Sunday, 11 April 2010

Looking Back - British Agree To Singapore Self-Rule

On this day in 1957, the British government allowed the island colony of Singapore to govern itself under a new constitution agreed in London.
The Singapore Constitutional Conference ended after four weeks of talks when Chief Minister of Singapore Lim Yew Hock and Alan Lennox-Boyd, secretary of state for the Colonies, signed an agreement.
The constitution was to come into effect some time after 1 January 1958 when the colony would become known as the State of Singapore.
Britain was to remain in charge of external affairs and defence.
Subversives barred
There was, however, one major pre-condition that the Singapore delegation would not agree to - that "persons known to have been engaged in subversive activity" would be barred from standing for the Legislative Assembly.
This demand, aimed at excluding extremist left-wing activists in the People's Action Party (PAP), some of whom had been detained for inciting anti-British riots the previous year.
At the signing ceremony at Lancaster House, Mr Lim rejected this demand as "a departure from normal democratic practice" but agreed to put it before the Legislative Assembly.
Under self-government, the office of Governor was to be abolished and replaced with a Malayan-born representative of the Queen known as the Yang di-Pertuan Negara.
An internal security council preventing subversion was to be set up under the chairmanship of the UK Commissioner charged with safeguarding British affairs in the territory.
Resignation over failed talks
The previous April, David Marshall, first Chief Minister of Singapore, led a delegation to London to ask for internal self-government with the aim of achieving independence or "merdeka" in Malay.
The talks failed, and as a result Mr Marshall resigned as Chief Minister in the June. He was succeeded by Lim Yew Hock.

A few days later former Chief Minister David Marshall resigned from the governing Labour Front in protest at the agreement which he felt did not go far enough. He called it "a pock-marked beauty shrouded in chloroform".
The Constitutional Agreement was finally signed in London on 28 May 1958 and self-government achieved after Singapore held general elections in 1959.
The first government of the State of Singapore was sworn in on 5 June with Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister.
It joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 and became totally independent in 1965, nearly 20 years after it was made a British crown colony.
The People's Action Party (PAP) has been the dominant political force since independence.



A marble is a small spherical toy usually made from glass, clay, or agate. These balls vary in size. Most commonly, they are about ½ inch (1.25 cm) in diameter, but they may range from less than ¼ inch (0.635 cm) to over 3 inches (7.75 cm), while some art glass marbles for display purposes are over 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Marbles can be used for a variety of children's games, and are often collected, both for nostalgia and for their aesthetic colors.
Marbles are often mentioned in Roman literature, and there are many examples of marbles from ancient Egypt. They were commonly made of clay, stone or glass and commonly referred to as a "Glass alley".
Ceramic marbles entered inexpensive mass productionin the 1870s.
A German glassblower invented marble scissors in 1846, a device for making marbles.
The first mass produced toy marbles (clay) made in the US were made in Akron, Ohio by S.C Dyke in the early 1890s. The first US glass marbles were also made in Akron by James Harvey Leighton. In 1903, Martin Frederick Christensen of Akron, Ohio made the first machine made glass marbles on his patented machine. His company, The M.F. Christensen & Son Co. manufactured millions of toy and industrial glass marbles until they ceased operations in 1917. The next US company to enter the glass marble market was Akro Agate. This company was started by Akronites in 1911, but was located in Clarksburg West Virginia. Today, there are only two American based toy marble manufacturers: Jabo Vitro in Reno, Ohio and Marble King, in Paden City West Virginia.
One version of the game involves drawing a circle in sand, and players will take turns knocking other players' marbles out of the circle with their own marble. This game is called ringer. Other versions involve shooting marbles at target marbles or into holes in the ground (such as rolly or rolley hole). A larger-scale game of marbles might involve taking turns trying to hit an opponent's marble to win. A useful strategy is to throw a marble so that it lands in a protected, or difficult location if it should miss the target. As with many children's games, new rules are devised all the time, and each group is likely to have its own version, often customized to the environment. While the game of marbles was once ubiquitous and attracted widespread press to national tournaments, its popularity has dwindled in the television age.
World championship
The World Marbles Championships have been held at Tinsley Green
, West Sussex, England every year since 1932. (Marbles has been played in Tinsley Green and the surrounding area for many centuries:TIME magazine traces its origins to 1588.) Traditionally, the marbles-playing season started on Ash Wednesday and lasted until midday on Good Friday: playing after that brought bad luck. More than 20 teams from around the world take part in the championship, each Good Friday; German teams have been successful several times since 2000, although local teams from Crawley, Copthorne and other Sussex and Surrey villages often take part as well;3] the first championship in 1932 was won by a team from nearby Hookwood.

Today's Smile

Thought For Today

In all the work we do, our most valuable asset can be the attitude of self-examination. It is forgivable to make mistakes, but to stand fast behind a wall of self-righteousness and make the same mistake twice is not forgivable.
Dale E. Turner