SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Aug 7) unveiled the Singapore Botanic Gardens' UNESCO World Heritage Site plaque.
This marks a milestone for the Gardens, following its inscription as Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site on Jul 4. The plaque will be installed at the Gardens' Tanglin gate.
Mr Lee said: "The Chinese saying goes: 'One generation plants the trees and the later generations enjoy the shade'. So let us in this generation, continue to improve and enlarge the gardens so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy. In the same way, let us nurture and build Singapore for future generations so that we'll have a bright future here for many years to come."
Mr Lee also launched a set of heritage stamps to commemorate the inscription of the Gardens. They were produced by Singapore Post in partnership with the National Parks Board, and can be purchased at all post offices.
In celebration of the country's 50th year of independence, Mr Lee officially named the SG50 orchid - Papilionanthe Singapore Golden Jubilee. The orchid hybrid was created by a team at the Botanic Gardens over a period of five years.
"It's an offspring of Vanda Miss Joaquim, our national flower," explained Mr Simon Tan, assistant director of horticulture at the Botanic Gardens. "This is a very good improvement from Vanda Miss Joaquim itself, because the flowers are larger, and it actually ties in, signifies our development and prosperity over the last 50 years. The growth is also much more vigorous, free flowering and resilient."
The Papilionanthe Singapore Golden Jubilee orchid. (Photo: Alice Chia)
There was also a series of activities lined up at the Gardens on Friday, including a carnival featuring game and craft booths, and a multicultural concert featuring local artistes such as Olivia Ong, Taufik Batisah and cultural dance troupes.
The first of the series of such concerts, called "Aneka Ragam Ra'ayat" or The People's Variety Show, was launched at the Gardens in 1959.
The crowd watching a performance at the Botanic Gardens. (Photo: Alice Chia)
Over the weekend, there will be more activities at the Gardens to celebrate National Day.
These include garden tours, outdoor movie screenings and concerts. The National Parks Board is expecting about 50,000 visitors to the Gardens during the Jubilee Weekend.