Happy 45th Birthday SAFRA!
By Revathie Dhanabalan
July 28, 2017
2017 is the year we celebrate SAFRA45. To mark this special occasion, we have been featuring SAFRA related trivia since Jan 2017 as we counted down from 1972 to 2017. In this final part of our SAFRA45 special, we highlight SAFRA's biggest hits from the 1997 party at Padang to the celebration at SAFRA Mount Faber on 2 Jul 2017. Thank you for celebrating 45 years with us. Here's to many more fun and memorable years ahead!
1997: Happy 25th Anniversary
An artist recreation of SAFRA's 25th Anniversary at Padang in 1997
SAFRA celebrated its 25th anniversary with a bang at Padang with special performances by popular international and local artists and a Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) concert.
1998: Keeping the Music Alive
SAFRA and Tower Records formed Singapore's first music club on 25 Mar 1998
You might remember browsing through hundreds of CDs at Tower Records before the dawn of the digital age in the new Millennium. The SAFRA-Tower Records Music Club was launched in 1998 and members enjoyed special perks, such as meet-the-star sessions.
1999: Ending the Year With A Bang!
Millennium Swing Singapore at Orchard Road in 1999
SAFRA brought back the much anticipated Swing Singapore festivities, which was first organised in 1988, to ring in the new millennium. In 1999, over 400,000 people welcomed the New Year with the biggest countdown party in Singapore. The event was broadcasted live to home viewers.
2000: Kicking Off the Millennium
SAFRA's Team at the Trailwalker 2000 held in Hong Kong
Since 1989, SAFRA's Adventure Club has brought countless adventures to rugged sportsmen and women. In 2000, Adventure Club members took the challenge of a mountainous 100km trek held in Hong Kong and emerged an impressive 7th position out of the 915 competing teams from around the world.
2001: Opening Of SAFRA Yishun Country Club
Dr Tony Tan at the opening ceremony of SAFRA Yishun
Dr Tony Tan, then former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, officiated the opening of SAFRA Yishun Country Club (SYCC) on 19 Apr 2001. SAFRA Yishun is home to SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre, which offers a wide range from climbing walls to adventure activities for adrenalin junkies. The club also has an Indoor Air Weapons Range, and even hosted the 28th South-East Asian (SEA) Games in 2015.
2002: Sealing In SAFRA's 30th Anniversary
Right: BG Tan Huck Gim (RETIRED), Commander, 9th Division and former Vice-President, SAFRA and
Left: Mr David T E Lim, former Minister of State for Defence and Information and The Arts and former President, SAFRA
sealing the Time Capsule at SAFRA
SAFRA marked its 30th Anniversary with the sealing of the SAFRA Time Capsule on 19 Jan 2002. One of the items in the time capsule is a pictorial collection of the clubs, contributed by the founding President of SAFRA, Mr Phua Bah Lee. The items capture the story of SAFRA and the people who laid the foundation of this institution. The time capsule will be opened in 2032, when SAFRA celebrates its 60th Anniversary. Remember to watch out for it in 13 years time!
2003: World Cyber Games
Credit: HARDWARE MAG (Sep '03 Issue) - World Cyber Games
World Cyber Games (SAFRA League) - an initiative organised to engage younger NSmen
In 2003, SAFRA operated its first World Cyber Games (WCG) alongside brand names such as Samsung and Microsoft in August. The grand finals of WCG was held in Singapore and was the largest cyber gaming tournament in the world in 2003. Today, SAFRA still supports the local eSports gaming community through gaming events such as the recent SAFRA Street Fighter V Challenge @ Gam3.PRO Championship in Jul 2017 held at Marina Square Atrium.
2004: Keeping SAFRA Members In the Loop
Left: first issue of HYPE in Dec 04/Jan 05 Right: Latest issue of HYPE in Jun/Jul 17
In 2004, all four SAFRA club newsletters were integrated into one publication named HYPE. The first issue of the Dec 2004/Jan 2005 HYPE was given the thumbs up as members received comprehensive information on all SAFRA clubs in one combined newsletter.
2005: New Club At Mount Faber
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiating the opening of SAFRA Mount Faber
SAFRA Mount Faber in 2017
SAFRA Bukit Merah officially closed its doors in Oct 2004 after 22 years. The new club at Mount Faber welcomed its first member on 1 Nov 2004 and was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 23 Mar 2005. In 2017, SAFRA Mount Faber once again cemented itself as a one-stop leisure entertainment hub with the 34-lane superbowl, as well as a newly renovated swimming pool and futsal court.
2006: One-Of-A-Kind Runway Cycling
Cyclists take to the Paya Lebar Air Base Runway
Over 6,000 people participated in National Runway Cycling at Paya Lebar Air Base on 28 May 2006. This event was the first of its kind to be organised jointly by SAFRA, Republic of Singapore Air Force and Singapore Sports Council, which gave these participants an once-in-a-lifetime ride of their lives!
2007: SAFRA Tampines For the Sports Enthusiasts
The launch of SAFRA Tampines as a Sports Hub
SAFRA Tampines celebrated its launch as a Sports and Recreation Hub attracting over 4,600 participants in 2007. Today, SAFRA Tampines offers sporting facilities such as a 3-lane Olympic-size lap pool and futsal pitches for members, guests and sports enthusiasts. SAFRA Tampines also organises sporting events such as SAFRA Swim for Hope, Ultimate Frisbee, SAFRA Badminton Tournament and more!
2008: Singapore's First-Ever Quadthlon
Image Credit: Keppel Offshore & Marine. The inaugural Keppel Offshore & Marine Quadthlon was flagged off at the Changi Beach Park
SAFRA organised Singapore's first-ever Keppel Offshore & Marine Quadthlon on 12 Oct 2008. Over 250 participants competed in four challenging sports disciplines ranging from a 500m swim to 20km cycling route. Also, for the first time ever in the world, this multi-discipline race included a 12km in-line skating route.
2009: Opening of SAFRA Jurong
Celebrations at the Opening of SAFRA Jurong in 2009
SAFRA Jurong, the "Playground at The Canopy"
Since the opening of SAFRA Jurong in 2009, NSmen and their families in the West side of Singapore have been enjoying family-friendly facilities such as Kidz Amaze. SAFRA Jurong also organises family-centric events like SAFRA's Spelling Bee, Funtopia and the annual highly anticipated Sprint Kids!
2010: A Year For the Children
Winners of Sprint Kids 2010 and their proud parents
Check out Sprint Kids Xtreme Heats on 29 and 30 Jul 2017
SAFRA has been organising Sprint Kids annually since 2010, as a way to create unique opportunities for NSmen to bond with their children. This year, to celebrate 50 years of National Service (NS), the race features a unique military theme with a combination of obstacles from both old and new Standard Obstacle Course revived from nostalgic NS days. Think you and your kids have what it takes to overcome the obstacles together? Come on down for the heats on 29 and 30 Jul 2017 to find out!
2011: Swim For Hope 2011
Swim for Hope 2016 at SAFRA Tampines
Guest-of-Honour, Dr Maliki Osman, with the participants from Swim for Hope 2016 at SAFRA Tampines
The first-ever Swim for Hope took place at SAFRA Tampines in Oct 2011. This annual event provides an opportunity for Operationally Ready National Servicemen and their families to contribute to charitable causes, while promoting fitness and bonding through swimming. The sixth edition of the event in 2016 was held over three days at all SAFRA clubs. Keep a look out for Swim for Hope in 2017 in the coming months!
2012: Singapore Biathlon 2012
Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, then Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA,
flagging off the Men's Category of the Singapore Biathlon 2012
Father and son having fun after the Father-and-Child Relay at Singapore Biathlon 2012
More than 2,200 participants competed in the 12th edition of the Singapore Biathlon, which featured Dads for Life Father-and-Child Relay for the first time on 3 Mar 2012. The race consisted of a 1.5km swim and 10km run. The Father-and-Child Relay saw fathers and their kids take on a short 200m swim followed by 800m run together.
2013: Exclusive Movie Privileges for Members
Shaw Theatres 1-for-1 Weekend Movie Tickets Promotion for SAFRA members
Singaporeans enjoy going to the movies during their leisure time. As such, SAFRA has been partnering with Shaw Theatres since 2013 to provide SAFRA members with exclusive deals at all Shaw cinemas, not only weekdays but weekends too!
2014: Building Bonds. Creating Memories.
Campaign Advertisements featuring close bonds among NSmen and celebrating these moments at SAFRA
SAFRA's tagline - "Building Bonds. Creating Memories", made its debut in Jan 2014 when a three-month nation-wide campaign was launched to encourage NSmen to build on the bonds forged during NS and creating new memories together at SAFRA.
2015: Celebrating NS50
To celebrate SG50, SAFRA and People's Association (PA) joined hands to organise Celebrations at the Float, which attracted a crowd of 25,000 Singaporeans. Held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform, spectators had a completely unobstructed view of the spectacular aerial displays and the best seats in the house for the SG50 special fireworks display!
2016: Importance Of A Sustainable Future
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean (centre)
officiating the opening of SAFRA Punggol
Eco-Friendly Club for NSmen and their families at Punggol
SAFRA Punggol officially opened on 24 Nov 2016 with an exciting 30 Days of Fun Carnival! The new club features a three-storey playground - Splash @ Kidz Amaze and also houses NurtureStars' biggest preschool. As part of SAFRA's contribution to a sustainable future, SAFRA Punggol was designed with eco-features including green technologies such as ventilated corridors and atrium - earning the club a Green Mark Platinum Certification.
2017: The Year We Celebrate SAFRA45
SAFRA 45 Birthday Bash at Mount Faber on 1 Jul 2017
This year, SAFRA celebrated its 45th anniversary of SAFRA Mount Faber with a bang! The celebration started off with a walk down memory lane with live music and ended with games and a countdown to midnight with a champagne pop, balloon drop and even cake cutting!
Check out our previous editions of SAFRA45 countdown from 1972 to 1996 - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
In this final edition of SAFRA45 countdown, celebrate by taking part in our contest below and stand a chance to win 6 movie vouchers!
Did you go to NS or did any of your loved ones serve NS? Let us know how NS has played a part in your life on the Facebook post
. Top 5 entries with the most original and interesting answers get to walk away with 6 SHAW movie vouchers!
Contest ends on 29 August 2017, 11.59pm
Check out SAFRA's NS50 celebratory events lined up for NSmen and their families! Thank you for also celebrating 45 years with us. Here's to many more fun and memorable years ahead of us!
A SAFRA 45 Special Contest: Part 6 - Terms and Conditions