General Post Office or GPO, had with some of them. One of these moments are the election rallies Fullerton Square was well known for.

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The light-up is part of a slew of activities in the Marina Bay area, where the focal point of the National Day celebrations will take place. One thing to look forward to will be the fireworks and aerial displays on 9 August – the parade will be screened live on LCD screens around the bay. Also to look forward to is the complimentary kacang putih and potong ice-cream that will be given out by Fullerton Hotel on 7 and 8 August at One Fullerton. The Fullerton is also running a Facebook contest that will see ten lucky winners walk away with a complimentary weekend night’s stay at the hotel – all that is needed to enter is to take a photo of the projection and submit it with a birthday wish to the nation via Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #FullertonSG50LightUp (contest closes on 9 August 2015 at 11:50 pm). More information on this and the light-up can be found on the Fullerton Hotel’s Fullerton Hotel website or Facebook Page.

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Spicing Town up

27 07 2012

Having a spice fix is something I can’t live without and I got one last Friday at a dinner buffet at the Town Restaurant at the Fullerton. On for a very short period of time from 20 to 30 July 2012, Town Restaurant takes one on “A Tasty Passage to India” through its dinner buffet – one that combines the flavours brought in from the Taj Palace New Delhi with the selection of seafood on ice, salads, pastas, pizzas and cheeses that is always a draw on its popular buffet line.

Delivered straight from the Taj Palace New Delhi is the “A Tasty Passage to India” DInner Buffet at The Fullerton’s Town Restaurant.

Seafood on ice from the buffet line.

The buffet which is presented in partnership with the Taj Palace New Delhi and Jet Airways, sees many Northern Indian specialties being served up including Murg Badam Shorba (Almond-flavoured Chicken Broth), Kasundi Mahi Tikka (Bengal Mustard Fish Kebab), Kolapuri Mutton (Spicy Mutton Curry), Phoolkopichi Bhaji (Cauliflower Curry Served with Crushed Peanuts), Paneer Makai Seekh (Minced Cottage Cheese and Corn Kernels Char-grilled On Skewer), Chingri Malai Curry (Prawns Cooked in Coconut), Subz Briyani (Vegetable Spiced Rice) along with an assortment of Indian Breads and tangy Chutneys. In town to lend their expertise to Fullerton’s The Courtyard are Guest Chefs from the Taj Palace, Shahid Hossain, the Executive Sous Chef of Taj Palace New Delhi, and Commis Chefs Sandeep Chauhan and Vinod Kuma from Taj Palace New Delhi’s speciality Indian restaurant Masala Art.

A selection from the grill.

Tandoori fish.

A selection of breads.

With what must certainly be too much to choose from for one dinner sitting, I had to selectively sample what was on offer. What I can say is certainly worth a try besides the briyanis and breads which I never can resist, is the Kolapuri Mutton, the Tandoori Fish, and a potato cutlet which is topped with sauces, the name of which I unfortunately was not able to catch. “A Tasty Passage to India” is priced at S$52* per adult and $26* per child (6 to 12 years old) [*subject to service charge and prevailing government taxes]. The dinner buffet is on unitl 31 July 2012 daily from 6 to 10 pm at Town Restaurant (located at the lobby level of The Fullerton Hotel). For reservations, please call (65) 6877 8128 or email town@fullertonhotel.com.

Potato cutlets frying in a pan …

… and is served with sauces that include a masala sauce and a mint sauce which is topped with pomegranate – delicious!





Kois swimming on the Fullerton’s façade

1 12 2011

Being fond of graphic light projections on our heritage buildings since seeing one at my old school building last year, I was delighted to be invited for one at the Fullerton Hotel last evening. The show of light during which the hotel’s iconic façade came alive with creepers growing, koi fishes swimming and fireflies fluttering – all part of a 3D animation and projection show, spectacularly brought to a close the year-long celebrations for the 10th Anniversary of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

The Fullerton's gift for its 10th Anniversary - a spectacular show of lights.

Projection techniques were employed for the show that were showcased for the first time in Asia. And for this, the hotel collaborated with CPG Productions, the Singapore firm which was behind the opening and closing ceremonies for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. The 10 minute show took two months of preparation and was inspired by the hotel’s transformation from the General Post Office Building to the heritage hotel it is today, involving a team which included an architect as well as experts in 3D modelling and animation, concluding with a holiday-themed finale to usher in the festive season.

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Seven years old and making dreams and wishes come true

4 11 2011

Drop by the Fullerton Hotel’s East Garden Foyer and the colourful acrylics on canvas on display would no doubt catch your attention. By themselves, the bold colours and playful patterns on canvas – the works of Gelyn Ong, would be sufficient attraction to draw any observer’s attention to them and marvel at the raw talent of the artist, but on the realisation that the artist is only seven, one can’t help but be awed at the immense talent and maturity that she possesses.

The raw talent of Gelyn Ong on display at the Fullerton Hotel's East Garden Foyer. Work entitled 'Rouge Meilove'.

The works on display at the Fullerton are 29 of Gelyn’s latest pieces in what is her first solo exhibition, ‘My Dreams, My Wishes’. The exhibition was opened on 2 November 2011 by Minister of Transport, Mr Lui Tuck Yew during which Gelyn and Mr Liu jointly unveiled ‘My Beautiful World’. In her speech (yes, she even gave a speech), Gelyn spoke, with an air of self-confidence and maturity that goes well beyond her tender age, of how much she enjoyed what she was doing, having progress from coloured pencils and crayons at the age of two, to starting art classes at the age of four and moving to where she is today.

Gelyn Ong speaking at the opening of her first solo exhibition, 'My Dreams, My Wishes'.

'My Beautiful World' being unveiled by Mr Lui and Gelyn Ong.

Gelyn with her mother Genii, and Minister Lui at the opening of her debut exhibition.

Besides trees and flowers, Gelyn has also started to paint animals which she finds beautiful - a close-up of 'Two Brothers'.

Gelyn and her family, who have to date, raised close to $100,000 in donating her the proceeds of the sales of her art work to charity, in this debut exhibition which is supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Singapore and Fullerton Heritage, hope to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions through the sales of the 29 works on display. Another supporter of the project is EZ-Link Pte Ltd which with main sponsor PwC, is incorporating a ‘green’ element, and has printed 2,500 limited edition ez-link cards displaying one of Gelyn’s favourite paintings which PwC will be purchasing for all its staff as a New Year gift as part of its pro-environmental initiative to encourage the use of public transport.

Gelyn had the opportunity to explain the inspiration behind her colourful creations to Minister Lui, which included this peice entitled 'A New Awakening'.

A close-up of 'The Red Topiary'. Gelyn enjoys painting trees and flowers as is very evident from the works on display at the exhibition.

Close-up of 'Daisy'.

Another of Gelyn's work on display at the Fullerton Heritage Gallery.

Close-up of 'Eye-Catching'.

Close-up of 'Dance With Me'.

The work that I liked best - 'Beyond the Yellow Mellow Hills'.


About ‘My Dreams. My Wishes’
As part of its Art in the City Programme, The Fullerton Heritage is launching seven year-old prodigy, Gelyn Ong‘s debut solo art exhibition ‘My Dreams, My Wishes’, an exhibition featuring 29 of her latest art pieces. Through this exhibition, Gelyn and her family aim to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation®, a charity which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. This exhibition will take place at The East Garden Foyer, as well as The Fullerton Heritage Gallery from 2 November to 22 November 2011.

About Gelyn Ong
A young aspiring artist, Gelyn’s whimsical, boldly patterned art work began as crayon scribbles on paper at the age of four. Since then, not only has she graduated to acrylics on canvas, her love for art has also gone towards helping the less fortunate. In the last year alone, Gelyn’s paintings have helped to raise over $90,000 for charity.






Exposing the lotus

30 09 2011

An exhibition worth visiting at the Fullerton Hotel’s East Garden Foyer is the Lotus Fantasia Photography Exhibition which features the work of a highly acclaimed photographer from Hong Kong, Dr. Leo K. K. Wong, which was launched on 28 September 2011 and will be on until 23 October 2011. What the exhibition promises the visitor is a captivating display of 20 masterpieces of Dr. Wong’s work in what is his first photography exhibition in Singapore.

The Lotus Fantasia exhibition is on at the Fullerton Hotel up until 23 October 2011.

Viewing the prints on display, one is certain to be taken by the diffusion of soft colours which lend a somewhat dramatic quality to each of the images of lotuses captured in a way where they reflect the essence of the season they were captured in. The images are taken using a multi-exposure technique and telephoto lenses, and are not post-processed in any way. Inspiration for the images is drawn from Chinese ink painting – in which Dr. Wong has a deep interest in (along with other forms of traditional Chinese art), the effect of the technique mimicking brush strokes of Chinese ink painting giving the photographs a ink paiting like quality. On the subject of lotuses, Dr. Wong feels that they “evoke different feelings with seasonal changes, but remain utterly beautiful all the same throughout the year”. He hopes that through the exhibition, the public’s appreciation of the lotus is enhanced.

Autumn Fantasy, 1983.

The exhibtion is held as part of the Fullerton Heritage’s Art in the City Programme. Dr Wong’s works are on sale and has pledged the proceeds of the sale to Beyond Social Services, an organisation which focuses on improving the lives of families and individuals from disadvantaged low-income backgrounds.

Dr Wong autographing his book at the opening.

Bliss, 2009.


Lotus Fantasia – Photography by Leo K. K. Wong

‘Lotus Fantasia’ features 20 works by veteran photographer Dr Leo KK Wong, who embraces the state-of-the-art multiple exposure and telephoto lens techniques. The works of Dr Wong are both poetic and modernistic with a sublime beauty drawn from Chinese ink painting. The fleeting moments of the lotus in different seasons are meticulously captured in this superb series of photographs.

29 September to 23 October 2011
10am to 7pm
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, East Garden Foyer









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