Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rediffusion Talk Show SG50

Rediffusion on its SG50 celebration will film a collection of 25 stories shared by the nation’s pioneers through  interviews at the talkshows. The program will be filmed at 7 community centres.  At each talkshow pioneers would share their personal stories during the last 50 years.

 On Saturday 14 March 2015 the talkshow was held at Joo Chiat Community Centre Theatrette. The Theme -我最喜欢的广播员和节. I was one of the pioneer generation paticipants and also a past Joo Chiat residents.
It had an audience of about 80 people. The show started with a brief history of Rediffusion given by Ms Eeva Chang Mei Hsiang, a former Rediffusion DJ who bought over the Rediffusion.

                                                     Ms Eeva Chang Mei Hsiang

                                             Pioneer Generation Participants

                                             Interviewed by Ms Eeva Chang

                                                       Audience at the show

Each participant shared their nostalgic story. Some was quite emotional. The lighter part was singing old favourite in English as well as in Chinese such as “It’s Now Or Never” by Elvis Presley and a Hokien Song 望春風.

I talked  about the Rediffusion in Joo Chiat. In the 1950s  Rediffusion arrived in Joo Chiat. Most houses had a Rediffusion voice box including the attap huts kamong behind my house.  Rediffusion had only 2 radio channel. Turn the knob left or right for English or Chinese which included Chinese dialects. My uncle liked Chinese songs and I listened to English songs. Sometimes our timing clashed. But when it came to Ong Toh’s action packed story we had a common interest. The kungfu story was very captivating. Whenever it was Ong Toh story time, I took down the Rediffusion box hung on the wall to the table top for closer listening for I did not want to miss any part of his story. 

                               Listening to Rediffusion's Ong Toh's story

I also shared about the hawker food in Joo Chiat.
Tau Kua Pow The best ‘tau kua pow’ was not at Joo Chiat Road/East Coast Road junction coffee shop (now Alibaba). It was at a small coffee shop opposite Joo Chiat market (now Joo Chiat Complex). The secret for good ‘tua kua pow’ is in the sauce.

Katong Laksa  The hawker  who  was selling Katong laksa  known as ‘jangok’ because he had a few strands of hair on his chin. The name Katong laksa was not coined by him. His customer gave the name for easy reference. He was an intinerant hawker selling laksa in Joo Chiat, Marine Parade and finally he found a place on the 5 foot way of a coffee shop at the corner of East Coast Road/Ceylon Road. His customers loved his laksa and was referred by words of mouth as ‘Katong laksa’.  Jangok was a squatter on our land at Tembeling Road. He carried his laksa stall on a bamboo pole. On one side was a charcoal stove with a pot of laksa gravy on top. On the side was the cockery, laksa noodles, etc. In early 1970s The Ministry of the Environment wanted to clear all itinerant hawkers in Singapore.  His hawker stall was affected. The coffee shop owner saw the benefit of a popular laksa stall in his shop and rented a small space next to a pillar for him to continue his trade. Today Katong laksa is found in many parts of Singapore.

Objective of the project:

Commemorate 50 years of Singapore through the stories shared by the nation's pioneers.
Allow younger generations to rediscover the history and heritage of Singapore.
The Rediffusion Talk Show can be viewed at: