SINGAPORE: The State Funeral Procession for the late former President S R Nathan will commence at 2pm on Friday (Aug 26), and will pass landmarks of significance to Mr Nathan such as City Hall, Fullerton Hotel and NTUC Centre en route to the University Cultural Centre at National University of Singapore.
The Coffin Bearer Party, comprising nine personnel from the SAF and the SPF, will transfer the casket onto the ceremonial 25-pounder Gun Carriage.
The landmarks were chosen for the following reasons:
City Hall – Mr Nathan, Singapore’s longest serving President, reviewed the country’s National Day Parade here in 2000, 2005 and 2010. In office, he founded the President’s Challenge, which raised more than S$100 million for more than 500 beneficiary organisations between 2000 and 2011.
Fullerton Hotel – Early in his public service career, Mr Nathan was appointed as a Seamen’s Welfare Officer at the Marine Department, located at the Fullerton Building, now the Fullerton Hotel. This marks the beginning of his career in labour relations and diplomacy.
NTUC Centre – Between 1962 and 1965, Mr Nathan served in the Labour Research Unit (LRU), a unit of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Mr Nathan’s stint at the LRU was during a time of industrial unrest and political strife. He helped NTUC overcome the challenge posed by pro-communist unions to eventually become the country’s main trade union movement.
Members of the public can line the procession route from Parliament House to UCC. They are advised to stay on the public footpaths for their own safety, and not to toss objects or operate unmanned aerial vehicles when the carriage passes so as not to endanger others and disrupt the movement of the carriage, the organising committee said in its press release.
The Funeral Service will be held at the UCC from 3pm to 5pm, it added.
On arrival at UCC, the Gun Carriage will be received at the main foyer by a Line of Honour (LOH), comprising 48 servicemen from the SAF Military Police Command. The LOH will invert their weapons and bow their heads as a mark of respect as the Gun Carriage passes them. This “Resting on Arms Reversed” signifies the highest form of respect the SAF can pay to the deceased.
The Coffin Bearer Party will then carry the casket into UCC, slow-marching to G. F. Handel’s Dead March from Saul performed by the SAF Military Band.
Following the procession will be the Chief Mourner, Mr Osith Ramanathan, Mr Nathan’s son and other family members. The accompanying pallbearers will include Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, representatives from the People’s Association - Mr Timothy De Souza, Mr Goh Jia Hao, Mr Syed Ahmad Bin Said Yusof Alsagoff, Mr Ramamoorthy S/O Krishnan - as well as two family friends, Mr Desmond Yong and Mr Henry Goh.
The casket will enter the UCC Hall at a slow pace, accompanied by J. S. Bach’s Air from the Overture No. 3 in D Major, BMV1068, which will be performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The casket will then be placed on a bier for the rest of the Funeral Service.
The Funeral Service at UCC will be attended by family members of the late Mr Nathan, the President of Singapore, the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, the judiciary and the diplomatic corps. Singaporeans from all walks of life will also be invited to attend the service, it said.
The State Funeral Service will be broadcast ‘live’ over Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham and Channel NewsAsia from 2.15pm. There will also be full simulcasts on radio, www.channelnewsasia.com/rememberingsrnathan, and toggle.sg.
After the Funeral Service, Mr Nathan will make his final journey to Mandai Crematorium for the private cremation service.