NDP's a family affair for Yam Ah Mee
Mr Yam Ah Mee leading contingent and has pilot son flying in the '50' formation
You probably remember him as the poker-faced returning officer for the 2011 General Election.
On Aug 9, Mr Yam Ah Mee, 58, will be a familiar face among the 2,000 participants marching at the National Day Parade.
The former People Association's chief will be leading the contingent from Sembcorp.
"About 90 per cent of the people, who make up my contingent are veterans. They have been participating in the National Day Parade for many, many years. I feel honoured to lead such a motivated group," he said.
And taking part in this year's national day parade will be a family affair for Mr Yam, who is also a retired Brigadier General.
His eldest son, Captain Gabriel Yam, an F-16 pilot, is flying in the "50" formation.
"It's a privilege for a father and son to be in a National Day Parade, but a unique privilege to be in one that is celebrating Singapore's 50th birthday," Mr Yam said.
His wife, Madam Goh Wee Lee, 57, younger sons, Michael, 28, and David, 23, and daughters-in-law will also be there, but they will watching from the stands.
"I would like my grandson to be there too, but he is only seven weeks old," said the proud grandfather, smiling.
Also waving from the stands will be the wife of the parade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Alvin Tjioe, 34. They've been married for seven years.
"I spent most of my Saturdays here at the Padang rehearsing for the big day. She has been very understanding, especially during the times when I had to go overseas for training," the commanding officer of the 1st Commando Battalion said.
The Chairman of the Parade and Ceremony, Colonel Simon Lee, told the media at a briefing on Saturday that it is only the second time in 30 years that a commanding officer of the 1st Commando Battalion has been made parade commander.
LTC Tjioe assumed command of the 1st Commando Battalion in June last year.
But he did not expect the role to lead the Golden Jubilee National Day Parade.
"It's not something that I set my eyes on and worked towards. Rather, it's an opportunity that is given to me and I feel deeply honoured," LTC Tjioe said.
"And it being SG50 makes this even more special to me."
PIONEER ARTILLERY MEN AT PRESIDENTIAL GUN SALUTE
For most of their lives, Mr Lim Seng Wah (below, left), 65, and Mr Kuttalingam Nainar, 63, fired the big guns.
TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Both retired senior warrant officers were delighted to be asked to be part of this year's presidential gun salute.
"I have been retired for the last 19 years. I've been doing a lot of other things to occupy my time. But nothing excites me like the boom of a cannon," said Mr Lim, who is now a real estate agent.
He joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1967 and became a member of the "men of steel" under its artillery regiment.
Mr Nainar added: "Firing the big guns has been really exhilarating for the past 30 years. That's how long I have been with artillery."
Both men can still fit into their No. 1 Dress, a ceremonial uniform which is worn only on ceremonial occasions.
"I can proudly say I still have the same blood pressure as when I was 18," Mr Lim said, patting his uniform.
"I'm glad they invited us. This gives great recognition to the pioneers who contributed to the defence of Singapore."
Mr Nainar said: "It is great to be part of the parade celebrating its 50th birthday as pioneers."