Mini parade in Marine Parade

Mini parade in Marine Parade
Marine Parade GRC having a mini national day parade to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday. The idea was mooted by ESM Goh Chok Tong.
PHOTO: The New Paper

It may be only a mini National Day parade at the open car park near Block 8 Marine Terrace this coming Sunday, but Marine Parade residents are going the whole hog.

The planning, the logistics and the number of participants are anything but small.

Almost 500 hours have gone into the planning and execution of the project and about 1,000 participants - school children, tradesmen and senior citizens - will be forming 28 contingents and a military band.

Not forgetting the Harley riders who will lead the ceremonial jeep on which Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will be riding in.

There may not be military precision, but it is expected to be a great show for the 3,000 residents in the constituency, culminating in a five-minute fireworks display that promises to light up the night sky.

The cost? More than $100,000, which will be covered by the Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC) as well as corporate sponsors, said CCC chairman Tan Jack Thian.

The idea of a full-fledged National Day parade in Marine Parade was first mooted by Mr Goh himself five years ago to give residents there the chance to participate.

Mr Goh, a Member of Parliament for the Marine Parade GRC, told The New Paper that this year's mini parade will showcase Marine Parade as an inclusive community.

"Residents in wheelchairs, a blind man with his guide dog and other special needs people will be among the contingents," he said.

Mr Tan added: "A lot of effort has been put in by the working committee as well as the contingent participants to make this mini National Day Parade one that our residents will talk about for years to come."

It will be Singapore's first National Day without founder Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Lee died on March 23 at the age of 91.

Mr Goh said that while the late Mr Lee will not be at the Padang physically, his presence will still be felt.

"The concept of National Day parades to create and bond a people as Singaporeans, as one people, started with him.

"This year's parade is therefore his legacy. It is a tribute to him, for the country he built and the pride he instilled in us as Singaporeans," Mr Goh said.

This article was first published on July 27, 2015.
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