Songs, pledge and national anthem to celebrate nation building and the grassroots

Minister Lim Swee Say, Deputy Chairman of the PA joined More than 600 grassroots volunteers and staff PA National Day Observance Ceremony on Aug 19, 2015.
Minister Lim Swee Say, Deputy Chairman of the PA joined More than 600 grassroots volunteers and staff PA National Day Observance Ceremony on Aug 19, 2015.ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

SINGAPORE - More than 600 grassroots volunteers and staff from the People's Association (PA) came together on Wednesday morning to reminisce about yesteryear, sing National Day Songs and recite the pledge, at a National Day Observance Ceremony by the PA.

This is the first year that the PA is organising such an event.

Manpower Minister and PA's deputy chairman Lim Swee Say said the grassroots movement by the PA has grown from strength to strength, becoming a force of more than 37,000 grassroots leaders and volunteers today.

The PA is supported by 2,500 full-time staff members and reached out to 1.9 million residents last year, said Mr Lim in his opening address to the crowd at the PA headquarters in Jalan Besar.

Long-time grassroots leader Mr Phang Tai Heng, 86, told The Straits Times how the grassroots movement evolved through Singapore's formative years.

"Last time, I had a shophouse in Beach Road with a some newspapers, that was our 'community centre'. Now there have been so many changes, the PA is helping the people in so many ways now," said Mr Phang, who served in Jalan Besar as a volunteer for more than 50 years.