“Istana 150 will be a useful opportunity for us to reflect on our history as a nation and the values that have guided us so far. The Istana has journeyed with Singaporeans over the past 150 years, becoming a key part of our collective memories and identity. It is important that we see this commemoration as an occasion to dig deep into our heritage as one people, because how we have arrived at where we are today will shape who we will be tomorrow.
I also look forward to involving VWOs and persons with disabilities in the upcoming commemorative activities. Many of them, despite their disabilities, have great talents. I hope that Istana 150 can also be a platform for them to showcase their passions, whether it is in artworks to be featured in our Istana books or a performance at our Istana Open House,” President Halimah Yacob.
Who we are will shape who we will become in future. The “Istana 150” commemoration will look at how Istana has been a part of the Singapore story and dig deep into our heritage and history. A series of souvenirs, books and events will be launched throughout 2019. All proceeds from these projects will be donated to charity through the President’s Challenge.
Do you know that the Istana used to be a nutmeg plantation in the early years? It has since become an iconic national monument. Today, it is a place where foreign dignitaries are hosted and where outstanding Singaporeans are honoured. The Istana is also well loved and visited by Singaporeans during the Istana Open Houses.
As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Istana next year, we would like to invite Singaporeans to share your memories of the Istana. We look forward to hearing your stories and receiving your photographs via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Istana 150 Logo Competition was launched by President Halimah at the National Day Istana Open House in July 2018. Over a 2-month period, the competition received about 100 entries. A panel of judges reviewed the entries and made recommendations to the President on the selected entry.
The winning entry (as appended) was submitted by Charlie Chua, a SOTA student. The Istana 150 logo will be used on the Istana 150 memorabilia in 2019.
A logo is vital to establishing and reinforcing the identity of any building. It is not just a design, but also an icon. This is especially so for a building as historically and culturally significant as the Istana. Geometric fragments were used to design the logo to allude to the Istana's exterior architecture. The design highlights the Istana Building Neo-Palladian style, with emphasis on the building’s archways and pediments.
In commemoration of the Istana turns 150 this year, President Halimah Yacob launched an Istana Souvenir Series of Medallions and Flashpay cards at the Chinese New Year Istana Open House.
A collaboration between the President’s Office and the Singapore Mint, the Istana Souvenir Series consists of five unique medallion designs featuring the architecture of the buildings within the Istana compounds and significant highlights of the Istana. The designs of the series create a unique opportunity for Singaporeans to know more about the history and heritage of the Istana. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the Istana Souvenir Series will be donated to the President’s Challenge.
Speaking to the media after the launch of the Istana Souvenir Series, President Halimah said, “I am glad to have launched the Istana 150 Souvenir Series of Medallions and Flashpay cards. Through the medallions and card products, Singaporeans can bring a piece of their memories of the Istana back home with them. Their designs also tell interesting stories about the customs and traditions within the Istana, some of which are not commonly known before this.”.
In commemoration of The Istana 150th anniversary, President Halimah Yacob launched a model of the Istana created with LEGO bricks by a LEGO Certified Professional, during the Labour Day Istana Open House. Specially commissioned by the President’s Office for the occasion, the model encapsulates the Istana’s Neo-Palladian architecture with its surrounding verandas and Istana grounds. The limited edition models were available to visitors who made a minimum donation of $70 to the President’s Challenge.
The President is responsible for safeguarding the national reserves and the integrity of the public service. The President also receives foreign dignitaries, officiates at state functions and performs other ceremonial and community duties.
Besides official functions, the President actively supports community and social causes. The President often graces events organised by grassroots, community and welfare groups, as well as ethnic and religious organisations.
The portraits of President Halimah and her spouse, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, are displayed in public buildings. The Presidential Standard is flown at the Istana in the day, when the President is in the country. The Presidential Crest is used on state crockery, gifts and stationery related to the President.