SDP, its friends and supporters got together to organise the 1st ever countdown party at Hong Lim Park to usher in 2009.
There was neither any entrance fee, nor big bang music..nor booze..nor superstars nor VIPs to grace the occasion BUT there were lots of hotdogs, chips, drinks, light sticks, clappers, live musicians and singers providing lots and lots of fun.
Most importantly, we had great company in the audience who were all VIPs in my eyes.
Most of us arrived at Hong Lim Park early to prepare for the event. It was amazing that no one needed to be told what to do. We all seemed to know our roles well, musicians (Dr Chee , Jufri Jnr, Agnes, Dayvid) were at one side practicing the songs to be sing and play for the night. Seelan, Kaixing, Khalis, Rachel were setting up the candlelight display and JBJ memorial altar, Grace and Francis help set up the tables. John and I went through the programe list, Siok Chin, Francis, Johhny, Gerald and Ti Lik readied the food and drinks for the night.
Tiki torches were used to create the ambience, Eddy provided the sound systems (which impressed many visitors…thank you Eddy). Hotdogs were sponsored by Lillian.
2 young girls were the first to join in the countdown. It was heartening to know that being only 19 and 20 yrs old, they were aware of Singapore’s political scene. They even helped us with the preparation and went around mingling with the rest, especially our ‘little’ supporters like Joe-en, Jo-elle, Shaw Hur and Misha.
Another supporter that caught my eyes was a 92 (or is it 94?) year old lady. who had come with her son and a helper. The son introduced the mother to me. The son told me that her mum came all the way from Clementi to show her support. Though the old lady couldn’t really speak, she embraced me with a hug which warmed my heart.
I noticed that Steve Chia had also come to attend. I then invited him to speak which he spotaneously agreed. Even though it was an impromptu invitation, he did not disappoint the crowd and obliged.
Jufrie Mahmood, John Tan, Tan Kin Lian, Sebastian Teo, Ng Teck Siong, Seelan Palay, Kenneth Jeyaretnam were speakers for the night – thank you all for your wonderful speeches.
The highlights of the night were songs by our musicians (Dr Chee , Jufrie Jr, Dayvid, Agnes) who not only played the guitar, but sang to us as well. Another talent of Dr Chee which not many know, is that he can play the guitar quite well.
Two of my favourite songs performed that night were the song Dr Chee wrote for Mr JBJ which really touch my heart and the song we sang as the grand finale “We Shall Overcome”.
All in all, it was a great way to start the new year.
Welcome 2009, for whatever happens in 2009, recession, depression, more police investigations, more charges in court, I would say..bring it on, for I know..someday, “we shall overcome”.
Happy New Year to all