No sign of original time capsule

The late Dr Goh Keng Swee, who was Finance Minister in 1970, with the time capsule at the laying of foundation stone for the $16.7 million National Stadium at Kallang. The capsule has not been found.
The late Dr Goh Keng Swee, who was Finance Minister in 1970, with the time capsule at the laying of foundation stone for the $16.7 million National Stadium at Kallang. The capsule has not been found. ST FILE PHOTO

The search for it spanned more than three years. A construction firm was even in talks to hire an X-ray machine at an estimated cost of $100,000 to find it. A reward of $50,000 for its discovery was also put up.

Alas, local sports officials have conceded that the original sports time capsule, buried in 1970 with the foundation stone of the old National Stadium, has not been found.

Made of copper, the old cylindrical capsule was carried from Empress Place to the National Stadium by a relay team of runners, and was laid underground by then Finance Minister Goh Keng Swee.

It contained mostly building plans, newspaper clippings from that year and local currency notes.

In the mean time, a spanking new National Stadium has come up in place of Kallang's Grand Old Dame.

But this time, the capsule - named "Aspirations" and which will help preserve a legacy for Singapore sports - will not be lost.

For it has been sealed and laid above the ground in front of the SEA Games cauldron at the Stadium Riverside Walk, a 750m promenade that runs along the Kallang River.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2016, with the headline 'No sign of original time capsule'. Print Edition | Subscribe