straits times yan kit poolWe came across an interesting piece of dental-related trivia a few days ago and thought you may like to read about it.

Did you know that the second oldest public swimming pool in Singapore was named after a dentist?

The Yan Kit pool, which opened in 1952, was initially a very popular pool. Located in the Chinatown area, there was only standing room (!) at the height of its popularity and the pool management imposed a two-hour time limit on usage to ensure that everyone had a chance to swim. One day a week, the pool was exclusively opened for the use of ladies, who were too modest to appear in their swimsuits before male company…

Alas for the pool, with the increase of commercial activity in the area, fewer people used the facilities and the Singapore Sports Council decided to close the pool in 2001. New residents in the area are now lobbying for the pool to be re-opened.

Going back to the dental angle – just who was Look Yan Kit? According to an article by the National Library of Singapore, Dr Look was a Hong Kong dentist who moved to Singapore in 1877 and amassed a fortune here. His properties included two rubber plantations and 70 houses. He was also active in the community and was one of the founders of the  Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital which was established in 1910. The aim of the hospital was to provide free medical care to the population (specifically the Cantonese immigrants at that time), which was later expanded to other nationalities.  There is also a road named after Dr Look – Yan Kit Road.

Do you know of any other interesting dental-related stories about places or streets in Singapore? We would love to hear from you. 

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