1st National Day Parade At The Padang

This year marks Singapore 45 years of independence and the 2010 National Day parade will be held at the Padang and old City Hall once again. Of course this year my Pri.5 daugther has the opportunity to watch the National Day Parade preview on 24 July 2010.

2010 NDP at the Padang.

This is probably part of the National Education but when I asked her about the words “Majulah Singapura” pinned on the top of the old City Hall mean, she replied “dunno”….and I wonder how many know what “Majulah Singapura” about. I’m thinking that’s bad, I better start teaching her social studies!

Part of the Funpack given during the National Day preview show.

“Majulah Singapura” (in Malay language) means “Onward Singapore” and is our Singapore’s National Anthem composed by Zubir Said in 1958. When Singapore attained full independence in 1965, “Majulah Singapura” was officially adopted as Singapore’s National Anthem. There are a few occasions where the “Majulah Singapura” words are pinned on the top of the old City Hall as you can see in the following posts.

Of course in this National Day post, I’m going to blog about something unique about those National Day parades held at the Padang and in which year the past Presidents had their first National Day Parade at the Padang.

The venue of the parade is usually at the Padang and the old City Hall, where the declaration of Singapore’s independence was held. In fact the old City Hall and Padang was used for the National Day parade even before Singapore achieved independence in 1965.  Below shows the photos of our National Day parade in 1963;

National Day parade in 3 June 1963 held at the old City Hall;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Credit : Above 2 National Heritage Board

See the words “Majulah Singapura” pinned up on the top of City Hall in the above photos. Can you identify the Head of State in the 3rd photo? In case you have forgotten why are we celebrating National Day on 3 June, pls see my previous post here.

Below are our Singapore past and present Presidents first National Day Parade at the Padang and City Hall:

1. Late President Yusof bin Ishak first NDP in 1966 at the Padang;

The above 2 photos showed the Late President Yusof bin Ishak in full military attire attending the NDP in 1966 (our 1st NDP after full independence). Note that the NDP started at 9am sharp at that time!

2. Late President Benjamin Henry Sheares first NDP in 1971 at the Padang which was also his very first NDP as Singapore 2nd President;

3. Late President C. V. (Chengara Veetil) Devan Nair first NDP in 1982 at the Padang;

4. Late President Wee Kim Wee first NDP in 1987 at the Padang;

5. Late President Ong Teng Cheong first NDP in 1995 at the Padang;

6. President  S. R. Nathan first NDP in 2000 at the Padang;

I hope thru the above photos, we can remember some treasured moments our late presidents shared with us on National Day. As this year National Day is back to the old City Hall and Pandang (of course it’s no longer at 9am sharp), I wonder how many know the historic City Hall building was designated as a National Monument on Feb.14 in 1992.

BTW, this year National Day theme is “Live Our Dreams, Fly Our Flag”, did you fly the Singapore Flag?

What my father wrote;

“A small leak will sink a large ship.” or “A small leak will sink a great ship.”

“一个小漏洞可能弄沉一艘大轮船.”
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15 Responses to “1st National Day Parade At The Padang”


  1. 1 webbigest Monday, August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    wow padang,,,,,padang is my home,,,im born in padang,,hehheeh

  2. 2 Icemoon Monday, August 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    NDP in the morning? No fireworks and laser shows then.

  3. 4 blog Monday, August 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    very good. Thanks all you

  4. 5 bcotaku Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Hello. It’s a great post! Is there any more of those pictures that you’ve posted? or might I know where you got them from. I am especially interested in Encik Yusof bin ishak, since my dad is always talking about him

  5. 7 kelvin Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 12:55 am

    the national theater is featured as one of the display at the ndp this year. is someone realising that the old icons of singapore are memorable but no longer ard?

  6. 9 Lam Chun See Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    NDP in the morning … no fireworks, no lasers?

    That’s right. I took part in such a morning NDP when I was a freshman in Spore U.

  7. 11 alex Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    NDP in the morning. Yes, my first NDP was in 1968, member of the school military band. We have to be at the Padang to take our place by 6.30 a.m.

    It was raining very heavily before the parade and we were all wet and were in the rain for about an hour. Never the less, when the time comes, we carry on with the parade and received much attention. Reason? our drum major is PM Lee.

    My second NDP is also in the morning, the year is 1970. Vehicle commander of a V200, it was the 1st time appearance for the public to view our new militaty equipment.

    Those were the days…….

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  1. 1 The Padang ? cultural, historical and national icon of Singapore | business suit Trackback on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm

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