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Aug 9, 2009

iRemember National Day Parade 2006

Photo Credit: NDP2006

Happy National Day!

As we celebrate our 44th National Day today, I remember our first National Day Parade on 9th August, 1966.

Please visit LaoKokKok's "Times of My Life" blog where he shared this memorable occasion in Reminiscing our Past National Day Parade with some heritage black/white photos. The National Day Parade more than 4 decades ago was a simple march-past at The Padang.

I remember that we assemebled as members of the Red Cross school contingent at the Beach Road PDF camp before the parade, taking salt tablets to prevent vomitting, standing under the hot sun at the Padang, listening to hour-long speeches in the 4 official languages.

The following is reproduced from the National Library archive -


NDP 1966: The first NDP was celebrated at the Padang with the theme of "National Pride and Confidence in the Future". A 23,000-strong parade was the highlight of the event. The eventful day started with a parade from the military contingents, dancing school children and cultural troops before President Yusof bin Ishak who took the salute from the City Hall steps. The military contingents marched for the first time through Chinatown. It was also the first time that three Cabinet Ministers of the new Republic donned uniforms and marched in the ranks of the Peoples' Defence Force. They were Mr Jek Yeun Thong (Minister for Labour), Mr Ong Pang Boon (Minister for Education) and Mr Othman Wok (Minister for Culture and Social Affairs). Television Singapura broadcasted the event "live" for those who were unable to join the festivities at the Padang.

Adding to the festivities, fireworks burst out at dusk over the city and at Fort Canning Rise, lighting up the city with coloured lights. The celebrations continued with a display of a giant floating dragon gliding slowly and gracefully across the waterfront to Tanjong Rhu. This magnificent float was illuminated by 12,500 bulbs towed out by six lighters from Telok Ayer Basin, and was clearly a highlight of the parade.


There was no simulated terrorist attack, floating platform stage at Marina Bay equipped with LED scene-changing screens, Presidential Gun Salute held on water, city march-past segment, Enhanced Night Visual Effects, Pledge Moment, mobile Combined Schools Choir, National Day Parade official theme song and other highlights featured in this year's NDP 2009.

That was 44 years ago...



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