Behind the scenes at the National Day celebrations

Behind the scenes at the National Day celebrations


Frederick Yaw was among a group of 20 volunteers - comprising active and retired operationally ready national servicemen - who put together a National Day party at the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck on Saturday.

The party's guests? Twenty-five kids from the Children's Cancer Foundation, who were treated to a bird's-eye view of the NDP fireworks and aerial displays such as the Red Lions parachute jump.

A separate party was also organised on Aug 2, coinciding with the NDP preview show, for 24 other children from the foundation.

Special attention was taken to ensure the kids were looked after, including having a nurse and first-aiders on standby, and providing a rest and reception area below the observation deck, said Mr Yaw.

The volunteer, who runs an organic fruit and vegetable business, added: "Our intention was to spread the joy and create memorable moments for them."


As one of the coordinators of the first Junior Red Lions initiative, Noel Chia chaperoned the 10- and 11-year-olds, before and after they appeared on stage with the military parachutists on the floating platform.

Work for Mr Chia and five other volunteers, all of whom are NSmen, started as early as April.

The team put together a series of programmes for the 18 Primary 4 and 5 pupils - who were selected via an essay contest - which included training with the Red Lions parachutists and trying out indoor skydiving.

The initiative culminated in the Junior Red Lions jointly saluting the nation with the Red Lions during Saturday's NDP and the preview show on Aug 2.

"Personally, I like interacting with kids...By giving the children exposure and putting them in front of the will inspire others too," said Mr Chia, who is a consultant in a content development company.


The Chern clan is no stranger to NDP.

Chern Seng Kwee, 54, who works as a production operator, has been involved in NDP four times, including this year's show. He helped to train the 580-strong Singapore Soka Association team who performed at the parade this year.

Mr Chern said in Mandarin: "I enjoy the experience of participating with the rest. When I interact with others, I learn about teamwork and to be more patient."

His eldest son, Dixon, 25, a fresh graduate, was part of the marching band from the Singapore Soka Association in the final act of the show segment.

He said: "I like the opportunity to meet new people from different walks of life. My favourite part about the NDP is the spirit, especially when I'm involved in the show."

Meanwhile, the youngest of the family, Kixon, 16, a student, helped to train the marching band.

He is taking his O levels this year, but the thrice-a-week training for the last two months served as motivation.

He said: "I see it as a way to motivate myself to study even harder. If my weekends are burnt, I must study even harder during weekdays."


This year's NDP featured the biggest multimedia set-up, with 1,500 sq m of LED screens and a floor projection area close to the size of a football field.

Working behind the scenes to generate the dazzling display is a 100-strong multimedia team, led by chairman Tien Li-Chih.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tien's team also handled the live coverage of the masters of ceremony, performers and spectators, and was responsible for the NDP mobile app.

While he is not a multimedia whiz, the commanding officer of the 16 C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence) battalion said he sought the advice of previous multimedia chairmen and learnt on the job from seasoned professionals in the field.

His favourite part of the show? "Act 1, precisely because of the colours and animation. It's energetic and happy," he added.

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