(NO LONGER EXISTS)
In the 1930s, there were many Sikhs working as security guards, general workers and contractors. These Sikhs were involved in the construction of the British Naval Base in Sembawang as well as the Air Force Base at 12th Mile Sembawang. A few Sikhs were also employed by the Naval Police Force, which was established in 1938. The Akali Trading Agency belonging to Sardar Tara Singh Hathesi sold provisions in this area at that time.
In mid 1936, the civilian Sikhs in Senawang established the Guru Khalsa Sabha, which was formally registered on 25th October 1940. The Gurdwara Sahib Guru Khalsa Sabha had its origins in a one-room attap house in a Village at 13th mile Sembawang. The address was Number 921 Sembawang Road, Singapore 2775. The first President of this Gurdwara Sahib was Sardar Hira Singh Sangroor, the Secretary was Sardar Tara Singh Hathesi and Treasurer, Sardar Bachitar Singh Maskeen. This Gurdwara Sahib was gradually renovated and rebuilt over the years.
This Gurdwara Sahib effectively served the religious, educational, social, moral and welfare needs of Sikhs living in the northern region of Singapore. This Sabha played an important role in teaching Gurmukhi as well as kirtan and sehaj path classes. In the 1950's, the Sikh Naujawan Sabha of Senawang played an important role in the education of Sikh youths in the Sikh religion.
With the departure of the British Forces from the Naval Base in 1971, many of the Sikhs migrated overseas or moved to new areas in Singapore e.g. Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands and Toa Payoh.
In the 1980s, this Gurdwara Sahib was renamed as Sembawang Sikh Temple and was registered as a charitable organisation with the Commissioner of Charities.
By the end of the 1980s, there were very few Sikh families left in the Sembawang area. Furthermore, the Singapore Government had earmarked this area for reDevelopment.
To mark the closure of this Gurdwara Sahib, Akhand Path prayers were held from 25th to 27th August 1995. On the afternoon of 27th August 1995, this Gurdwara Sahib was closed for the last time. The Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, was respectfully taken to the Gurdwara Sahib Yishun. The assets of this Gurdwara Sahib were also transferred to the new Gurdwara Sahib at Yishun.
Reference: "Ithas Khalsa Dharmak Sabha, Singapore" by Sardar Tara Singh Hathesi, Gujaranwalia, Singapore Page 226 - 227 (Published by Khalsa Dharmak Sabha, Singapore -April 1985)
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS
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