Sunday, July 31, 2011

National Day Parade 2011 Parade Preview: Approaching the big day!

"One more show and we'll be through": Ensigns from the Guard of Honour contingent march towards the Singapore Flyer, where the Colours they bear will be uncased. The next time they pass this route will be on 9 August when they will be on parade for the actual event.

Having performed in front of a "live" audience of more than 130,000 people (CR3 to CR6, plus yesterday's Parade Preview), National Day Parade 2011 participants might feel they have got the show drilled to perfection.

They have good reason for such confidence, but should keep their minds focused on the big day on 9 August.

Everything they have done thus far for NDP 2011 - all the rehearsals, memorised song scripts and practised moves - builds up to Singapore's 46th birthday celebrations. And the NDP team must execute the event with panache, flair and energy not seen at all previous combined rehearsals.

As the event will be televised "live" and webcast to an audience numbering millions of people, anything less than a maximum effort would throw away all the time and sacrifices made these past few months.

These past few Saturdays, NDP participants on and off stage would have seen how thousands of Singaporeans made time to join them at the CRs. CR ticket holders and ticketless, self-invited spectators knew full well the song and dance routines were still being polished, cue tables tweaked and the fireworks discharged only a fraction of those saved for NDP itself. Still, they came.

Thousands more will come on 9 August.

If the shows weren't worth their time, the CRs would attract zero spectators.

As we approach National Day, the anticipation of entering centrestage will be electrifying for NDP participants.

And even as the NDP Executive Committee (EXCO) builds various scenarios into its planning cycle, NDP participants must steel themselves for the unexpected, be prepared to recover quickly and get on with the show.

Will it rain?

What if the fireworks mis-fire? Has happened before... during NDP 2007.

What if the feu-de-joie commands are mis-timed, like in NDP 2000?

Will drawer plans for various emergency scenarios be needed?

Come what may, NDP participants will have thousands cheering them on.

These include their family members who feel a special connection with NDP 2011 because their loved ones are involved in the show. Many family members and friends of NDP participants made time to catch CR3, eventhough the NDP musical was still half-baked and fireworks show only a token.

At yesterday's Parade Preview, the parents of Leopard 2SG tank driver Lance Corporal Boo Li Yan went to Marina Bay how their 23-year-old son had been spending his past few Saturdays.

As the column of vehicles for the Dynamic Defence Display trundled towards the show venue, Raysen Boo, 53, and his wife kept an eye out for Tank 25 from the 48th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR).

The Leopard 2SG was driven by Li Yan, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate who is third in a family of four children.

"We are very proud," said his homemaker mum."He tells us it is the newest tank in Singapore."

Li Yan's parents did not get to see their son as Tank 25 and Tank 16 were driven with hatches closed, but he probably saw them through the periscopes of his Leo2.

Show of tanks: Mr Raysen Boo and his wife pose in front of Tank 25, driven by their 23-year-old son, Lance Corporal Boo Li Yan. The couple stayed faithfully by the Leopard 2SG until it was time for the tank to join the Parade Preview. All this while, they did not even get to see their son - such is the thing that parents do.

The couple were content to snap a picture with Tank 25 in the background and watched as the war machine trundled towards the NDP venue.

Such family support, so natural and unscripted, was heartwarming to witness.

It will be even more heartwarming to watch NDP 2011 unfold on 9 August.

All the CRs build up to that special day, so on with the show!

Acknowledgements: Thanks are due to the NDP 2011 EXCO for the assistance rendered at the Parade Preview, and to Ong Jun Wei and team for pencilling in time during the lockdown at Marina Bay.


Laremy said...

David, I notice you have been silent on the issue of Tony Tan's son's unusual NSF posting.

Any reason for this silence? I'm sure you have some insights into the matter.

David Boey said...

Hi Laremy,
I do not know anything more than has been reported in the mainstream media and on internet news sites.

Have read almost all the comments.

I've written something on white horses but would like to think it over before posting the piece.

Best Regards,