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Aug 11, 2010

45th National Day Parade at Padang

Singapore 45th National Day on 9th August, 2010 at "The Padang".

Singapore 1st National Day on 9th August, 1966 at "The Padang".

The venue of 45th National Day Parade 2010 is at the historical grounds of the Padang, where the declaration of Singapore's independence was held on 9th August, 1965.

None of the replays that we saw from the perspective of 45 years at the wink of an eye, from the first National Day birthday on 9th August, 1966 to the 45th on 9th August, 2010. So much has changed...from the unknown National Day theme to this year's theme 'Live Our Dreams And Fly Our Flags'.

There are many blogs about the Singapore 45th National Day celebration and the National Day Parade at the Padang and the various neighbourhood NDP venues. Please check them out.

Laokokok's "1st National Day Parade at the Padang" on his "Times of My Life" blog posted with many memorable photos of the event.

Uncle Dick Yip, the Wise Old Owl, at his "THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND...and MINE TOO" which he penned his thoughts on this eve of our 45th National Day, "I wonder if we as a people, fully realise how fortunate and blessed we are as a nation. 9 August 1965 remains to be a day and date our people of Singapore will never, ever forget".

"The Exodus Song" ("This Land Is Mine" patriotic song are found several versions on YouTube).

My personal favorite is by Andy Williams here .

Unfortunately, the YouTube message: "This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds".

The lyrics below:
This land is mine, God gave this land to me
This brave and ancient land to me
And when the morning sun reveals her hills and plain
Then I see a land where children can run free

So take my hand and walk this land with me
And walk this lovely land with me
Though I am just a man, when you are by my side
With the help of God, I know I can be strong

Though I am just a man, when you are by my side
With the help of God, I know I can be strong

To make this land our home
If I must fight, I'll fight to make this land our own
Until I die, this land is mine
This brave and ancient land to me, to every people of every country.

Including our country and our nation. From that day 9th August, 1965, the Republic of Singapore was proclaimed and the birthday of a country of our people regardless of race, language and religion as declared in our nation's Pledge. An emphasis of an unique country no different from other countries.

In the same manner, every person is an individual born on a special date, time, place. Even twins could not be born exactly at the same time. Each with one's life of his or her own to lead a different lifestyle, personality or characteristic.

On Internet, "real estate" is virtual and not really a physical place.

"This land is mine, God gave this land to me". God bless the custodians of our people to take good care in the hands of the people of Singapore for 45 years and beyond. Keep up the country's peace and prosperity forever more.

After 45 years, Singapore has governed and inherited the various historical landmarks from the colonial British since 1819 founded by Stamford Raffles on this island.

Despite the vanishing of old places and buildings (a classic example of which was the red brick building of National Library at Stamford Road) in Singapore, it reminds me the precious Padang and Singapore River located at central Downtown Singapore. These two bundle of land in Singapore are the national treasure which have been built and developed since the days of Stamford Raffles.

Please find more information about the Padang, Singapore and our Singapore River at Wikipedia and other Internet resources.

Here's a quiz:

What is the size and area of the original Padang (excluding the location of the Singapore Cricket Club and the Singapore Recreation Club?

Another quiz:

Are the Padang and Singapore River gazetted as heritage conservation land and river in Singapore?

Many years ago before my late father walked down Singapore River and along the Boat Quay and Amoy Street where he had worked since he immigrated from China in a tongkang to Singapore where he landed at Boat Quay. He used to tell me stories of this place.

On Singapore River in the olden days.

Boat Quay then and now...

A Chinese translator/story teller at Boat Quay (Circa 1950)
Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

After work in the evening for a simple recreation pre-TV and Internet days, my father and his other friends migrated from Quemoy village would regularly to chitchat in Hokkien and talk about old days and exchange notes with "newbies" arrival in Singapore. Moreover, the cramped wooden rooms rented in Chinatown spend the evening away at the Padang for a wide-open field space to cool themselves.

A photo taken in July, 1985 at the Padang with 1-year-old Wei.

Another photo taken with Wei at the Padang, with City Hall in the background.

How did the Singaporeans have their Singapore Memories to share about the Padang from generation to generation?

From childhood to adulthood...from kids to parents, grandparents, great grandparents to remember?

The Padang in front of City Hall, Singapore in the 1960s.

The Padang in front of City Hall, Singapore in the 1980s.

A bird's eye view of the Padang and the Singapore River.
Photo Credit: Paul Edwick

On this personal blog to express my remembrance for the Padang, my wishes for the 100th birthday of Singapore's National Day to be celebrated at the same Padang on 9th August, 2066. For sure I wouldn't then be there to participate our Singapore First Century National Day. Majullah Singapore! Long Live Singapore to strive on together for the unity and prosperity of our forefathers who built this land.

Happy National Day!



Blogger ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi James,

Your article is well-written and comes from the heart. Singapore is home, truly. And to be home on National Day; that's special for me and my family!

We booked a room at one of the hotels in Singapore last week and saw the parade from the 51st storey. It was something else.

August 14, 2010 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you, Andy. The special 45th National Day Parade celebration viewed from the 51st storey for you and your family. Very few people has this chance to remember home always!

This is the special stuff memories are made of. Appreciate for sharing you and your family this national joy and happiness with us.


August 15, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

My friend is a PR who lives in JB and works in Spore. His son studies in a school in Woodlands. This year, the boy took part in the NDP and the parents came along. When Spore celebrates its 100th Anniv, I wonder what this boy would be thinking.

August 15, 2010 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

I wonder too, Chun See.

Lets hope that the original Singapore River and the Padang are not to be destroyed or used for other historical Singapore heritage by this land of mine and land of ours in Singapore for posterity.

August 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

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