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A Homecoming Celebration

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Participants of the longest AUTOVENTURETM to date finally reached Singapore after 92 days on the road.It was a jubilant homecoming for the 31 participants of AA AUTOVENTURETM’s London-Singapore Expedition Drive convoy as they ended the final leg of their journey at our new AA Centre, located at 2 Kung Chong Road, at around 12.30pm on 7 November 2019.

A welcome celebration awaited them, as they arrived to the cheers and applause of their friends, loved ones as well as invited guests of AA Singapore. The event marked the homecoming of the first-ever and longest expedition drive that started in London on 8 August 2019. The convoy of 16 cars covered a distance of more than 22,000km, travelling through 15 countries, including Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

“Turkey and Iran were memorable,” said Mr Sebastian Lee, who travelled with his wife, Mei. “In Iran, the people are beautiful. They are kind, welcoming, gentle and pretty, and we had the best tour guide!”

Iran also made an impression on Mr and Mrs K L Lim, who were in awe of the Pink Mosque, or the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque.“I think it’s the most beautiful mosque in the world. Without seeing it, you can never imagine how it is,” said Mr Lim. Despite having gone on three AUTOVENTURETM expeditions to China, Mr Lim is still impressed by China. “Year by year, I see changes and progress; China is becoming fast and good!”

The expedition drive, which carried Singapore’s bicentennial celebration message across the world, included meeting and dining with Singapore ambassadors based in some of the countries they visited. The vibrant convoy, with their distinctive decals, also made the news when they were approached by a German newspaper for a feature.

“Our participants are a group of passionate Singaporeans who were willing to endure a long, arduous drive while carrying the commitment of Singapore’s bicentennial celebration across the world. Their travels have helped more people know about our little red dot, promoting the success of our country, and making this trip a success,” said AA President Mr Bernard Tay. “Planning for the drive began more than a year ago for the AA AUTOVENTURETM staff, who had to carefully plan the route and activities, logistics and planning for all aspects for safety of the participants so that everyone is able to enjoy the holiday while travelling safely,” Mr Tay continued.The homecoming celebration was graced by Her Excellency Ms Kara Owen, the British High Commissioner to Singapore, and Guest-of-Honour Mr Melvin Yong, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

“Singaporeans overseas mentioned on social media that it was very strange and exciting to see S-plate cars being driven on the roads there. In a very small way, our participants have helped evoke some memories for our overseas Singaporeans of their images of life in Singapore. This is significant in a year when we actually are reflecting and commemorating a very key milestone in our history — our bicentennial,” said Mr Yong.

After 92 days on the road, our participants were glad to be home. To commemorate this epic road trip, all of them were invited to sign their names against their respective photos on the AA AUTOVENTURETM wall. Needless to say, plenty of selfies and wefies were taken with the wall as backdrop.

The joyous occasion was especially memorable for Mr Ramachandran, a participant who turned 60 on this day. He was presented with a cake by AA Singapore, as well as one baked with love by his daughter. All participants were also presented with a certificate of completion by Mr Yong.

The celebration ended with a networking luncheon, during which guests and participants mingled and enjoyed each other’s company.