Telok Kurau Road



Telok Kurau Road connects Changi Road to Marine Parade Road. Named after a fishing village called Telok Kurau on East Coast Road, the road has been a popular middle-class residential district since the 1960s.1

History
The word telok kurau is Malay for “mango fish bay” – telok means “bay” and kurau is “mango fish”.2 Before kampongs were phased out by the 1980s, a Malay village known as Telok Kurau used to be located on East Coast Road.3


In the prewar days, it was common to see Indians in Telok Kurau. They reared cows, leading the animals about freely on public roads. The cows were led from one house to another and milked whenever someone wanted to buy milk.4

Telok Kurau Primary School, formerly called the Telok Kurau English School, was established in 1926. Originally a two-storey wooden building set in the middle of a coconut plantation,5 it shared the same football field with the Telok Kurau Malay School which lay in the adjacent compound.6 During the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), the school was used as a screening centre for the Japanese military’s Sook Ching massacre.7

Later in 1950, the road also had its share of violence during the Maria Hertogh riots.8

Description
Since the 1960s, Telok Kurau has been a sleepy and tranquil suburbia in Katong, known mostly as a middle-class residential enclave. The suburb roughly covers Telok Kurau Road, which is intersected by several smaller roads: Lorongs G, H, J, K, L, M and N Telok Kurau; Jalan Baiduri; St Patrick’s Road; Joo Chiat Avenue; and Joo Chiat Place. The charm of this area has been attributed to the presence of unimposing buildings: a mix of modest bungalows, terrace and semidetached houses as well as low-rise apartments that exist among coffeeshops and small businesses. Despite the thronging urban development in nearby Katong, the Telok Kurau area has managed to retain its charm.9

Since the 1990s, new housing projects have altered the landscape of Telok Kurau, though not drastically. Low-rise buildings still dominate the landscape, with few tall condominiums in the area. New semidetached houses have sprung up and, together with freshly painted terrace houses, they constitute a notable feature in the changing landscape of Telok Kurau.10



Author

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References 
1. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 380. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA]); Low, E. S. L., et al. (2002). Life in Katong. Singapore: National Library Board, p. 19. (Call no.: RCLOS q959.57 LIF-[HIS])
2. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 380. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
3. Kong, L., & Chang, T. C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON-[HIS]); Dunlop, P. (2000). Street names of Singapore. Singapore: Who’s Who Publishing, p. 307. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 DUN-HIS])
4. Kong, L., & Chang, T. C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 73. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON-[HIS])
5. Quek, T. (2000, December 6). SM Lee returns to bid farewell to old school. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Kong, L., & Chang, T. C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 127. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON-[HIS])
6. I grew up completely at ease with Malays. (2003, September 30). The Straits Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Kong, L., & Chang, T. C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 127. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON-[HIS])
8. Police make 700 riot arrests. (1950, December 15). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Low, E. S. L., et al. (2002). Life in Katong. Singapore: National Library Board, p. 9. (Call no.: RCLOS q959.57 LIF-[HIS])
9. Kong, L. (1992, December 5). New Telok Kurau. The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Kong, L., & Chang, T. C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 25. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON-[HIS])
10. Kong, L. (1992, December 5). New Telok Kurau. The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



Further resources
Chua, C. J. (1989, October 26). It’s off to market for fresh lessons. The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Gasmier, M. R. (1992, December 22). A multi-faceted view of… The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2003 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.

Subject
Street names--Singapore
History>>Asia>>Southeast Asia>>Singapore
Streets and Places
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places