Last night, the news of our former president S R Nathan’s passing broke all of our hearts.
Soon enough, eulogies from ministers poured onto social media, alongside personal stories from everyday Singaporeans who had encountered President Nathan, either on formal occasions or informal ones.
Due to his affable personality, dedication to creating a more compassionate Singapore, and his love for morning walks around East Coast Park, during which he will take the time to listen to concerns of Singaporeans he passes, he quickly endeared himself to the Singaporean public.
Who can forget when he “crashed” a wedding photoshoot during one of those walks?
He also started the President’s Challenge in 2000, a yearly affair that raises funds for charity. He started it during his term with a vision to build a compassionate Singapore and “bring the community together to do their part to help the less fortunate”.
Let’s take a look at memories of President S R Nathan that Singaporeans have shared, and how just like many of his accolades, he rightfully earned the status of the “People’s President”.
Singaporeans Remember President S R Nathan
When he was a just a “chill guy” who loved to make conversations with Singaporeans in spite of his position:
When he was just a Santana fan having a blast at the concert:
When his warm smiling face was accurately depicted in caricature form:
When he stood without an umbrella during a parade review along with the cadets:
When he flawlessly blended in with a group of football players:
When he took notice of those living in tents at East Coast Park, and wanted to help them:
When he asked for a photo first:
A rare moment and a rare find in my archive. My friend grabbed this. President actually asked me a technical question about my research. Awkward answer without being too technical. Suddenly he said to me “Can I have a picture with you”…caught without a camera (this was pre phone-camera days, digital cameras were just in the market) and my friend with his digital camera was just there and took this shot. So appropriate as it’s graduation week starting next Monday. #ntu #nanyangtechnologicaluniversity #ntugraduation #graduationday #presidentofsingapore #presidentnathan
When he took the time to talk to everyone in the room:
When many still associate their school days with seeing his and the First Lady’s portrait:
He Loved The People, And Was Loved By The People
The Prime Minister’s Office just announced that a state funeral will be held on Friday (26 August) from 4pm onwards, at the University Cultural Centre in NUS.
For those who want to express their condolences, boards are currently available at the Istana for you to pen down your tributes. Condolence books will also be opened at Overseas Missions for overseas Singaporeans and their friends.
More than just our 6th president, and our longest-serving one, President S R Nathan was one who loved the people, and was loved by the people.
Rest in peace, President Nathan. Thank you for the wonderful memories.
Do you have any personal stories that you’d like to share? Let us know.
Feature Image Credit: scoopnest.com