Items from 25-year-old time capsule on show at museum; new SG50 capsule in the works

Singa courtesy lion.
Singa courtesy lion.PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
Mobile phone from the late 1980s.
Mobile phone from the late 1980s.PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
The first Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya uniform.
The first Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya uniform. PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
A visitor looks at a display of old currency.
A visitor looks at a display of old currency. PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
Packets of Yeo's tetrapacks.
Packets of Yeo's tetrapacks. PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
The Minister for Education and chairman of the SG50 steering committee, Mr Heng Swee Kiat, who launched the exhibition, said that there are plans to put together another time capsule, this time to commemorate SG50.
The Minister for Education and chairman of the SG50 steering committee, Mr Heng Swee Kiat, who launched the exhibition, said that there are plans to put together another time capsule, this time to commemorate SG50.PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The first Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya uniforms, designed by Pierre Balmain in 1968; the first two iterations of the Singa courtesy lion and Singapore's first Orchid currency series, have been unearthed from a 25-year-old capsule.

They are part of a new exhibition called Unearthed: Singapore at 25 that opened at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) on Monday (Aug 3) and will run until Sept 27.

The Minister for Education and chairman of the SG50 steering committee, Mr Heng Swee Keat, who launched the exhibition, said that there are plans to put together another time capsule, this time to commemorate SG50. It will be opened in the year 2065.

Mr Heng said he will be inviting the public to share their views on the items to be placed in the time capsule in about two months' time.

Commenting on the ACM exhibition, which is divided into six themes - the economy, politics, education, defence, security and infrastructure - he said the objects show the issues that were important then and reflect the country's hopes for the future.

"Looking back today at what we buried 25 years ago allows us to better appreciate our progress as our nation," he said .

National Heritage Board chief executive Rosa Daniel said the exhibition is a nostalgic reminder for people who have used some of the objects and whose lives were impacted by some of the policies.

Referring to a mobile phone from the 1990s and a packet of Yeo's soya bean and Chrysanthemum tea tetrapacks, she added: "As for our younger visitors, they can now see for themselves what an old handphone and a packet drink looked like."

The time capsule was first buried at Empress Place by the late deputy prime minister Ong Teng Cheong in Dec 1990 to commemorate 25 years of independence. It was buried in a steel cylinder that was dug up last December.

Other artefacts on display include a 1975 Singapore Armed Forces reservist handbook, a 1960s Ericsson rotary telephone and a Ministry of Health Stop Smoking kit from 1986 to 1990.