100 events to mark bicentennial

The Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, which has almost two centuries of history, is curating a photo exhibition which matches photographs of 100 Singaporeans with their ancestors.

These images, to be displayed side by side, will help tell the story of how their ancestors settled here, the sacrifices they made and the successes they had. The showcase will be launched on March 23.

The exhibition, From Singapore To Singaporean - Pioneers And Descendants, is one of more than 100 events and projects created by people and organisations to uncover stories of the Republic's past as it marks its bicentenary.

The Singapore Bicentennial Office said yesterday that the projects involve more than 280 partners, including community groups, religious institutions and clans.

It added that the year-long commemoration is "an opportunity for Singaporeans to find personal connections to the past and discover more about our longer history by piecing together the stories of our shared journey".

Other partners include the Goh Loo Club, which, together with the Tan Kah Kee Foundation, has lined up cultural seminars, and the Eurasian Association, which is 100 this year and has planned activities such as a Eurasian Festival.

Meanwhile, the longer history of Singapore will be presented at five road shows taking place island-wide, a collaboration between the five community development councils and the Singapore Bicentennial Office. The road shows kick off in April at Wisma Geylang Serai and will be held at the other four districts in subsequent months.

 
 
 
 

The road shows will be complemented by a series of projects supported by the People's Association that cover the place histories of different regions in Singapore.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, co-chairman of the ministerial steering committee for the Singapore Bicentennial Office, said it was grateful for the many people and communities who came forward to share their history.

She said: "Throughout our history, many individuals and communities gave back to society in various ways - by building places of worship, hospitals, schools and more. The pioneers of independent Singapore, too, found ways to contribute, be it through monetary donations or voluntary service."

She also referred to the $200 million Bicentennial Community Fund, announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech last week. The fund will match, dollar for dollar, donations that are garnered by Institutions of a Public Character this year.

Mrs Teo said: "We hope to inspire more corporates and individuals to care and share, in the same spirit of our forefathers' generosity."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2019, with the headline '100 events to mark bicentennial'. Print Edition | Subscribe