The Armenians of Singapore: A Short History

Nadia H. Wright
Design and layout by Adrian Cheah, ACEK Creative Solutions

The Armenians of Singapore

So small a community: so great a legacy!

Fewer than 750 Armenians have ever lived in Singapore, yet St Gregory’s Church, Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim, the Straits Times newspaper and Raffles Hotel owe their existence to the pioneering Persian Armenians.

Who were these Armenians, what did they do and what happened to them?

This book throws light on those questions.

The Armenians of Singapore


List of Maps and Illustrations - viii
Note to the Reader - xiii
Preface - xiv
Acknowledgements xv

Background - 1

Historical overview - 5

The Armenian community - 15

Dynamics of the community - 15
Occupations - 18
Marriage and kinship - 23
Education - 27
Deaths and burials - 29
Armenian properties - 32
Loyal British subjects - 36
Civic and social life - 40
Armenians and the law - 49
The Armenian massacres and the genocide - 50
Armenians and the press - 54
Armenian street names - 56

Commercial enterprises - 59

Merchants and traders - 59
Photographic studios - 74
Lawyers - 76
The hospitality industry - 79

The Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory The illuminator - 107

Epilogue - 118

Principal surnames associated with the old Armenian Community in Singapore - 119
Bibliography - 119
Endnotes - 120
Index - 121

The Armenians of Singapore

Nadia H. Wright
2019, Entrepot Publishing
Softcover. 22.8cm x 15.2cm, 144 pages
Language: English
Illustrated throughout
ISBN 978-967-17008-1-5

Available at

About the Author

Dr Nadia Wright is a retired teacher and active historian living in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focusses on the Armenians in Southeast Asia as well as the founding of Singapore. She is the author of Respected Citizens: The History of the Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia; William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out from Raffles’ Shadow, co-authored Vanda Miss Joaquim: Singapore’s National Flower & the Legacy of Agnes & Ridley and has published many scholarly articles.