Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Places around P.E.E. (1) - The Salvation Army Home

At the junction of Hillview Road with Upper Bukit Timah Road, and directly across the Standard Chartered Bank, is a modern edifice called Praisehaven run by the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army building "Praisehaven"
In the 1970s, I lived at the neighboring Fuyong Estate for a few years after relocating from Princess Elizabeth Estate. At the time, the Salvation Army was running a Nursery Home for Children called the Lee Kuo Chuan Home for Children.

Lee Kuo Chuan was the father of the philanthropist Lee Kong Chian who donated the land to the Salvation Army for setting up the Home in 1951. I can recall the old Home was a single story building that always seemed to be painted in shades of yellow or orange. It was built on the hill slope and had a well manicured terraced field in front, and it was always this field of green with its royal palm trees that you notice first as you passed it.

The Home was for abandoned or disadvantaged children and my parents would always threatened to send my siblings and myself there whenever we were naughty.
Inmates at the Lee Kuo Chuan Home.
The original building was a single storey building.

In my teens years, as student in secondary school, I came into direct contact with the Home as a member of the schools' Interact Club. The club had 'adopted' the Home as part of our social outreach, and we volunteered our time to the Lee Kuo Chuan Home. We would troop down to the Home each Friday afternoon and were at the disposal of the matron, whom I remembered was a Dutch captain. She had a very friendly matronly look in her white uniform with red epaulettes. 

For some reason, we were always given the task of painting the place. It seems every time we went there, we would be painting a wall or the fence or some furniture.  

After I left school, I continued to pass by the Home as a shortcut ran beside the Home from Fuyong Estate to the bus stop in front of the Home. In time, I noticed that the Salvation Army had switched from running the Children's Home to a Home for the aged and elderly.

The present building was built some time in the 90s but I am not aware of the actual period. 
The Salvation Army also runs a Thrift Shop there now.


  1. James there was also a lovely kindergarten in there, which my siblings n I attended. I'll never forget, that's my first school n it was a great n fun school :) However we never got the chance to befriend the orphans cos they were in a different wing I think. Lowy may remember more. I think she used to seek them out to give them her sandwiches.

  2. Hi D.
    I didn't know that there was a kindergarten there as well.
    Thanks for this little gem of info.
    All my siblings and myself didn't get to go to kndergarten, except for the youngest Susan, who went to the PAP kindergarten at the community centre. Lucky her.

  3. When I was in Pri 4 or 5 (1967-68), I remember there would be students from the Home. A bus will send them into the school compound. Theynwill arrive after the school has assembled and I remember they don't normally join the rest of the school in the compound. Instead all of them would go to their classes immediately. One of them was a boy with polio and, as prefect, I would walk him up the stairs to 2nd storey.

    This was my first encounter with children who are diadvantaged and it left a lasting impression on me. Even as I went to secondary school, whenever the Green Bus passes the orphanage, I never fail to look at it, wondering what it is like to be in there. The lawn is always well manicured and the building is your typical 1960s design.

  4. Oh yes I remember attending my kindergarten class there. There was this huge European lady whom we called "Major" & I also remember those yummy biscuits & milk supplied by the kindergarten.