Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book by Raymond Fernando

Raymond Fernando has written a book to bring memories of his working life at Caldecott Hill.
Congratulations Raymond!
Here are the details.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

Working in a radio and television station can be intense, but exciting and rewarding.   There is never a dull moment working in the broadcasting industry.  Whether you’re a radio deejay, newsreader, producer, TV actor, designer or administrative staff, radio and television is an excellent platform for employees to express their creativity and passion.
So what was it like for Raymond Anthony Fernando who has contributed more than three decades of his working career in the industry – from the early years in the then-Radio & Television Singapore (RTS), the then-Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and later when the station corporatised to Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA)?  
How did Rediffusion Singapore have an impact on the author, his wife, family members, neighbours and a large part of the older generation who have always regarded Rediffusion as “family.”
ON AIR-The memories you gave to me takes you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane and revives the beautiful memories that many listeners and viewers can relate well to.  The book also gives insights into the author’s continuous learning journey that has equipped him not only to stay resilient, but also given him the golden opportunity to carve out several retirement careers that include writing, training, songwriting, TV acting and public speaking.
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.   He is a volunteer with the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).  The author of 15 books is also a caregiver to his wife, Doris Lau who is coping well with schizophrenia and advanced arthritis.  Raymond has 37 years experience in caring for his wife. Raymond has given 31 years service to the broadcasting industry- starting work in the then RTS as a receptionist and then went on to work in PR departments in SBC & SBA.

This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010 who is born on Valentine’s Day has contributed 31 years service in the public sector, has 15 years experience in public relations work and has received several awards and commendations from government organisations. Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris who has always been his greatest inspiration.

This book which runs into 171 pages cost $20.  It has all the ingredients of a good read – humour, nostalgia, vintage and historical. There are some rare pictures in the book. A must-buy for all in the media industry. If you wish to purchase a copy of Raymond’s book, drop him an email at his email address @: 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

COT's Party

COTS Year End Party
Thurs 29th Nov 2012 7.30pm
Calling Old Timers of Caldecott Hill !
Do come along to our home on Thurs 29 Nov at 7.30pm
Come makan and make merry with old friends and familiar faces of our youth and prime!
Wing will cook for us. Beer and beverages provided but do bring a bottle if
you are very thirsty.
Memorabilia welcomed - Old pics, old tapes or recordings(with players)
You may have anecdotes of that glorious bygone era.
You can sing your heart out to old songs - with a guitar (if someone brings one along)
or karoake the night away.
Please let us know your attendance by return email or sms? If you know of any other
COT member we should invite, pl let us have their contact details.
We look forward to seeing you!
    Chan Heng Wing / Aileen Yip

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Note from Ringgo Tan

 Note from Ringgo Tan

"Hi there, I cam across your website and found your writing on tv and radio personalities quite interesting. i can remember other personalities

who were popular in the fifties, early and middle sixties namely : George Favacho, Duncan Watts, Derek Cooper, Tan See Lai, Joan Chee,

and Claude Doral, Maisey Conceicao(if I can remember correctly) and Kingsley Morando in the fifties. I hope you can write about them in your website to reminisce over old times.

Thanks a lot, you have redindle the memories of yester years"

I hope to write on some of the personalities of radio and TV in the 60s. Theirs cvs are hard to find on the internet. Any assistance is much appreciated. (I know from experience when we are in retirement we become lazy to write)- philip tay

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Salleh Sariman

Salleh Sariman - the Cameraman

One of the top - notch cameraman on the Hill was Salleh Sarimun.He has invited his ex-collegues and friends to view his photos at the following sites.



Below is a a photo taken  with one of of Singapore's top celebrity.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I am sorry that all the images disappeared from my blog. I am sorting out with Google Help how to restore the pictures.
Meanwhile I post one picture here for testing purpose.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

COT Gathering Pictures

Caldecott Hill Old Timers (COT) had their gathering at Maritime House on Friday 11th  May 2012.

George Favacho has put up some pictures on his facebook. He says this is
is first attempt so forgive him if the pictures don't come out right. Below is a sample.

He says

" TAKE 2" of my production of the COT GET-TOGETHER of Friday 11th May 2012.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Memories of Old Broadcasting House(OBH)

 Patricia Lin sends this picture of old Broadcasting House..

Memories keep the Heart warm

Greeting COT Friends!  (from George Favacho)

Isn't it amazing ... PATRICIA LIN sends in  a B&W Photo of the old Radio Singapore Building, courtesy of the National Archives ... and it stirs up memories for some...

FRANCIS CHOWDHURY ... "I remember the stories of how haunted the main auditorium was and it was scary. "
HORACE WEE ... recalls "Also the time somebody let off a stink bomb into the air condtioning system some time in the afternoon. It was everyone to the canteen till they cleared the air.Yes, Studio A took a direct hit!
Don't forget the CANTEEN where many hungout after work!
Remarks: Aaahhh THE AUDITORIUM ... A CAULDRON OF MEMORIES for me, especially with the Radio Shows (I remember VERNON PALMER doing his "DOUBLE YOUR MONEY" Shows / AHMAD JAAFAR & RTS ORCHESTRA / And of course the "TALENTIME AUDITIONS" especially with STEVEN LEE , TAN HOCK LYE & CHARLES LAZAROO! We use to get great delight annoying CHARLES by delaying pressing the "Elimination Buzzer" when he had to accompany an AWFUL PERFORMER!!!!)

TERRY OON remembers THE SINGAPORE RIOTS .. " I remember sleeping overnight on the floor in Caldecott Hill so I could be on duty first thing in the morning the following day. No sightings of any ghost. And driving to and from the station was such a pleasant experience....not another soul on the road.
Many I am sure will remember Rajaram, the gofer in the English department ? He always had time to oblige and run an errand no matter how rushed he was. He used to sleep in the station....in fact I don't think he ever went home at nights."
Remarks: Yup .. I remember it too. I was a Floor Manager then & remember sleeping on the Table in the FM Office (Hope you didn't hear me snoring Terry?)
Indeed Rajaram was a Character at Radio Singapore. He took his "PEON" duties very religiously and went about his work with a rare dedication. I remember he was well-liked by the late KINGSLEY MORANDO (the 'Father' of Radio Singapore Talentime) We use to consume copious amount of TIGER BEER at the Canteen just listening to KINGSLEY'S stories on his Boxing Days. Rajaram would always be around to ensure that a "wobbly" & "slurring" KINGSLEY would get into a Taxi and sent home! Rajaram was a "ONE OF A KIND"!
PHILIP TAY says ... "I remember this building well because every month I hv line up to receive my pay packet!!
Hi I heard a lot of ghost stories too there and at the TV Studios later on.
Remarks: You are correct PHILLIP! In the early days of the RADIO SINGAPORE Building, I use to park my Vespa Scooter near the front.
Up the steps to Reception, Turn left & down the corridor past the English Programmes Office ("Good Morning Mrs Maureen Liew!" Spick and Span Hairdo!)  / Turn Right  down the corridor you go past the Record Library ( the domain of ARTHUR MERRELS/ TAN SIEW LOON / THOMAS PAUL /  etc) From the reception go up the Stairs and you are in TOP BRASS OFFICE SPACE ( I remember visiting the offices of JOHN DUCLOS & CLAUD DORAL)
Good thing I did not get to hear about the "Ghost Stories" of the TV Studios ... I used to do a lot of night recordings and just as well I did not hear about "a pair of straw shoes sliding out of the bottom of the door..the shoes were ones one wears at a funeral parlour" AIYOH!

KEEP THE STORIES COMING IN ... Thanks for the Memories!

 Those were the Days, Every month payday Abu Bakar, Alice and myself collected the pay packets from Central Pay Office at the Fullerton Bridge to Caldecott Hill Auditorium with police escort.There we could see Qing up for pay.according to unit slots, we could notice  Caldecott tailor, canteen boss and 'Jaga' waiting at the doors to collect debts from the staff.

from Ow Kee Hong 

And other staff also waited around to collect TONTINE money!  - from philip tay joo thong


to be continued.......

Friday, August 10, 2012

1963 -1966 Photos by MUN

Please see note from Mun Chor Seng thro George Favacho .
Mun's experience on Caldecotthill can be found elsewhere on this blog.

" Hi All,

I would like to add some comments to the information given by Patrica
Lin regarding her photograph of the 4 languages presenters which was
posted recently on the web site.

15 February 1963 was the inauguration date of 'Pilot Service' of
Television Singapura. It was held at the Victoria Memorial Hall. On 20
February 1963, I took the photograph of the 4 presenters.  They are
Joan Chee, Naragretnam Suppiah, Alice Chong and Asmah Laili as
reflected in the first photo. The backdrop was plain and simple.  This
photograh was also featured in the 25 Years of Television (1963 -
1988) commemorative book.

The second photograph shows TV Outside Broadcast (OB) van.  The OB van
had the slogan 'Television Malaysia Singapura' painted on it and was
parked next to the TV studio. At that time, Singapore was part of
Malaysia. Mr Hasani (in dark glasses) and Mr. John Duclos (Director of
Broadcasting) was doing a 'standupper' for the programme 'Television
in Action'.

The third photograph was taken in 1966.  Mr. Yan Jun, a Hong Kong
actor, was being inteviewed in Mandarin by Mr. Siew Chee Chong. The
backdrop was similar to the one shown in Patrica Lin's photograph of 4

I hope the above information will be useful to all concerned"

Friday, July 27, 2012

TV Malaysia Presenters

 A note from Professor Patrica Lin of California Sate Polytechnic.

"Saw your web site on Caldecott Memories and thought you might be interested in this picture of TV Malaysia (later after the separation) Singapore's first batch of presenters for each of the four languages.  

The picture I sent was of the first group of presenters in the four languages used by then TV Malaysia and then later TV Singapura when Singapore separated from Malaysia.  I was the English presenter, seated extreme left.  Next to me was the Mandarin presenter Alice Chong.  Next to her, the Tamil presenter who I think was named Rajamini.  The Malay presenter at the left was Fatimah Ibrahim.  I worked both on TV and Radio Singapore under Maureen Lieu.  Some of the other presenters and radio personalities who were my colleagues included Vernon Palmer, Lucy Leong, Joan (can't remember her last name) Karim Namazi, Steven Lee, Francis Yeoh(?) and Terry Oon.
Can't tell you the exact date of the picture but it had to be between 1964-67.  I left for the US in 1967.

COT may wish to contact her. Professor Lin can be contacted at plin123@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FTA TV goes Digital


Below is press release

 from MDA

"Singapore’s free-to-air TV channels
to go fully digital by 2013

Adoption of DVB-T2 standard will pave the way for better viewing
experiences over all seven free-to-air channels
Singapore, 19 June 2012 - The Media Development Authority today
announced that Singapore’s free-to-air (FTA) TV channels will go fully
digital by the end of 2013 using the DVB-T2 (Digital Video
Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) broadcasting standard.
With Singapore’s migration to digital TV, free-to-air broadcaster
MediaCorp will transmit all its seven free-to-air channels digitally
by end 2013. Channels 5, 8, Suria and Vasantham will be available
in High Definition by end 2013. The remaining three channels - okto,
Channel U and Channel NewsAsia will first be broadcast in
Standard Definition from end 2013, before being broadcast
in High Definition in 2016.
“The world is switching from analogue to digital TV broadcasting
as digital TV not only offers better image and sound quality,
but also frees up scarce spectrum for other services,
such as wireless broadband,” said Minister for Information,
and the Arts Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the opening ceremony
of Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) on 19 June 2012
at the Marina Bay Sands.
The adoption of DVB-T2 standard comes after a successful trial
conducted last year with MediaCorp and pay-TV operator StarHub.
The trial, which involved some 500 households in
Ang Mo Kio and Bedok housing estates, showed
that DVB-T2 was suitable for deployment in
Singapore’s urbanised environment.
To ensure a smooth switchover, there will be a simulcast period,
where both digital and analogue free-to-air
television signals will be broadcast to ensure
all households have time to get accustomed
to receiving their free-to-air TV signals digitally.
Singapore will complete the switchover from analogue
to digital broadcasting by 2020, in line with
ASEAN’s agreed timeframe for making the switch1.
Benefits for consumers
Once DVB-T2 broadcasting begins, consumers
can enjoy an enhanced viewing experience
when watching MediaCorp’s free-to-air
digital television channels. This includes sharper
and clearer images, cinematic surround-sound effects,
and new content and services such as an electronic
programme guide.
Consumers will have different options to tune into
digital free-to-air broadcasts. Those who are currently
watching MediaCorp channels via a StarHub or
SingTel pay TV service are already receiving digital channels.
Thus, no action is needed on their part2.
Consumers who are non-pay TV subscribers will need a
DVB-T2 digital receiver and an indoor or outdoor antenna
to receive digital TV signals on their current TV sets.
MDA is working with manufacturers to develop
the technical specifications suitable for
Singapore’s digital TV receivers.
These digital TV receivers are expected to be available
in Singapore from early next year before MediaCorp
starts transmitting the free-to-air channels digitally at the end
of 2013.
MDA will work closely with MediaCorp,
as well as major manufacturers and electronics
stores on an educational campaign to help
consumers prepare for the digital switchover.
More information on Singapore’s digital broadcasting
plans can be found at the websites of MDA (www.mda.gov.sg)
and MediaCorp (www.mediacorp.sg)."

Comments: TV started by the then Radio and TV Singapore
under the Ministry of Culture in the early sixties. Since then
it has progressed from black and white to colour and 
now digital HD .
It is expected that the new technologies will bring a more
effective and efficient broadcasting system for Singapore.
The signal will be more rugged and reliable than some
cable tv systems. Viewers from low-income families
will benefit from this. Those who don't subscribe to pay TV
for one reason or another will welcome this piece of news.
The industry will benefit from more than $200m of infrastructure
projects in building this new digital TV network. And retailers
and manufacturers of set-top boxes and TV sets will also gain.
The amount investment will depend will depend very much
on whether home viewers instal their own indoor
antennas or the central antenna system
of HDB flats and condos are used.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

COT Dinner

Hi! There is a COT dinner on 11 May. Those interested please email me at tay.philip@gmail.com by Monday 7 May. The dinner is organised by aunty Lucy Leong. Cheers.
PS:  George Favacho is back in town from his home in Perth Western Australia.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

End of the road for  Redifusion

Here is the news from ST. For more please refer to http://www.straitstimes.com/
"After more than six decades on the air, the iconic radio service Rediffusion will go silent from April 30.
The death knell came in the form of a simple two-paragraph statement delivered by hand to The Straits Times in an envelope on Sunday.
In it, Rediffusion Singapore's management said: 'We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all our listeners for their support throughout 63 years.'
Opened in 1949, Singapore's only subscription-based radio broadcaster currently has 15 channels. But it is most popular among older listeners here for its Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien talk shows and music."

A reader Mr Yeo Hock Yew also wrote this to ST Forum about his memories ......

So long Rediffusion, thanks for the memories

"REDIFFUSION is an old family friend ('Rediffusion to close at month's end'; Monday). My family still associates it with our golden years in the old Queenstown. Throughout the day, its programming brought music that enriched our family life in a less sophisticated time. It came with no battery change or electricity consumption - and all for a princely price of $5 per month.
Deejays like Peggy Ross, Noreen Sales, Mike Ellery, Larry Lai and Eric Lim were familiar voices and literally household names, though we never got to meet them.
From that brown box came songs of flawless sound quality that remain in our hearts to this day. That was when we heard Jim Reeves sing posthumously, This World Is Not My Home, and who left us with the poignant message, I Won't Forget You, in his velvet voice.
In that pre-YouTube period, we fell in love with the voices of Judith Durham and The Seekers, long before we knew what they looked like.
There was entertainment even before the songs were played in the fanciful names of song requesters like Ricardo Manfred Tan.
Our highlights each day were the request programmes: Here's To The Ladies (for female requesters only) and Where The Boys Are (male requesters only), introduced by their epony-mous theme songs rendered by Frankie Avalon and Connie Francis respective-ly.
The programme, Top Tunes Of The Week, would feature the most requested songs of the week. At the end of the day, soothing songs in Sing Something Simple lulled us to sleep.
This has been a passage of life in Singapore. From the landscape of the 1960s, we have lost the Indian rojak stalls in Waterloo Street; the bookshop row in Bras Basah Road; some iconic cinemas in town; the proud historical town schools; and the red-brick National Library in Stamford Road. In Queenstown, we have lost Forfar Building, the bowling alley and the cinemas; the canal is gone from sight; and the itinerant hawkers and barbers no more do their rounds.
And now a sound of the 1960s will soon be silenced. Sure, a new technological world has arrived, but we have lost the world we knew and grew up in.
Rediffusion, you were practically the first sound at the crack of dawn - even before the nasi lemak boy's cry - and the last one at the stroke of midnight. Goodbye old friend. And thank you for the music."

My memories: I started listening to Redifusion in the 50s when I was staying at Race Course Road.Early morning Chinese Evergreens was my favourite. Then I was attracted to the evening stories of the Monkey God in Teochew, Water Margin etc. I stayed in Balestier , Bukit Merah, Ang Mo Kio and few other places on and off. Mother and wife liked stories on this box so we had Redifusion too.. In subsequent years we turned to RTS Radio Channels as it was more convenient and easily accessible.
The death of this iconic media company has to come as new media technologies bring in new demands making the delivery and content obsolete. There were attempts to introduce digital radio using the DAB technology but it was too few channels too late. When MediaCorp decided to switch off DAB I knew  its death is near. Thanks for the memories.
PS: I have some of the stories in Cantonese aired in the old days. Not good quality but ok. Email me if you need a copy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

RTS Orchestra - Rufino Soliano

George Favacho sent in a picture of 
which was produced at the Caldecott Hill Studios.

I recognise Steven Lee and George and Rufino  Soliano and Ahmad Jaffar in the picture. For those who are viewing this picture please write in and tell me more of the others in the picture.
For information Rufino who was also leader of the RTS Orchestra celebrates his 80th Birthday this week. Happy Birthday. Those were the Days!