Sri Ruthra Kaliamman Temple was originally a small shrine, housed in a wooden building, situated at the Alexandra Brickworks grounds at Pasir Panjang Road (present location of Port of Singapore Authority, PSA building) and catered to the Hindus working at Brickworks and those who lived in the surrounding areas. Mr. Lakshmana Nadar, an employee at Brickworks, is believed to have been responsible for building this shrine in 1913. In 1923, through the assistance of the Borneo Company, whose subsidiary was the Alexandra Brickworks, the wooden structure was replaced by a brick building to give it the form of a simple temple
Mr Letchumanan Nadar initially looked after the affairs of the Temple. He was succeeded in turn by Messrs Solai Padaiyachi, Pumpaya Nadar, Shanmuga thevar and P. Ramasamy. A Management Committee was formed in 1958 under the chairmanship of Mr. Rengiah to be followed by succeeding Management Committees in 1960, 1963, 1967 and 1969 with Messrs Neelamegam Pillai, P. Ramasamy, S. Karralasingam and V. Sivapragasam, respectively as Chairmen.
The temple was maintained through donations collected from among its devotees – both the Hindu employees of the Brickworks and those from the surrounding areas. The Borneo Company and later the Alexandra Brickworks had, for many years, made an official contribution of S$10.00 per month until the early part of 1967. The Pasir Panjang Power Station’s Hindu employees gave good support in later years when the Brickworks’ Hindu employees numbers had diminished.
However, there were periods in the not too distant years preceding June, 1967 when the temple lacked funds even for its running expenses. Through approaches made by Priest M. Doraisamy, a new Management Committee was set up on 27 May 1967 with Mr S. Karalasingam as Chairman. The new Committee devised ways and means for the systematic collection of funds to meet the Temple’s pooja expenses, priest’s remuneration and other expenditure. It also renovated the Temple building including some structural alterations to provide better convenience to devotees.
Maha Kumbabishegam on 1968
Then followed the Asthabandana Maha Kumbabishegam (Consecration Ceremony) on 11 th February, 1968 for the installation of new granite statue of Sri Ruthra Kaliamman to replace the non granite (suthai) statue of the Deity. On 23 October 1969, the Prathishtai (Supplementary Consecration Ceremony) was conducted to install the granite statues of Sri Vinayagar and Sri Subramaniar to replace framed pictures of these Deities. The late Mr. K. Raman Nair, an employee of Pasir Panjang Power Station, and a staunch supporter of the Temple – ordered the three statues from India and donated them to the Temple.
New Temple Complex At Depot Road
The Temple Building Committee under the enlightened leadership of Mr TM Kumar was determined to build a neo-classical modern Temple along with a five storey ancillary facilities Building simultaneously. Although the cost of the project was many times the fund available at the time. But this did not deter them and they proceeded with hope, determination and perseverance until they succeeded. On completion of the Temple complex, a grand Consecration Ceremony was performed on 11 Sept 1983.
With the new Temple in operation, the Management Committee provided excellent Hindu religious services for daily prayers and religious events throughout the year with clean and conducive environment for worship by Devotees.
Simultaneously, the Management Committee gave equal importance to extra-religious, community related, social, cultural and educational activities facilitated by the Ancillary Facilities Building. The 3rd storey Wedding Hall / Auditorium and the 2nd storey Multi-purpose Hall were extensively used for Weddings, Social functions and Lectures while the 4th storey rooms were used as Library, tuition class rooms and hall for conducting classes in Yoga, Meditation, Bharatha Natyam (Dance) Classical Music, Devotional Singing, Mass Bhajans practice etc.
The Sathya Sai Volunteer Group of Telok Blangah conducted weekly multi-racial, multi-religious Bhajan singing and talks besides conducting regular weekly education in Human values classes for nearly 300 children of ages 4 to 16 years.
The Temple and the Sathya Sai Centre of Telok Blangah jointly organized several social, welfare and cultural projects annually over the years. They include
- Inviting Inmates of Moral Welfare Homes, Homes for the aged / Handicapped to the Temple for entertainment and serving of food with love and care
- Visiting homes of the needy / sickly and providing basic needs.
- Distributing food hampers of basic items / NTUC Vouchers to selected needy families.
- During festive season, inviting needy ethnic families with children for entertainment and distribution of gifts.
- Organizing games and fun carnival for children
- Preparing children for National Day Celebration to sing / dance / drama
- Organising volunteers and taking part in Temple washing / cleaning and major Temple functions.
- During important ethnic festivals such as New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas, mass multifaith prayers (Bhajans) are conducted followed with serving of sweets and snack / meals.
- Temple’s Annual Scholarship / Bursary Awards Presentation ceremony with the assistance of Sai Volunteers with all preparations and logistics.