Nuts and bolts of PAP60 celebrations

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Much research and planning went into last year's PAP60 celebrations. Petir takes you behind the scenes on what went into the major events' smooth execution

1. PAP60 commemorative event at Victoria Concert Hall on Nov 7, 2014

Research started a good six months beforehand to evoke the look-and-feel of the founding event 60 years ago at the then Victoria Memorial Hall.

Nothing was overlooked, to allow pioneer members to relive the event of Nov 1954, right down to the old microphone which founding Secretary-General Lee Kuan Yew spoke from. And somewhat appropriately, it was PAP pioneer staff Siang Kok Leong, who joined the party on its founding, who tracked down the microphone.

Photographs were enlarged as photo backdrops to show the "then" and "now" look of the venue, now called Victoria Concert Hall (VCH). Research was also done on food and beverage, music and venue décor to align with the nostalgia theme.

Statistics

  • More than 700 guests
  • About 80 helpers from Tampines North and Yew Tee branches and HQ staff pitched in to organise the momentous occasion

2. Giant mock-up of PAP60 Forward Together anniversary book

A giant mock-up of the book was on VCH's stage on Nov 2014, to mark its official launch. How did the giant book, at 2,200 mm (width) x 1,600 mm (height) x 600 mm (diameter) achieve its mobility on stage? Wheels, of course.

The mock book was made of plywood. Much thought went into the production of the pages to ensure their flipping was smooth and soft - like the real, smaller sized hard copy.

The mock book's pictures were selected to depict the rallies and the mode of engagement with the community in the early years and now.

3. PAP60 party awards ceremony and dinner

Usually held at an auditorium, last year's Nov 22 party awards ceremony was conducted at the Singapore Expo to accommodate the larger turnout. The usual number of attendees was about 1,800, compared to the 2,500 people for the 60th anniversary's awards ceremony.

Facts and Figures

  • 245 tables serving Chinese-Halal dinner
  • Giant birthday cake weighed 30 kg, and measured 3 ft x 2 ft
  • About 120 Women's Wing volunteers helped with the organisation. They were responsible for a number of tasks such as:
    - ushering different groups of attendees
    - food and logistics
    - registration and programme

4. Party conference and PAP60 rally at Singapore Expo on Dec 7, 2014

Preparations began as early as a year ago, with all 87 branches committed to mobilising their members to attend. In all, about 6,000 members attended.

About 100 YP members were involved with the organisation. They were responsible for the programme, speech, stage design and set up, security, general ushering, food, logistics and transport.

Indeed, the YP also came up with the pre-rally warm-up of having participants bounce polka-dotted balls above their heads. The giant balls were in the party colours of white, red and blue. Each of the balls measured 1.5 m in diameter and weighed about 1.5 kg.

This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Petir Magazine

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