NDP 2019: Riding high in presenting a glimpse into the past

The Straits Times' bicentennial float featured a printing press used in the 19th century, with the first-ever edition of The Straits Times, published in 1845, being rolled out.
The Straits Times' bicentennial float featured a printing press used in the 19th century, with the first-ever edition of The Straits Times, published in 1845, being rolled out.
The Singapore General Hospital float depicted various aspects of the hospital in its early days, including a clock tower that was built in the 1920s and still stands at the hospital today.
The Singapore General Hospital float depicted various aspects of the hospital in its early days, including a clock tower that was built in the 1920s and still stands at the hospital today.
The Singapore Post bicentennial float featured decorations such as a colonial-era mailbox, postcards and a counter that was part of the old General Post Office.
The Singapore Post bicentennial float featured decorations such as a colonial-era mailbox, postcards and a counter that was part of the old General Post Office.

She has spent the past 46 years working at Singapore Post, but branch manager Sim Boon Soo has never experienced anything quite like this.

The 68-year-old, together with two of her fellow long-serving colleagues, went on the ride of their lives yesterday, when they took to the Padang to represent SingPost on its bicentennial float at the National Day Parade (NDP).

Eight other organisations made their appearance on seven floats: Singapore Volunteer Rifle Corps, Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, The Straits Times, Robinsons, Singapore General Hospital, Post Office Savings Bank, and a combination of the Singapore Fire Brigade and Singapore Police Force.

These organisations were represented as they had played a role in building Singapore in its early years.

Each float gave a glimpse into the history of the organisation. Float participants included a few staff members from the organisations, dressed in uniforms and equipped with items that their predecessors used in the past.

The NDP team behind the floats did its research using resources from the library, national archives and the organisations themselves.

For the SingPost float, it gave parade-goers a look into its past through decorations such as a mock-up of a counter at the old General Post Office and a colonial letterbox.

Madam Sim said: "I am very honoured to have been selected to participate in this year's NDP.

 

"I have never participated in the NDP before, and have never had the chance to attend even as a member of the audience, so I am very excited to be part of this year's NDP celebrations."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2019, with the headline 'Riding high in presenting a glimpse into the past'. Print Edition | Subscribe