This was another Festival that was celebrated in August in 1976 and 1977 – not the Chinese 7th Month again please…
Below shows the 6th National Walk in 1975;
Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS
I’m not too sure how many still remember it – “Pesta Sukan”. First what is Pesta Sukan? It means “Festival of Sports” in Malay. The common phrase now is probably “…Singapore International Triathlon…” and who would remember Pesta Sukan?
Pesta Sukan first started in 1964 when Singapore is still a State of Malaya. Remember we gained independence from Malaysia in 1965 August 9! So maybe because of that, Pesta Sukan was used instead of Festival of Sports.
The other strange thing is this idea was mooted by the then Ministry of Culture. Wonder what has sports got to do with Culture then?? In 1965, it was the Ministry of Social Affair that organised the event but in the midst of the festival, Singapore broke away from Malaysia.
It’s then called”Pesta Sukan Minggu Merdeka from 1966 and in 1969 it was reverted back to it’s original name “Pesta Sukan”.
National Walk, Jog or Run and Cycling are some popular mass events organised in the 70s. It’s the kind of mass event that can attract about 20,000 to 30,000 participants of all ages.
The National Walk or the National Jog then was a standard 8km distance. When I was in Sec 2 and Sec 3, I participated in the 7th and 8th National Walk in 1976 and 1977 respectively; also the 3rd National Jog in 1977. As long as one complete the journey, they will give you a certificate of participation. I got mine and when I reached home, I will then use my manuscript pen to write my name on it. It was common for students of my time to use manuscript pen for art.
And in 1970, Singapore has it’s first and probably the only one “Festival of Sports” stamps series (let me know if I’m wrong);
Note : It’s called “Festival of Sports”.
Sports in Singapore seems to be like Fashion – some sports that are not so popular now are squash or badminton. Names of sports also undergoing changes….