​With less than 4 hours to go before the start of our SGH200 celebration event in the SGH Bicentennial Garden, the sky opened up. But the SGH can-do spirit saved the day, and the show went on without a hitch.


Amidst crashing thunder, torrential rain flooded the SGH Bicentennial Garden. In less than four hours, VIP guests, including the Deputy Prime Minister, were going to plant trees for the Rooted in Excellence event, to open the garden and launch the SGH200 celebrations on an outdoor stage.

The entrance to the SGH Museum, where the formal proceeding were going to take place, was also inundated. Miraculously, the downpour stopped just as our guests started arriving and 20 minutes before the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat, our Guest of Honour. After a quick huddle with our Projects team and Environmental Services colleagues, we made the call to proceed with a scaled-down tree planting event, after the formal proceedings inside the museum.

Inside, everything was snug and dignified and the programme proceeded without a hitch. The museum was not the natural first choice for the venue because the space constraints posed great challenges to adhere to safe management measures. Nobody would have guessed the weeks and hours we had spent counting and recounting the number of people allowed inside. “One more camera man? Then the stage manager must go out.” To be sure, we also measured and marked every chair, and every position for every person on stage without over-compromising the experience for the guests. 

Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

In the end, DPM Mr Heng was able to plant the first tree in the Bicentennial Garden, to mark its opening, and to allow us to most aptly celebrate to our theme of “Rooted in Excellence.”  This official photo also did not happen by chance – we had planned it down to the details of who is to stand where, and making sure Bowyer Block forms the background. And the giant green sticker on the floor was part of the plan to make sure the VIPs were standing safely distanced if the speeches had been delivered in the garden.

 Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

We did not allow the restrictions on the size of the gathering to stop us from including our staff and partners as guests at the very special event. We simply went online!  In the end, more than 800 staff and other guests such as leaders of other healthcare institutions joined us for the event which was streamed live. They also ‘planted’ a virtual tree of their own, and enjoyed a 360-degree gallery view of the newly refurbished SGH Museum.

You can visit the SGH Museum when it is opened at the end of April, as a thoroughfare from SGH Block 4 to SGH Diabetes and Metabolism Centre. Please take care of the exhibits which have been lovingly restored and put on display. Remember not to lean against the columns – they are 95-years-old, as the SGH Museum is housed in a national monument first completed in 1926. The Bicentennial Garden will be opened later in the year, when it is more mature.

Happy SGH200 everyone!  May the SGH spirit continue to sparkle.

Missed all the action?  You can still go on-line to check out the virtual gallery, watch videos, check out the interesting trivia about SGH over here! https://sgh200.klobbi.com/?h=29032021

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