Key Milestones

CORPORATE MILESTONES

1972

  • On 2 July, Singapore Armed Forces Reservists’ Association (SAFRA) was launched by former Defence Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee. Our first temporary club was located at the former Norwegian Seamen's Mission Home at Prince Edward Lane with 1,904 members.

1975

  • SAFRA Toa Payoh, our first permanent location, officially opened on 19 February by then-Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The club cost $2 million to build. Our membership size leapt to 32,700.

1976

  • The SAFRA news tabloid became a full-fledged newsletter and was renamed Reservist.

1978

  • The SAFRA logo was unveiled. The four wings of the logo symbolises the integration of the four races as well as the sports, educational, cultural and social arms of SAFRA while red signifies patriotism.

1981

  • SAFRA became financially independent.

1982

  • Our second club, SAFRA Bukit Merah opened on 1984. The club cost $9 million to build.

1983

  • SAFRA and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) reserve formations established a partnership to promote unit cohesion.

1985

  • Executive Committees comprising reservists were formed to manage each SAFRA club.

1986

  • SAFRA held its first Singapore River Carnival in support of the Merlion Week to promote unit cohesion. The carnival marked the start of SAFRA’s involvement in projects on a national scale.
  • SAFRA spouse membership was introduced to enhance family bonding.

1988

  • Our third club, SAFRA Tampines, was opened on 24 June by then First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong. The club cost $11 million to build.
  • SAFRA organised the inaugural Swing Singapore 88 to celebrate National Day. For the first time, Orchard Road was closed to traffic and a street party with 250,000 revellers was held. Several Swing Singapore events were organised in subsequent years.
  • SAFRA organised the TV quiz show, Strategy and Policy Gaming, to help develop the thinking and planning abilities of reservists.

1989

  • SAFRA pioneered the sport of rock-climbing, setting up the first two rock-climbing walls at SAFRA Bukit Merah and SAFRA Tampines. SAFRA went on to hold the first Nationwide Rock-Climbing Competition in 1990.
  • SAFRA launched its first credit card, the Affinity, in partnership with DBS Bank.
  • The Reservist news magazine was repositioned as a lifestyle magazine.

1991

  • SAFRA junior membership was introduced to further promote family bonding.
  • SAFRA Toa Payoh was re-opened after an extensive $4 million renovation.

1992

  • SAFRA organised its first Sheares Bridge Run in support of the National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign. Currently known as the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, it is held annually with the exception of 2015 when it took a break for other SG50 celebrations.

1993

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed among Civil Defence Association for National Servicemen (CDANS), Singapore Police Association for National Servicemen (SPANS) and SAFRA to allow members reciprocal use of respective clubhouses.
  • The first reservist was appointed to chair the Executive Committee of SAFRA Tampines, in line with SAFRA’s philosophy of involving more reservists in club management.

1994

  • The term ‘Reservist’ was changed to ‘Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSman)’.
  • SAFRA and the Reservist magazine were renamed SAFRA National Service Association and NSman accordingly.
  • The SAFRA Resort & Country Club, was officially opened on 13 March, by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong with former Defence Ministers Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr Lim Kim San, Mr Howe Yoon Chong and Dr Yeo Ning Hong.
  • SAFRA Radio launched its English station, Power 98 FM. It marked SAFRA’s foray into broadcasting.
  • A new annexe was added to SAFRA Toa Payoh while SAFRA Bukit Merah opened Singapore’s first indoor rock gym.
  • Free membership was offered to full-time NSmen (NSFs) to recognise their contribution to national defence.

1995

  • SAFRA Radio launched its Mandarin station, Dongli 88.3 FM.
  • For the first time, all club Executive Committees were headed by NSmen.
  • SAFRA supported local soccer through the SAF Football Club in the S-League.
  • A newsletter was introduced for each club to boost communication with members.

1996

  • SAFRA Toa Payoh’s annexe, housing MegaGym (one of Singapore's largest indoor gymnasiums) and other facilities, was officially opened on 26 May by RADM (NS) Teo Chee Hean, then Minister for Environment and Second Minister for Defence.
  • The fourth club, SAFRA Town Club at Wheelock Place was officially opened on 12 July by Dr Tony Tan, then Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister. It catered to NSmen working in the Central Business District.
  • SAFRA Runway Cycling, the first national level mass cycling event, was organised at Paya Lebar Air Base.
  • The SAFRA website was launched to connect with members online.
  • SAFRA acquired four villas at Bintan and three apartments at Batam to meet members' vacations needs.

1997

  • A logo was designed for each SAFRA club to forge a distinct identity.

1998

  • For the first time, a SAFRA volunteer was conferred a National Day Award, the Public Service Medal (PBM), for significant contributions to SAFRA.

1999

  • SAFRA organised the Millennium Swing Singapore for 400,000 Singaporeans to mark the turn of the new millennium.
  • The new $6 million three-storey annexe at SAFRA Tampines was opened in October.

2000

  • The NSman Charity Drive, NSmen with a Heart, spearheaded by NSmen volunteers, raised $1 million for Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore and The Spastics Children's Association of Singapore.

2001

  • The fifth club, SAFRA Yishun Country Club, was officially opened by Dr Tony Tan, then Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, on 19 April. The club cost $28 million to build.
  • SAFRA achieved ISO 9001: 2000 certification on 6 August for demonstrating high levels of service quality.
  • SAFRA Membership rose to 220,000.

2002

  • A Time Capsule to mark SAFRA’s 30th Anniversary was sealed with 46 items that symbolised key facets of SAFRA's growth. The capsule will be opened on SAFRA’s 60th Anniversary in 2032.
  • The six-year-old SAFRA Town Club bowed out of Wheelock Place in November to move to a new six-storey premier lifestyle club at Carpenter Street. This new SAFRA Town Club was officially opened in December by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Defence. The 30th Anniversary commemorative publication, Without Reserve, was also launched at this event.
  • SAFRA was awarded the People Developer Standard (PDS) for systematically developing and training staff to their fullest potential.
  • The SAFRA website was revamped in April, with an enhanced layout and an online service was introduced for ease of payment and booking of facilities, activities and courses.

2003

  • Together with the redesign of the SAFRA membership card, SAFRA also launched the SAFRApoints scheme in April to reward members for their continued support and patronage.
  • To promote cyber gaming among NSmen, SAFRA organised its first World Cyber Games (Singapore Finals) in August.

2004

  • To provide a wider choice of locations for NSmen to complete their IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test), a pilot trial was launched to allow our NSmen to take the test at SAFRA Tampines and SAFRA Toa Payoh.
  • More than 60,000 runners participated in SAFRA’s 12th Sheares Bridge Run & Army Half Marathon. For the first time, participants ran along a new route starting from the Esplanade Bridge and along Shenton Way, Benjamin Sheares Bridge and the Marina Promenade waterfront.
  • The National Service Unit Liaison Committee (NSULC) was renamed the SAF-SAFRA Strategic Partnership Committee to reflect the renewed partnership between the two agencies.
  • In November, the SAFRA MegaGym was renamed EnergyOne and adopted a new tagline, Fitness and Beyond.
  • After 23 years, SAFRA Bukit Merah closed its doors and moved to a sprawling new premise. SAFRA Mount Faber began operations on 1 November.
  • All four SAFRA club newsletters were integrated into one publication named HYPE.

2005

  • In the wake of the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami, SAFRA donated over $40,000 in a nation-wide fund raising effort in collaboration with the Red Cross.
  • SAFRA Mount Faber was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in March.
  • Costing $1.7 million to build, SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre opened in November at SAFRA Yishun Country Club.

2006

  • SAFRA organised its inaugural cross-terrain adventure race, AVventura.

2007

  • The upgraded SAFRA Tampines was re-branded and launched as a Sports Hub. New facilities included an 11-a-side astro-turf soccer pitch and four international sized futsal pitches.
  • Dongli 88.3JiaFM was re-launched as 883JiaFM, the first station to play both English and Chinese songs.
  • SAFRA Mount Faber and SAFRA Yishun Country Club were accredited the Pro-Family Business Mark by the former Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in October.

2008

  • The SAFRA Town Club located at Carpenter Street began renovations in March to pave way for a brand new e-gaming lifestyle hub, Game Haven.
  • SAFRA collaborated with Golden Village to establish MovieMax at GV Tiong Bahru, offering exclusive movie privileges to SAFRA members.
  • SAFRA Tampines organised the inaugural Keppel Offshore & Marine Quadthlon, the first event in the world to combine swimming, in-line skating, cycling and running in one race.

2009

  • SAFRA Jurong was opened in October by then Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Professor S Jayakumar. The fifth SAFRA Club house the first Kidz Amaze, a three-storey indoor playground, a children's pool with interactive features, and a first-of-its kind childrens’ gymnastics hall.
  • SAFRA Yishun’s Indoor Air Weapons Range was the official venue for shooting events at Singapore’s first Asian Youth Games.

2010

  • The 35-year-old SAFRA Toa Payoh club was demolished in September 2010 to pave way for a brand new development which was completed in early 2013.
  • SAFRA introduced two key developments: the special Family Membership package to recognise the importance of family support to NSmen, and the IPPT-In-Your-Community Project, which saw existing fitness corners at all neighbourhoods enhanced with IPPT training facilities to allow NSmen to train for IPPT close to home.
  • The Singapore Biathlon, an annual event organised by SAFRA and the Republic of Singapore Navy, celebrated its 10th anniversary with the inclusion of a new category targeted at youths.
  • SAFRA Sprint Kids, organised by SAFRA Jurong, made its debut in June with more than 1,320 participants racing along a specially designed 30-metre running track.
  • SAFRA Jurong was accredited the Pro-Family Business Mark by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in August this year.

2011

  • SAFRA inked a partnership with the Dads for Life movement to promote bonding among NSmen and their children at SAFRA Tampines’ Football Fiesta 4-v-4 futsal competition.
  • SAFRA launched its first charity swim event, SAFRA Swim for Hope, in October at SAFRA Tampines, where every lap swam contributed $1 to Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC).

2012

  • SAFRA Yishun launched a second tier of high-element obstacles as part of its Canopy Challenge Walk. It made its debut as one of the challenges featured at SAFRA AVventura 2012.
  • SAFRA celebrated its 40th Anniversary with an eight-month long celebration from June. Members, NSmen and their families were treated to 10 blockbuster movies, 20 celebratory events, an online photo contest with 30 winners each month and 40 special monthly deals which ranged from F&B, leisure, travel to apparel.

2013

  • SAFRA partnered with Shaw Theatres to provide members with exclusive movie deals at all seven Shaw cinemas island-wide.
  • SAFRA partnered DBS Bank to offer more benefits and privileges for NSmen and their families, paving the way for two new multi-functional cards, the SAFRA DBS credit and debit cards, to be introduced in April 2014.

2014

  • The groundbreaking ceremony for SAFRA Punggol was officiated by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and then Minister for Home Affairs, in June.
  • SAFRA Swim for Hope, was extended to all five SAFRA clubs island-wide for the first time and raised more than $70,000 for charity.

2015

  • SAFRA co-organised the NDP 2015 Celebrations at The Float with the People’s Association, bringing together more than 50,000 Singaporeans to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee during the preview and on National Day. Spectators enjoyed performances by various community groups, the Presidential 21-Gun Salute, mobile column and one of the best views of the aerial display, fly past of the State flag and fireworks over the bay. A star-studded cast of local artistes also entertained the crowd at the Celebration Concert.
  • The SAFRA Celebration Run & Ride, a special celebratory event for SG50, was organised at Sentosa in September, drawing more than 5,500 participants who were greeted by a host of cultural performances and familiar Singapore icons along the running route which also went through Universal Studios Singapore.
  • Close to 400 members of the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans’ League (SAFVL) celebrated its 25th Anniversary in November at SAFRA Toa Payoh.