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History-rich trail to be part of SG50’s physical legacy

SINGAPORE — As part of the Republic’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a 300m commemorative walkway in the City Hall area — featuring a large community mural — and an 8km trail will be launched in November next year.

SINGAPORE — As part of the Republic’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a 300m commemorative walkway in the City Hall area — featuring a large community mural — and an 8km trail will be launched in November next year.

Sharing details of the trail, which was first announced in June, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said yesterday the Jubilee Walk will take Singaporeans through key monuments that symbolise different points of the island’s history and development — starting from its beginnings as the 14th-century kingdom of Temasek to its modern-day incarnation.

It will start at the National Museum’s revamped galleries and pass through historic locations in the civic district — such as Empress Place Building, where Singaporeans registered their citizenship to vote in the 1959 elections, and the Padang, where independence was first declared — and the Marina Bay area, including Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage.

A new pedestrian bridge, the Jubilee Bridge, stretching from the Merlion Park to the promenade in front of Esplanade will also be part of the trail.

Maps and mobile applications will be developed to guide the public along the trail, which will be launched with a mass walk.

Mr Wong said: “(It) will take you through the past, present and future of our Singapore Story ... It will commemorate how we, an improbable nation, had come so far together despite the odds and thrived by working together.”

Speaking at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) workplan seminar, Mr Wong noted that while many activities have been planned to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday next year, it is also important to leave behind some physical landmarks or legacy.

The commemorative walkway — called the Art Connector — links the City Hall MRT Station exit along North Bridge Road to the entrance of the National Gallery Singapore at Coleman Street. The tender for the design was awarded to FARM Architects in collaboration with last year’s recipient of the Young Artist Award, Ms Grace Tan.

The walkway will showcase, among other things, designs inspired by the artworks on display in the National Gallery and contributions from Singaporeans.

From next month, the public can submit reflections on the National Pledge and self-portrait sketches at road shows that will be held at 50 locations across the island. Each sketch received will be scanned and digitised to form a larger collective pattern that will be etched into copper panels.

“Thousands of these portraits will be curated into a large community mural on the Art Connector. It will reflect our collective promise to (cognitively work) together in building Singapore’s future,” Mr Wong said.

“More importantly, (it will get Singaporeans) to reflect on the values of the Pledge and to recommit themselves to those values. And I think that’s an important expression of what we would like Singaporeans to do for SG50,” he added.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu also shared a photograph of a prototype of the special birth certificate and folder for babies born next year on her Facebook page. The certificate will come with the SG50 logo and a message from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Ms Fu said.

At the MCCY workplan seminar, Mr Wong reiterated his ministry’s mission to build cohesive communities through sports and arts. Among the highlights of the arts calendar next year is the Singapore International Festival of Arts, which will bring Singaporeans together to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, Mr Wong said.

Notable sports events lined up in the Republic’s 50th year of independence are the SEA Games in June, which Singapore is hosting again after 22 years, and the ASEAN Para Games in December, which will be held here for the first time.

The ministry’s initiatives for empowering youth include a review of *SCAPE to see how its facilities and programmes can be updated to stay relevant to today’s youths. “We are also looking beyond *SCAPE’s location at Somerset and asking ourselves how we can better engage youth in their own community spaces,” Mr Wong said. The findings of the review and the plan for *SCAPE “version 2.0” will be announced early next year, he added.

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