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Pioneers soak in parade spirit live, some for first time

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Tiffany Fumiko Tay on 10 Aug 2017

The Straits Times

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Members of the pioneer generation turned up for yesterday's National Day Parade (NDP), some for the first time.

 

Retiree Edwin Koh, 69, who carried the Singapore flag as a schoolboy in the first NDP in 1966, was thrilled to be able to attend the parade for the first time since then.

 

After his children had balloted for tickets for several years without luck, the Bukit Panjang resident decided to approach his MP. "I'd like to thank Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. I told him I haven't been (to the parade) all these years. This is like winning the lottery."

 

He and his wife Theresa Ng, 70, queued from 2pm yesterday, more than three hours before the parade began, to get good seats.

 

He said: "I'm very happy. This will be my first and last chance to see it in person. Being here is nothing like watching it on TV."

 

Another retiree, Madam Tay Ah Hiang, was at the NDP for the first time in decades - and is now hoping to see another parade live.

 

"I wish for peace for the country in the coming years, that all of us will live in harmony and that my grandchildren will grow up strong and healthy," said the 80-year-old.

 

Uber driver Md Rosli, 60, said he was "very excited" to be attending his first NDP with his family. "We got lucky this year," said Mr Rosli.

 

"I used to live in a small kampung in the 1970s - Singapore has come a long way since then... I hope for my kids that it stays peaceful, prosperous and united."

 

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.