Thursday, 9 July 2009

Sir Stamford Raffles - Singapore, Chess & London Zoo


Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (1781-1826)
Zoologist & Colonial Governor (Portrait 1817)

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1826. London Zoo was opened to Fellows of the Society (ZSL) in 1828, and became the first scientific zoo. Charles Darwin was a Fellow of ZSL from 1837. The first admission of paying visitors to London Zoo, to aid in funding, was in 1847.

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles also founded the city of Singapore (the modern city-state of the Republic of Singapore), and he is known as the "Father of Singapore". Raffles is also famous-infamous for significantly contributing to the expansion of the British Empire.

The Raffles Institution is a boys’ secondary school, and a co-educational Junior College, in Singapore originally founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1823. It was initially called the Singapore Institute, but was renamed the Raffles Institution in honour of it's founder. A number of Singapore's leaders, such as Goh Chok Tong (current Senior Minister of Singapore and chairman of the central bank of Singapore, also previous second Singapore prime minister) and also Lee Kuan Yew (first Singapore prime minister), have studied in the Raffles Institution. Students at this Institution have to undertake at least one Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) during their four years, and the performance in CCAs also contributes to the student's overall grades.

The Chess Club is one of the Merit CCAs available at the Raffles Institution. The Raffles Institution Chess Club was officially formed in 1960, and promotes chess playing amongst the pupil body. Grandmasters Yuri Averbakh and Josif Dorfman also came to the Raffles Institution, at the invitation of Singapore’s chess patriarch Professor Lim Kok Ann, following the 1978 World Chess Championship between Karpov and Korchnoi. Before Professor Lim Kok Ann took up the appointment of FIDE Secretary-General in 1981, he donated his entire chess book collection to the Raffles Junior College Chess Club / Raffles Institution.

A chess set has been produced by ZSL - further information about this chess set is available here.

Related Posts:
ALCHEssMIST - Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Chess Set

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