Parsi Lodge Charity
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The Parsi Lodge Charity is the name given to a charitable Trust
Endowment which was created in 1829, primarily "to furnish
a burial ground for Parsis". The Trust today consists of a
building, the Parsi cemetery and investments in bonds and fixed
At the time, the trust property consisted of a piece of land near Tanjong Pagar for the burial of Parsis. In 1848, a bungalow was erected on an adjoining piece of land and it also formed part of the Trust. The bungalow, informally known as the Parsi Lodge, was built to provide respite for Parsi traders traveling from China and to host Zoroastrian religious ceremonies. Unfortunately, in May 1877, a bad bout of cholera in the village nearby led its lodgers to quickly vacate it. In 1889, the property was officially named The Parsi Lodge Charity. It was described as a beautiful cool house with good sea bathing as advertised for lodgers in September 1891. Its other advantages were its proximity to the commercial square and its seaside view. It seemed to languish in the late 19th century and was put up for sale in 1898 but no suitable price was offered. The auctioneers, Powell & Co., describe how the Lodge's frontage adjoined the beach and had its own jetty. Beside the lodge was a small dwelling house, and a large building formerly used as a store or godown. In 1903, the site was placed on sale again and by 1908, the building had been torn down and in its place were the Palmer Godowns.
When the last two trustees, Nanabhoy Framjee and Rustomjee left to settle in India, the Trust was transferred to the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowment Board. With the establishment of the Parsi Association of Malaya on 29 May 1954, the management of the Parsi Lodge Charity was returned to the community.
When the Trust was handed over to the Parsi Association to appoint their own trustees to manage and administer the Trust, the association petitioned the High Court to appoint the Public Trustee, as the sole Trustee. On 27 May 1969, the administration of the Parsi Lodge Charity was transferred to the Public Trustee Office. The Public Trustee is authorised "to apply the Funds... towards the improvement and upkeep of the Parsi Cemetery; ...for defraying expenses of religious ceremonies and providing for scholarships for Parsi Zoroastrians...resident in Singapore;... and for medical benefits or housing for needy Parsis". A Committee of Management is elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of The Parsi Association in Singapore.
Currently, the Trust consists of a building, standing on Government-owned land, at the Parsi Cemetery on Choa Chu Kang Road, and also of investments in bonds and fixed deposits.
Phiroze N. Medora & Bonny Tan
Auction sales. (1898, April 22) [Microfilm NL342]. The Straits Times, p. 3.
Medora, Phiroze N. (2001). Extracts from unpublished papers in author's collection.
(Not available in NLB holdings)
Notice. (1891, September 23) [Microfilm NL331]. The Straits Times, p. 2.
Parsee Lodge. (1898, May 13) [Microfilm NL342]. The Straits Times, p. 3.
Untitled. (1877, May 5) [Microfilm NL5046]. The Straits Times, p. 3.
Untitled. (1908, May 29) [Microfilm NL314]. The Straits Times, p. 6.
The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we can 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.
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