Monday, June 24, 2013

Down memory lane -Jurong Transmitting Station

The Jurong Transmitting Station which sent out our radio services via shortwave and medium wave was situated a distance away from Caldecott Hill. In order to establish espirit de corp for the whole of the engineering team, George Ang the Chief Engineer used to get us to have a swimming carnival at the station together with the Jurong staff there. I didnt realise that this social event started much early..during the time of John Duclos the the Director of Broadcasting. Mun Chor Seng has written an interesting piece here to bring you down this memory lane. If you can try and sport the young Mun and Steven Lee among others.

Recently while going through my collection of old photographs that
began in 1958 during my career at Radio & Television Singapore (RTS)
on Caldecott Hill, I was suprised to find a set of photographs of
Jurong Transmitting Station (JTS) which was taken on 13 October 1962.
The subject was an Open House cum Swimming Competition Invitation by
(JTS) to staff of Caldecott for a friendly match.

JTS occupied an area of more than 5 acres.  It
was situated at 14 M/s in Upper Jurong Road near where the Nanyang
University Arch once stood.  JTS housed the aerial
field, the transmitting complex and quarters for the JTS and Telecoms
staff.  Both shared a common entrance.  Situated on one side was the
Telecom Station, and on the opposite side was JTS.  The transmitters
were used during the Japanese Occupation in the 40s for the AM
transmission.  Later it was used for AM/FM, Short/Medium waves
transmission until it was closed down in the 1990s.  The whole
compound was shared among the staff of Singapore Broadcasting
Corporation (SBC) and the staff of Telecom.  They joined the same
"Jurong Club" within the premises, patronised the same canteen and
shared certain living quarters. The total combined
population was about 200 over people.  The premises of JTS and
Caldecott Hill were protected areas then.

On the afternoon where these photographs (No 3 to No 11) were taken,
Mr. John Duclos, then Director of Broadcasting, lead a team of 40
staff from Caldecott Hill.  They left Broadcasting House by our own
departmental transport to meet our Jurong colleagues.  Among them were
Mr. Lee Hoong Fong (Commerical Manager - Radio), Mr. George Ang (Chief
Engineer), Vernon Palmer, Steven Lee, Harry Crabbe (Eng. Progs.),
Andrew Dumon, Baseron Jummat (Engin. Section), R. Domingo (Orch.),
Paul Thomas, Lang Ree Chin (Library) and myself (Recorded Progs.)
together with their family members to give their support.

Upon arrival, we had a friendly introduction and we were briefed on
the complex, which consisted of the following:-

a) An Admin. Office - used by EIC, supervisor and typist clerks.
b) Main Storeroom.
c) Generator Room - standby generator for emergency.
d) Sender Hall - which housed the short wave transmitter.
e) Transmitting Hall - which housed the medium wave transmitter.
f) Cooling Pool (20' X 30') approx. -  a water storage pool of cooling the
    transmitting valves.

After the tour, staff from both stations were engaged in friendly
swimming competition which took place in the Cooling Pool.  In between
the events, both staffs and competitors volunteered to put up some
hilarious items to entertain the audiences and their families.  One of
the popular and memorial events was the participants facing each other
on top of the pole over the pool trying to knock his opponent into the

The meeting ended with the presentation of prizes of appreciation by
Mrs. John Duclos to participants who took part in the various events,
which was followed by a tea reception.

The memories of AM transmission in Singapore took us through the first
transmission on JTS on 1 June 1936, it covered the whole of Malaya
Peninsular and the following wavelengths were allocated then:-
Singapore, short wave 60 KHZ & 308 KHZ, medium wave 380 KHZ & 225 KHZ.
Kuala Lumpur, short wave 49 KHZ and medium wave 432 KHZ.
Penang, short wave 455 KHZ & 366 KHZ.
Later, Kranji Transmitting Station (KTS) situated in Turut Track,
Kranji, started operation on 1 January 1994 with short wave services
transferred from JTS (Photo 1 & 2) after the closure of medium wave on
31 December 1993.”

by Mun Chor Seng

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

John Tan PengTee

John with celebrites during a recording

John Tan Peng Tee –50 years working and still going strong

John Tan joined then RTS in 1973 when black and white TV just started. At .age 70 he is still enjoy working on Caldecott Hill.. as a consultant in the technology business of MediaCorp…thanks to Mediacorp’s policy of enabling staff to work as long as they want.
Over the years he has worked in many areas of the technical support group from tv productions, outside broadcast,videotaping, training and facilities support.

What is John’s secret in working so long in one job with one company? Knowing him for more than twenty years I can say that besides enjoying his work John has three qualities which endeared him to the company and people he worked with ie hardworking, getting along with his peers and bosses and a can-do attitude.

I remember  a project that he came up outstanding in his performance whilst working with me and staff from the other creative depart May Ling, Asaad,Jeffery Goh, Remesh, Juay Thiew, Heng Tow  and the late Foo Hua Lim –the  hosting of the SEA Games in 1993. John was tireless in his efforts to provide the best support facilities to all the participating countries . His public relations with broadcasters from the region were super and gave the company a good image.

The other project is the coverage and production of Open Heart Surgery – an event from the hospital that is televised world wide . His can do attitude has made this project possible and till now this event is still being televised and handled by his team.

I spoke to John Tan a few days ago  to say I wanted to post something about him cause I see that it is not often to work  for so long and at his age he is still going strong. I said he would be a good example for seniors to be like him.  In his modest ways he said this is made possible by the many opportunities I gave him as his boss.

He said he is still healthy and will work as long as the company wants him. My Best Wishes to him..  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beginning of Radio Singapore and TV Singapura

Radio in Singapore started on 4 Jan 1959. Soon after the PAP were swept into power and today still holds the Government ..

TV started in 15 Feb 1963. These two milestones were very significant for Singapore a both the institutions were heavily used to explain Government 's polices durings its formative years,

Both events were captured very well in SBC's documentary series  ..Diary of a Nation produced in 1988.
It is worth to take a look at the events again here on Youtube  (TV)

Watching them again brought up some old memories especially with colleagues from the studios and personalities like the late Vernon Palmer/

Please write if u wish to record your memories of these two events.