SIA’s deputy managing director (commercial), Michael Tan, told reporters recently that the 50-year milestone was not an occasion for self-congratulation, but a time to thank those associated with the Airline’s growth and success. ‘Our 50th anniversary celebrations are not about patting ourselves on the back,’ he said. ‘Our thanks must go to our customers, our staff, the travel and tourism trade, our shareholders, our partners in government and business, and last but not least, members of the media.’ To celebrate the joyous occasion, the activities in store promise to be truly memorable.
The SIA Exhibition, which will kick off the anniversary celebrations, will be held at the Changi International Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 1, 1997. Comprising 11 pavilions, each specially designed to show SIA’s progression over the past 50 years, the exhibition will feature past paraphernalia as well as the Airline’s present facilities. It will also provide a glimpse of what air travel will be like in years to come. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour SIA’s engineering, cargo, catering and training facilities, and walk through a Boeing 747 aircraft. The exhibition is expected to attract up to 200,000 members of the public over the four-day period.
The travel exposition, dubbed the Golden Celebration, will be held at Singapore’s ultra modern convention center, Suntec City, from July 25 to 27, 1997. The exposition will occupy an area of 7,300 square meters comprising:-
⚫an SIA exhibition showcasing the Airline’s history and achievements, contribution to the community, and leading-edge service and technology;
⚫an exhibition by 30 national tourist offices from 16 countries, and 20 resorts and theme parks. Hourly live entertainment from the four corners of the world will be provided. Among them are the
Vienna Boys Choir, renowned acrobats from Shanghai, Balinese dancers from Indonesia, bamboo dancers from the Philippines, and India will showcase its pageantry through a costume parade and manipuri dances. South Africa will be represented by its Zulu dancers. There will also be a New Zealand Wearable Art show and street performers from Britain. For the children there will be famous cartoon characters to amuse them such as the Flinstones, Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo. There are also plans to involve celebrities and TV stars. An expected 50,000 visitors over the three days will stand to win grand prizes in an ongoing series of lucky draws.
Among the other events and activities planned in the coming months are:
⚫The Singapore Airlines 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins, specially designed by Singapore’s Board of Commissioners of Currency, and produced and marketed by the Singapore Mint. The coins will feature a SIA MEGATOP 747 taking off, signifying SIA’s dynamism and readiness for advancing into the next millennium. Sold individually or in sets they are as follows:
⚫a S850 gold proof coin, minted in 999.9 fine gold. Mintage is set at 2,688 pieces, and the coin will be sold at S$1,168, inclusive of goods and service tax,
⚫ a S85 sterling silver proof coin, minted in 925 silver. Mintage is set at 18,000 pieces, and the coins will be sold at S$55 each, including GST,
⚫a S85 un-circulated cupro- nickel coin. These will be sold at S$15 each (GST included), and mintage will be based on demand, •Special fares for Singaporeans born in May 1947.
⚫A specially-cultivated orchid, the Dendrobium Singapore Girl, by the National Parks Board. The orchid will be officially named at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens in June.
⚫A commemorative set of four phone cards, which will be issued in July. A limited edition of 5,000 sets each with a face value of S$27 (three cards at S88 and one at S83) will be sold at S888 per set.
⚫Co-sponsor of the popular stage production, ‘The Sound of Music’. The musical starring Marie Osmond, will be performed at the Kallang Theatre in Singapore from June 24 to 29, 1997.
⚫Co-sponsor of Warner Brother’s Family Ice Spectacular. The show which will be held in June at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will feature the famous Looney Tunes, and Batman and Robin characters.
⚫An attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by producing the longest stuffed toy (currently 419.7 meters, for a stuffed snake). SIA offices world- wide will join forces to create a stuffed dragon, which will be produced in segments and joined together in Singapore in July.
Apart from being SIA’s 50th anniversary month, May 1997 is special for another reason: the first of the 77 Boeing 777s ordered by the Airline would arrive on May 6, painted in special anniversary livery. As part of the golden jubilee. celebrations, SIA will be calling its B777 aircraft the JUBILEE B777.