A pictorial look at Mount Faber through the last 50 years

This 1969 photograph shows the first development at Mount Faber, a then-new hill road. -- ST FILE PHOTO
This 1969 photograph shows the first development at Mount Faber, a then-new hill road. -- ST FILE PHOTO

In the 1960s through to the 1980s, Mount Faber, one of the oldest parks in Singapore, was a favourite destination for both Singaporeans and tourists. The top of the hill offered a panoramic view of the south-west coast as well as the Central Business District.

However, the place seems to have fallen out of favour with Singaporeans in recent years as new attractions have sprung up around the island and newer parks compete for attention. So Mount Faber Leisure Group recently launched a makeover for the venue's image. The group is hoping to rebrand the place as a more casual, accessible destination.

We trawl The Straits Times' photograph archive to see how the place has changed in the past 50 years.

Mount Faber Singapore

This 1969 photograph shows the first development at Mount Faber, a then-new hill road. The rather breathless caption for the photograph also described an "ultra modern complex to be built" which would be "patterned after a space module with a 'space cabin' for a panoramic view of the city and harbour". There is also a mention of a garden park, "ideal for relaxing, viewing and wooing". 


Mount Faber Singapore

Acting Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee planted a rain tree at the top of Mount Faber to launch the first annual Tree Planting Day in 1971.


Mount Faber Singapore

This is what the rain tree looked like in 1997.


In 1973, the Seventh Seap Games kicked off at Mount Faber with a fire-lighting ceremony, modelled after the ancient Olympic ritual of using a concave mirror and the sun's rays to light the sacred fire. Four girls from National Junior College performed the ritual. 


Mount Faber Singapore

Mr Othman Wok, Minister of Social Affairs and president of the organising committee, performed the flame-lighting ceremony which opened the Seventh Seap Games.


Mount Faber Singapore

A 1974 photograph of the harbour port taken from a cable car when the system finally went online after a successful trial run. 


Mount Faber Singapore

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee stepping into a bright yellow Cable Car No.1 to start the trip across the harbour to Sentosa. He officiated at the opening ceremony.


Mount Faber Singapore

There was great excitement in 1978 when a two-hour episode of the hit TV series Hawaii Five-0 was set, and shot on location, in Singapore. It was the finale for Season 11 and the episode was titled The Year Of The Horse. Among the locations featured in the episode were the Mandarin Hotel in Orchard Road and the Chinese Garden. The Straits Times captured an early dawn shoot at Mount Faber with American stuntmen Bo Vandenecker (second from left), the stand-in for actor Barry Bostwick playing the villain, and Chuck Couch (second from right), stand-in for Jack Lord (extreme left) playing Steve McGarrett.On the right is local Malay actor Osman Zailani who had a big part in the episode. The fight can be seen on YouTube.


Mount Faber Singapore

In 1983, there was a horrific accident which happened when the derrick of an oil drilling vessel, the Eniwetok, snagged on the cableway. Two cabins were sent plunging into the water and seven people died. There was an emergency operation to rescue 13 other passengers trapped in the other cabins. 


Mount Faber Singapore

The cable car system being repaired in 1983 after the western track rope was  thrown out of position during the cable car accident on Jan 29. 


Mount Faber Singapore

Repair works being supervised by Walter Joyce (right), an engineer with British Ropes Ltd. 


Mount Faber Singapore

A 1983 photograph showing joggers at Mount Faber.


Mount Faber Singapore

In 2010, the mechanical system for the cable cars was replaced and new cabins installed in a $36-million revamp. The highest point for the system was also raised to 120m from 90m.