Boustead Institute at Anson Road

This coloured postcard shows Boustead Institute at Anson Road in the early 1900s. The institute was designated as a hostel for seamen living in Singapore. It was named after Sir Edward Boustead, the wealthy founder of the successful European merchant firm Boustead & Co., which had a large and imposing warehouse built by the famed architect, George Coleman, in Boat Quay. Boustead, who was concerned for the plight of seamen, bequeathed a sum of money upon his death in 1891 to finance the construction of a building for them. The Tanjong Pagar Dock Company donated the site for this project and the building was officially opened by the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, in 1892. The Anson Road institute became a port of call for seamen from around the world. Ownership of the building was changed in 1958 and for a while it was home to the famous bar, Toby’s Paradise. The building no longer exists as it was demolished in the late 1970s for port expansion works.Anson Road was named after Major General Sir Archibald E.H. Anson. He served as interim administrator of the Straits Settlements in the 1870s during the periods between governors.