Singaporeans' photos of Istana wanted for 2019 celebrations

Performers dressed up as Chinese folklore characters Chang Er and Hou Yi leading Ryan Dinzly Naiman (in orange top), nine, Syahfril Hans (in blue top), 10, and other beneficiaries of the President's Challenge for a tour of the Istana grounds yesterda
Performers dressed up as Chinese folklore characters Chang Er and Hou Yi leading Ryan Dinzly Naiman (in orange top), nine, Syahfril Hans (in blue top), 10, and other beneficiaries of the President's Challenge for a tour of the Istana grounds yesterday in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

In celebration of the Istana's 150th anniversary next year, Singaporeans will be invited to share old photographs that have captured their experience there.

Calling the Istana an iconic national monument, President Halimah Yacob said it has a place in the hearts of many Singaporeans.

Said Madam Halimah: "As we celebrate next year, what is important are the memories.

"I would like to encourage Singaporeans (to share) old photographs of the Istana and their experience here... real snippets of how Singaporeans have been able to enjoy the Istana in the past, (so) we can share those experiences with Singaporeans today."

Madam Halimah will share more details on her Facebook page at a later date.

She was speaking to the media yesterday during a Mid-Autumn Festival picnic - the fourth in the Picnic@Istana series this year.

Some 100 President's Challenge beneficiaries from Focus on the Family, Care Community Services Society, Daughters of Tomorrow and Filos Community Services attended the picnic.

President Halimah Yacob leading children on a tour of the Istana grounds after a Mid-Autumn Festival picnic yesterday. The children were President's Challenge beneficiaries from Care Community Services Society, Focus on the Family, Daughters of Tomor
A Mid-Autumn stroll at the Istana: President Halimah Yacob leading children on a tour of the Istana grounds after a Mid-Autumn Festival picnic yesterday. The children were President's Challenge beneficiaries from Care Community Services Society, Focus on the Family, Daughters of Tomorrow and Filos Community Services. Together with caregivers and volunteers, they indulged in mooncakes and other treats during the picnic. While on the tour, they visited the Swan Pond, Japanese Garden and Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid bed. The picnic is the fourth in the Picnic@Istana series this year, which aims to make the Istana more accessible to ordinary Singaporeans. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Madam Halimah said she was happy to see the President's Challenge beneficiaries with their caregivers and volunteers.

SHARING MEMORIES

As we celebrate next year, what is important are the memories. I would like to encourage Singaporeans (to share) old photographs of the Istana and their experience here... real snippets of how Singaporeans have been able to enjoy the Istana in the past, (so) we can share those experiences with Singaporeans today.

PRESIDENT HALIMAH YACOB

She added: "It's also multiracial. That's something very unique."

Since taking her oath of office a year ago on Sept 14, Madam Halimah has invited various groups to the Istana under the Picnic@Istana, Tours@Istana and Volunteer Gardeners@Istana programmes.

One of her priorities is to make the Istana more accessible to ordinary Singaporeans, beyond the five traditional open houses during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Labour Day and National Day.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Singaporeans' photos of Istana wanted for 2019 celebrations'. Print Edition | Subscribe