Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator
At one time the Armenian community was very influential in Singapore, working as lawyers, merchants, and entrepreneurs. To serve the community, the Armenian Church—officially called the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator—was built in 1836, the first permanent place of Christian worship in Singapore. Designed by Irish architect George D. Coleman, the structure abuts a graveyard as impressive as the neoclassical building itself. More garden than cemetery, it boasts wrought-iron benches and manicured lawns that surround a small collection of elegant white-marble tombstones of prominent Armenians of yesteryear—including Agnes Joaquim, who bred Singapore’s national flower, a vanda orchid known as Miss Joaquim.