Cuddly dose of nostalgia

A dose of mascot magic helping to energise the audience during the pre-parade segment. The cuddly Singapore icons are (from left) Nila the Lion, Water Wally, Singa the Courtesy Lion, Sharity, Captain Green and Teamy the Bee.
A dose of mascot magic helping to energise the audience during the pre-parade segment. The cuddly Singapore icons are (from left) Nila the Lion, Water Wally, Singa the Courtesy Lion, Sharity, Captain Green and Teamy the Bee.

An elephant, two lions, a bee, a frog and a water droplet walked onto the Marina Bay floating platform yesterday, to a cheering full-capacity crowd.

Sounds like the start of a joke? Actually, they were familiar mascots from Singapore's past public campaigns, and they guaranteed a fillip of nostalgia to the day's events.

Singa the Courtesy Lion, a cheery figure dressed yesterday in blue shorts and T-shirt with a flower emblem, exhorted Singaporeans to be courteous and considerate.

One of his cuddly companions, Sharity, a sweet pink elephant in a blue jumpsuit, symbolised care and compassion for the less fortunate.

The two were joined by Captain Green, the frog who promoted a clean and green lifestyle; Teamy the Bee, who encouraged a more productive workforce; Nila the Lion, the official mascot of the 2015 South-east Asian Games, and Water Wally, who spread the message of water conservation.

These were the faces of education campaigns launched in the 1980s and 1990s, that also had their own slogans and songs to cement the message in people's minds.

  • NDP TEAM

  • REPORTS BY:

    TAN TAM MEI, AW CHENG WEI, JOSE HONG, FABIAN KOH, DEREK WONG, FELICIA CHOO, RAHIMAH RASHITH AND JAN LEE

  • PHOTOS BY:

    ARIFFIN JAMAR, ALPHONSUS CHERN, BENJAMIN SEETOR, DESMOND FOO, DESMOND WEE, GAVIN FOO, KEVIN LIM, KELVIN CHNG, LEE JIA WEN, LIM YAOHUI, MARK CHEONG, NG SOR LUAN, ONG WEE JIN, SYAMIL SAPARI AND CHONG JUN LIANG

 

Besides dancing energetically to their campaign songs yesterday, the mascots also showed they were not short on humour.

Reaching into the fun bag for the placard on which people could complete the sentence "I am", Singa wrote "I am your dream date" and cheekily showed it to emcee Sonia Chew, while the crowd roared.

Civil servant Clement Ong, 52, found their appearance at the parade "great".

"Seeing them really reminded me of the campaigns during my childhood," said Mr Ong, who attended the parade with his wife, Madam Angie Yang, 44, yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Cuddly dose of nostalgia'. Print Edition | Subscribe