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    Aug 26, 2016

    Funeral procession to start at 2pm today

    THE late former president S R Nathan's state funeral procession will today pass by three landmarks that are closely associated with his illustrious life.

    He had been on the steps of the City Hall three times reviewing National Day parades during his presidency from 1999 to 2011.

    Fullerton Hotel was once the Fullerton Building, which housed the Marine Department where Mr Nathan served as a seamen's welfare officer in the late 1950s.

    Then, there is NTUC Centre, the headquarters of the National Trades Union Congress, which saw Mr Nathan's service in its Labour Research Unit during the early 1960s, a time of great industrial unrest.

    The procession will start from Parliament House at 2pm and end at the University Cultural Centre (UCC) of the National University of Singapore, where his funeral service will be held until 5pm.

    "Members of the public can line the procession route from Parliament House to UCC," the State Funeral Organising Committee said in a statement.

    At Parliament House, the coffin bearer party - comprising nine uniformed personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Singapore Police Force - will transfer Mr Nathan's casket onto the ceremonial 25-pounder gun carriage.

    On arrival at UCC, the gun carriage will be received at the main foyer by a Line of Honour, comprising 48 servicemen from the SAF Military Police Command.

    The coffin bearer party will carry the casket into UCC, slow-marching to G.F. Handel's Dead March From Saul.

    Following the procession will be the Chief Mourner- Osith Ramanathan, Mr Nathan's son - and other family members.

    The accompanying pallbearers will include Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, representatives from the People's Association as well as two family friends.

    After it enters the UCC Hall, the casket will be placed on a bier for the rest of the funeral service.

    The service will be attended by family members of Mr Nathan, President Tony Tan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, the Judiciary and the diplomatic corps.

    Singaporeans from all walks of life will also be invited to attend the service.

    There will be seven eulogy speakers, including PM Lee and former diplomat Professor Tommy Koh. After the funeral service, Mr Nathan will make his final journey to Mandai Crematorium for the private cremation service.

    Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday visited the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta where he signed the book of condolence for Mr Nathan.

    "For me, President Nathan was a great son of Singapore, a great educator, leader and statesman.

    "He was also a great friend of Indonesia," he said.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday paid his last respects to Mr Nathan at the Parliament House, where his body was lying in state.

    Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin wrote yesterday in the condolence book when he visited the Singapore Embassy in Beijing: "We mourn with a heavy heart the passing of an old friend of the Chinese people, former president of the Republic of Singapore Mr S R Nathan."