2007/06/29 - Ambassador’s Message

Dear Visitors to this Website,

As the month of June draws to a close, and as some among us leave for summer vacation, I take this opportunity to look back briefly on these past few months which have been very “French” in Singapore. You have been able to measure the resounding effects of the French festival “Voilah produced some 15 artistic, scientific and commercial events. The “Engraving the World”exhibition, which presented the chalcography collections of the Louvre Museum, has thus attracted, within one month, 22000 visitors to the Singapore Arts Museum. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to making this festival a great success.

The presidential election in France has also earned us quite a fair amount of attention from the media. The huge voter turnout to the voting center opened in this Embassy has shown the degree of interest that this election has aroused among our fellow French nationals in Singapore. Besides, it was with a great deal of legitimate pride that I have attended, on 5 May, the ceremony for the commissioning into the Singapore Navy of the first of six French Lafayette-class frigates.

Finally, allow me to present to you a project which could become a superb collective work : it is about documenting the French presence in Singapore, going as far back in time as possible. Even though the city founded by Raffles in 1819, first jewel of the British colonial empire in East Asia, then independent City-State, has never been part of the French-speaking sphere, French people did pass through - such as Segalen, Clémenceau, Cocteau, Malraux… - or did live here. A French consulate was opened in 1842.

Mr. Maxime Pilon and Ms Danièle Weiler, history professor and librarian-documentalist respectively at the Lycée Français de Singapour (French School in Singapore), who are preparing a book on the French community in Singapore, have kindly accepted to provide editorial advice to the benefit of the Embassy in the elaboration of this document. A file (in French) related to this project has already been put online on this website of the Embassy at http://www.ambafrance-sg.org/rubrique.php3 ?id_rubrique=241. It is still merely an outline defined by the summary listed in that file and which will be gradually enriched following the progress of this project. But it already bears, among others, a remarkable article written by a historian, Matthieu Séguéla, on the stopover of Clemenceau in Singapore in 1920.

I invite all those who, in one way or another, have in their possession, historical material - texts, etchings, paintings, photos… - or who have memories or personal testimonies to share, to contribute by writing to histoire@ambafrance-sg.org if it is something that can be transferred by email, or otherwise, by sending it to the postal address of the Embassy (Press Department, Embassy of France in Singapore, 101-103 Cluny Park Road, S (259595)). These “bricks” will form the framework of this living history of the French in Singapore that remains to be written.

I thank you in advance and I wish you a happy summer.

Pierre Buhler
Ambassador of France in Singapore

Dernière modification : 15/01/2010

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