Former president S R Nathan makes final journey to Parliament House

Former president S R Nathan was brought to the Parliament House on Thursday morning, where he will lie in state until the funeral on Friday. Members of the public may pay their respects from 10am to 10pm on Thursday.
Former president S R Nathan's casket leaves his home on Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25.
Former president S R Nathan's casket leaves his home on Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Former president S R Nathan's casket leaves his home on Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25.
Former president S R Nathan's casket leaves his home on Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Family members including Mrs Nathan follow the casket bearing the body of former president S R Nathan as it leaves his house at Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25.
Family members including Mrs Nathan follow the casket bearing the body of former president S R Nathan as it leaves his house at Ceylon Road for Parliament House on Aug 25. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Mr S R Nathan's casket leaves his Ceylon Road home for the Parliament House on Aug 25.
Mr S R Nathan's casket leaves his Ceylon Road home for the Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
The casket bearing the body of former president S R Nathan arrives at the Parliament House on Aug 25.
The casket bearing the body of former president S R Nathan arrives at the Parliament House on Aug 25. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Former president S R Nathan's casket being carried to Parliament House on Aug 25.
Former president S R Nathan's casket being carried to Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Mr S R Nathan's casket being carried out to Parliament House on Aug 25.
Mr S R Nathan's casket being carried out to Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Former President S R Nathan's casket being carried to Parliament House on Aug 25.
Former President S R Nathan's casket being carried to Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Former president S R Nathan's casket arrives at Parliament House on Aug 25.
Former president S R Nathan's casket arrives at Parliament House on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
People queueing at the Parliament awaiting to pay their respects to former President S R Nathan on Aug 25.
People queueing at the Parliament awaiting to pay their respects to former President S R Nathan on Aug 25.ST PHOTO: CHONG ZI LIANG
Minister Chan Chun Sing joined representatives from the labour movement walking towards Parliament House to pay their respects to the late Mr S R Nathan.
Minister Chan Chun Sing joined representatives from the labour movement walking towards Parliament House to pay their respects to the late Mr S R Nathan.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The late former president S R Nathan made his final journey to Parliament House on Thursday (Aug 25) morning.

The casket bearing Mr Nathan's body left the family residence at Ceylon Road at 8.45am.

About 100 people lined the road to bid Mr Nathan a final farewell as family and friends followed the hearse on foot until the end of Ceylon Road.

Among them were a group of children from Zee Juniors pre-school and their teachers.

Housewife Chan Li Yeon , 45, who lives next to the nearby Eurasian Association, said: "We all know he's a very respectable man, and since I live so near it's my duty to come and pay my respects and send him off."

Madam Chan said she was also at the Istana on Wednesday to pay her respects and will be going to Parliament House with her family in the afternoon.

"I'm feeling sad, it's natural, but I think he has served the country really well with grace and dignity, so he deserves this very regal send-off."

Mr Nathan died on Monday at age 92 after suffering a stroke.

People can pay their last respects to Mr Nathan at Parliament House on Thursday from 10am to 10pm.

A queue started to form at the Parliament House as early as 7.30am.

Service engineer S. Sathanatham, 48, was the first in line. He said he came early as he expected there would be a long queue.

"Mr Nathan was also part of the old guard who did a lot for this country," he said.

At around 9am, the hearse arrived at Parliament House.

The casket was received by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob as a nine-man coffin bearer party transferred the casket into the building and onto the bier.

 

In the highest honour accorded to a leader, the state flag was draped over the casket, with the crescent and stars lying over the head and close to the heart of Mr Nathan, who was Singapore's sixth and longest-serving president.

A 700-strong group from the labour movement, led by labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, was among the early birds at the Parliament House.

Mr Hareenderpal Singh, 28, president of the Union of Security Employees, said: "Mr Nathan was also a union leader, and he united all the unions together. He was a very inspirational leader and we felt that paying our respects was the least we could do as a show of our solidarity as a union."



Mr. Hareenderpal Singh, 28,  (right) president of the Union of Security, and fellow union members at the Parliament on Aug 25. ST PHOTO: TESSA OH

At 10am, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary Tan arrived to pay their respects.

"S R Nathan will be sorely missed by Singaporeans. His heart and commitment to Singapore is an inspiration," said Dr Tan.

Mr Nathan's body will lie in state ahead of the state funeral service on Friday afternoon.

Four uniformed officers will keep vigil over the casket in the highest form of respect to the deceased.

Vigil guards were deployed at the state funerals of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and former Cabinet ministers.

 
 

Medals awarded to Mr Nathan, a long-time former civil servant and diplomat, will be on display.

They include Singapore's top civilian honour, the Order of Temasek (First Class), which he received in 2013, and the Meritorious Service Medal, awarded in 1974.

Visitors to Parliament should make their way via St Andrew's Road from City Hall MRT station, the state funeral organising committee said on Wednesday.

The funeral service will be held at the University Cultural Centre from 3pm to 5pm on Friday.

 

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On Wednesday, a stream of national leaders, former colleagues and family friends paid their respects on the second day of the private wake held by Mr Nathan's family at his home.

Over at the Istana, people wrote their condolences on cards, which were then put on display.