Sri Temasek within Istana Grounds
|New Art Gallery where crowds gather|
The crowd was huge but it was orderly. When I checked my iPhone outside City Hall interchange I read it was to be an eight hour wait. I nodded to friend Tony and we decided to join the queue.
We had spent nearly two hours after we came at 8.30 pm. It was another two hours before filing into the House which was just ahead of us. My back was in pain but by then I was holding the hand of a three year old boy who was with his parents and older sister. We had all met in the queue, bonded quickly and energised ourselves with bubbly chats...
I looked around me. We were standing on Padang grass. An area of history and great pageantry. In front of me was the new Art Gallery, majestic under the arch lights, but a place where judges and lawyers used to gather.
I looked at my young friend, who was still holding my hand and not letting go for some time. I sensed that he was comfortable with me so I couldn't resist singing, "Little One" to him during one of our short stops. The song was a Russ Hamilton hit written for his niece. I thought Emmanuel enjoyed the lullaby. He looked tired though. By this time my back was at its worst. Hardly any chance to sit.
By about 11.30 pm, we reached the security gates where we were checked by the guards. Within half an hour the silent crowd had been split into two rows as we filed into Parliament House. I was about to pocket the iPhone as no picture-taking was allowed within the corridors but managed a stolen snap. The guard looked at me, "No photo taking please!" I smiled.
Another 15 minutes passed, and finally, after a long evening we managed to witness our Mr Lee lying in state. It was a four hour wait but a four minute view. I looked at my Phone, 12.30 am.
Emmanuel finally let go of my hand as he sleepily ambled to his mother. I really like that kid. We said our good-byes. He was in dreamland as we left the gates. Lucky boy; and in so many ways. An appropriate name too, Emmanuel...
Images for C: Private Collection.
Time to let go.
D) MUSIC PLAYED @ STATE FUNERAL: UNIVERSITY CULTURAL CENTRE
THE FINAL JOURNEY
NUS Cultural Centre
PLAYED DURING SERVICE:
SONGS @ PARLIAMENT HOUSE:
6) Auld Lang Syne
Played when the casket left Sri Temasek for Parliament House.
7) Amazing Grace
Heard during Mr Lee's Lying in State at Parliament House.
8) Home (Singapore Song) sung in Parliament House witnessed by PM Lee Hsien Loong.