Saturday, March 14, 2009

CaldecottHill Old Timers - Vernon C Palmer

CaldecottHill Old Timer – I remember Vernon Palmer

I started work with RTS in 1967. Mr Vernon Palmer started in 1945 and it was some years before I met him in TV Studios when he was reading TV News. Also from time to time he would deliver his humorous talk to new recruits at the Telecentre HillCrest Road when I was there as Head of Training. Whenever I encountered Vernon he never failed to tell me a good story about his career at CaldecottHill. One story he used to tell us was the day when he was stopped from reading TVNews. He said whenever he bent his head the TV lights in the studio would get reflected into home viewers TV sets causing a big glare on TV sets and in some instances damaged TV studio cameas. Wearing a wig was not an option for him. The late Mrs Wong then took him out of News and he got posted to Training. It was this kind of stories that most of the staff endeared to him in every conversation with him. I was pleased to meet him again last week in a gathering of Caldecott Old Timers. He was still his usual self.. full of humour about life on Caldecott Hill.
Here is an interesting write- up about him from the Broadcaster –the monthly newsletter of the station dated Mar/April 82:
“Mr Vernon Palmer calls it quits on Tuesday 13 April 1982. Vernon Palmer surprised and shocked a number of his friends and colleagues. He went around bidding farewell and many thought it was one of his many poker-faced jokes.
“It is true” he affirmed solemnly, “This is my last day.” “I love SBC and broadcasting is my life. I am sorry to say goodbye to all my dear friends.” He went on. Mr Vernon Pamer joined the station 1945 as a technician. He steadily progressed up the ranks and his last position was that of Head(T) He had been a phenomenal success in broadcasting and had worn practically every known hat in the profession. After 36 years on the job he has been dubbed MR BROADCASTER-a fitting title to a man who had given his all to broadcasting “It was not just a job, it has been my life.” He often says.
A farewell was hurriedly arranged and was held on Monday 19 April 82 at the Orchid Inn, Dunearn Road. A large gathering of his friends and colleagues turned up to bid him happy retirement. The General Manager Mrs Wong-Lee Siok Tin and almost all the Directors were on hand to bid Mr Palmer adieu.
Our best wishes to Mr VC Palmer for a well-deserved and happy retirement!”
To COT: if you have an interesting tale of life on CaldecottHill whilst you were there email me at

1 comment:

Godfrey Yeo said...

I just came upon your very interesting article on Vernon Plamer.
Vernon was a bowling partner in our team back at Jackie's Bowl in the late 60s. Our team was called: 'Saints' because the team members were all from St Andrew's School. I must say we did quite well in the leagues.
He was then appearing quite often on TV as Santa Clause, and he once told us that when you (the old fingers and midn did not co-ordinate here - should be 'he') went to a petrol station, the attendant greeted him as Santa Clause.