Avid fan puts personal collection of 2,000 pieces of Singapore Airlines memorabilia on show

As a tour guide, Mr Jason Ang flew on SIA planes 16 to 18 times a year over four decades. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - It was the crackers and cheese served on board his first Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight in the 1980s that sparked Mr Jason Ang's interest in the national carrier.

The 52-year-old had always been fascinated by geography and travel, but the "impeccable service" on his flight to Bangkok gave his interest a focus.

Mr Ang soon entered the tourism industry as a tour guide and flew on SIA planes 16 to 18 times a year over the next four decades.

He attended launches of inaugural flights to new destinations, and got his hands on exclusive merchandise.

Today, he talks about the history of SIA as if he had been there every step of the way, despite never having worked for the airline.

With a collection of over 2,000 pieces of SIA memorabilia, he has no qualms referring to his home as an unofficial "SIA museum".

"I collect pieces of the history of this airline that has developed tremendously since the year 1972 and actually feel a sense of pride. I feel like I'm actually part of the journey of seeing this global icon grow through the years," Mr Ang said.

He is one of three home museum owners who will be featured in this year's Singapore Heritage Fest, organised by the National Heritage Board, that will take place over four weekends from May 2 to 29.

In the online series, Mr Ang takes viewers into his condominium unit, which is filled with model airplanes, more than 400 decks of SIA-issued playing cards, a mahjong set, a blue harmonica issued on SIA's inaugural flight to Chicago, and many other curiosities associated with the airline.

Among his favourite items is an issue of SilverKris, SIA's award-winning travel magazine.

Physical copies are no longer issued, he said, and he misses the days when he could hold a new copy in his hand and learn about the world.

He pointed at a copy of SilverKris issued in 2007 to commemorate the first A380 flight, operated by SIA from Singapore to Sydney on Oct 25 that year.

"Singapore is a tiny red dot, yet we are able to achieve a milestone in aviation history which I feel very proud of. It was also a charity flight, so all the proceeds were donated to a charity organisation, which I thought was something very memorable," he said.

"I want to share what I have collected over the past 40 years and hopefully, through the introduction of my collection, I'll be able to motivate or inculcate in the younger generation the importance of this history."

Mr Ang said he is glad that borders are now reopening for international travel. He has resumed his tour guide duties by taking local tours to Europe.

"SIA has had quite a tough time these past few years. A lot of people have been laid off because of the pandemic," he added.

"I'm very optimistic about the next couple of years as flying is just like public transport, and people still need to fly because of family, because of work."

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