Toa Payoh housing estate was selected as the Games Village of the 7th Southeast Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games that was held in Singapore from 1 to 8 September 1973. The decision was announced by E. W. Barker, who was then president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, on 19 January 1973. Toa Payoh was chosen because of its close proximity to the National Stadium at Kallang, and also because its new sports complex was better equipped to meet the training needs of the athletes. In addition, the Toa Payoh town centre would provide the athletes with access to a variety of recreational amenities and services such as markets, shops, and entertainment and medical services.
In the Toa Payoh Games Village, the athletes and officials were housed in four 25-storey residential point blocks, each with 96 apartment units. Each unit was occupied by six persons, two to each room. The units were laid with mosaic tiles and parquet flooring, and were fully furnished with beds, lockers, wardrobes, dressing tables, a set of dining table and chairs, a sofa, two armchairs and a coffee table. There was also a recreation floor on the second storey of each block that offered communal television viewing, indoor games facilities and hot/cold drink machines. The SEAP Games Secretariat and the various sub-committees were housed in a three-storey building near one of the residential blocks in the Games Village. A police operations centre was also set up at the SEAP Games Secretariat along with police posts at each residential block to ensure the safety of athletes and officials.
Then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Goh Keng Swee opened the SEAP Games Village on 30 August 1973. The event was commemorated with the planting of a Hop tree by Goh in the village centre. This was followed by a tree-planting exercise carried out by the heads of the various contingents. After the games, the apartment units were sold to the public through a balloting exercise at S$19,000 per unit, with an additional S$1,700 for the furnishings. The three-storey building that housed the SEAP Games Secretariat was converted into the Toa Payoh Branch Library, which opened on 7 February 1974.
1. Toa Payoh is games village. (1972, January 21). The Straits Times, p. 24; Friday, E. (1972, August 9). Sept date for Seap games. The Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. The Straits Times, 21 Jan 1972, p. 24.
3. 7th SEAP Games, Singapore, 1973: Bulletin (pp. 14–16). (1973). Singapore: 7th SEAP Games Organising Committee and Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. Call no.: RCLOS 796 SOU.
4. 7th SEAP Games, Singapore, 1973: Bulletin, 1973, p. 19; Games village will be like luxury hotel. (1972, June 9). The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Frida, E. (1973, August 8). Athletes happy in Seap Village. The Straits Times, p. 22; Call for sale of ‘instant live-in’ flats. (1973, October 24). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Patrols at the village. (1973, September 2). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Dr. Goh opens games village. (1973, August 31). The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. The Straits Times, 24 Oct 1973, p. 7.
9. Tan, W. (1998, May 5). Facelift for Toa Payoh Library. The Straits Times, p. 41; Jek to open Toa Payoh library. (1974, February 5). The Straits Times, p. 13 Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.