Monday, May 7, 2018

Snippets from New Book





Joseph Seah (pic taken April2018)
Mr Joseph Seah former Technical Producer and Controller (Services)working 
on Caldecott Hill Station worked under the Japanese during the war. Here is extract from new book (to be published in 2019) on memories on the hill.
                                                   
----"Coming back to the Japanese  surrender, transmission had ceased so we were all out of work. On the fifth day of the surrender, myself and a few friends cycled up to Caldecott Hill to find out what was taking place there.  As we walked into the station we saw about 30 Japanese soldiers fully armed, moving around as if waiting for further instructions. We were in two minds about entering the heavily guarded station.,

Fortunately for us, the engineers recognised us and so we stepped in with added confidence. Around 10 o’clock that day, a burly British officer by the name of Major Anderson drove into the station. Apparently, he worked there before the Japanese occupation.  After speaking with the Japanese, the station was handed over to Major Anderson.  Anderson saw us and queried us as to whether we worked there before. We gave a resounding YES. In typical British style, Anderson replied  “Boys,  bring? the whole damn thing on!” After coordinating with Cathay Building and checking all the lines, the signal was sent through to the transmitters.


A voice greeted listeners: “Good afternoon, this is the South East Asia Command Headquarters broadcasting from Singapore.” ---------

Courtesy from the National Archives of Singapore

Sunday, April 22, 2018

It happened at Caldecott Hill


Reviving beautiful memories in broadcasting captured in a book– as seen through the eyes of the very people who made broadcasting a large part of their lives
Most workers who have given a large part of their life to their careers would want to take it easy and enjoy their retirement with their families.  While this may be the norm, six enthusiastic colleagues in broadcasting who served for long periods in our national broadcasting station fervently believe that given our vast experience in this industry, we ought to revive those memorable moments into a book.  This book project team is headed by former TV Engineer Philip Tay Joo Thong and he is supported by former Radio DJ and radio presenter, Belinda Sunshine Yeo, musician Horace Wee aka the Guitar Man, Current Affairs producer Joan Chee, Supervisory Cameraman Mun Chor Seng and author and motivational Speaker Raymond Anthony Fernando.  
How lovely it is to have golden memories coming from silver-haired former colleagues who were all fired up to put pen to paper.  The book project team meets once a month to brainstorm for ideas and suggestions. We are all fired up is the so much so that there is are a non-stop whatsapp messages to help in making this book a most entertaining and interesting one to read. It caters to people of all age groups – the youth, the working class and older generation.
Naming of the book is still in progress, but some titles that have been suggested includes Once Upon A Hill, It happened on Caldecott Hill , My Time @CaldecottHill and even Silver on Gold etc. Other suggestions are welcomed. For now the working title is memories@caldecotthill.
In this book, we provide rare insights into the history of our national broadcasting station, how the Japanese war affected the running of the station, a look behind the scenes of radio and television productions, how planning and attention to detail were meticulously observed with nothing left to chance when political programmes were aired  up to how broadcasting has become part and parcel of our lives and how it has evolved over the years. Whether in production, ‘live’ broadcast, image building or news presentations, quick thinking on your feet has to be a must. We revel candidly how this has been achieved.
In this book, we also provide different perspectives from committed and dedicated staff from all divisions and departments who often regarded radio and TV as their ‘second home.’ All in there are 38 chapters to this exciting book!
Extensive research and hard work had to be put into the making of this publication.  But it was worth it because everyone, including the authors and the contributors feel that when we have valuable experiences, it ought to be shared.
Our shared memories penned are not just educational and historical, but nostalgic to the true sense of the word. We ‘pepper’ it with light-hearted moments. And some stories never been told.
We hope that when the book is out, you will seize the opportunity to grab a copy or two and enjoy reading it – as much as we have enjoyed writing it.
by Raymond Anthony Fernando

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shall we write a book?

Memories@Caldecotthill

Some Caldecott Hill Old Timers (COTS) have decided to write a book. The plan is to write book of about 38 chapters 150,000 words. The book is intended to share memories of ex-staff who worked at Caldecott Hill broadcasting station from the  30s to the present.Events that happened and stories never been told will appear in this book - working title Memories@Caldecotthill. So far about 30 COTS have committed to contribute manuscripts to this book. The book is scheduled to be launched end 2019.
Ex-staff who are happy to share memories of their years of working life up on the hill and wish to write please email me at tay.philip@gmail.com.
The team working on this book project comprises:
Philip Tay
Belinda Yeo
Horace Wee
Joan Chee
Mun Chor Seng
Raymond Fernando

Friday, April 13, 2018

COTS Get-TOGETHER at Growler's Beer and Bistro



More than 50 Caldecott Hill Old Timers gathered at Kok Ying Poh's cafe the Growlers Beer and Bistro  (Tai Thong Crescent)on 24 Jan 2018. We all had a great reunion of colleagues from the Hill. Present was our great leader George Favacho who specially flown in from Perth for the occasion. Good food, good company.
Mary Koh said The warmth,lively animated chatter and renewal of friendships tha had stood the years made it an unforgettable occasion. Can't wait for the next one.!
Menu: Mixed Salad, Spring Roll/Samosa,Smoke Duck Spaghetti, Fried noodles, Roast Chicken with red wine,Beer battered dory fish,Roasted pork belly,ASweet Potato,Fresh fruits and agar agar,coffee and tea.
Best dish for the night: Roasted Pork Belly!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

COTS visit 1 Star Avenue


About forty caldecott hill old timers(COTS), including me,  visited MediaCorp's new campus at 1 Star Avenue on 29 Jan 2018. Led by George Favacho who flew in from Perth specially for the visit, we were hosted by Tham Loke Kheng new CEO of MediaCorp. We were happy to meet one another once  again and chit -chat chit- chat during breakfast before going for a tour of the 9th floor where Management offices were and the studio facilities including 93.8 conty studio.
Who were there ? A long list of who's who on Caldecott Hill -too long to lit here -including
Lucy Leong,Liew Ter Kwang, Belinda Yeo, Mary Koh, Chan Heng Wing, Aileen Yip, Francis Chowdurie, Mun Chor Seng, Amy Chua, Ang Hock Cheng, Tony Seet, Ho Pan Chun, Leong Ngai Weng , Philip Tay etc (See photo)
from left:kstay,philip tay, Tham Loke Kheng,Susan Ng,Aileen Yip

Friday, August 18, 2017


Tham Loke Kheng is new CEO of MediaCorp. She replaces Shawn Seow who is joining Temasek Holdings.
Loke Kheng is not new to MediaCorp.She
joined the Company in 1988 and rose through the ranks in the Programming Division. She left and joined StarHub.Later on she took up appointments in Taiwan,Hongkong and other Pay Operators in the region. Chairman Ernest Wong says with her regional experience she is well equipped to run MediaCorp in the face of declining advertising revenue.
More details at

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tham-loke-kheng-to-replace-shaun-seow-as-mediacorp-ceo

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Remembering Sebastian Tan

Remembering Sebastian Tan Chiaw Hock(1923 – 2016}

With deep sadness I came to know of the passing on of  my ex boss and mentor Sebastian Tan former Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering Radio and TV Singapore. He was called home to be with the Lord on 22 Nov 2016, dearly missed by loved ones and ex-staff.
When I joined RTS in 1967 Sebastian was then engineer with the transmission stations. I came to know him when he was posted back to Caldecott Hill Broadcast Centre. He was a kind and considerate boss. Over the years I knew him to be a hardworking diligent professional engineer. He was a mentor to many young engineers and I myself had the benefit to learn much in the technologies of broadcast engineering and successful career  on the Hill.
He was instrumental in introducing many new systems and technologies to the company namely FM , B/W TV, Colour TV, MW and Short Transmission, TV Studios etc. The most memorable project I did with him was the setting up of a colour TV outside studio to broadcast Singapore National Day Parade first time in colour at the Padang. Despite a very tight schedule his can-do attitude made it possible for viewers in 1974 to watch TV in colour.
Together all of us went through the restructuring of RTS into SBC, SIM (TCS,RCS,TV12) and Sebastian was the Chief Engineer giving us strong support to tide over the changes.
Sebastian never said a harsh word to anybody. As a kind and caring boss, he was well –liked by everybody including those who might have disagreements with him.
After his retirement Sebastian still continued with his professional work and acted s consultants to companies like National Productivity Board, Singapore Teleport, Singtel , Polytechnics etc.
We will miss this great engineer. If there is a role model of a excellent professional engineer to emulate, Sebastian is the one.

Rest in Peace .