Let us all honour all those who brought about Singapore many success stories, one of whom is Mrs Junita Melson– and as one who champions the plight of our elderly and the marginalised, it would not have been right if I had not written these 2 tributes.
Raymond Anthony Fernando
(2) Bouquets to Juanita Melson for Staying Connected to her Listeners
My second tribute to Mrs Junita Melson, this time here on Happy TV. Enjoy!
Singapore has lost one of her best loved radio announcers in Junita Melson who passed away last Thursday (Jan 19) after losing the battle to cancer. Juanita was 72 years old when she died.
Not many of the younger generation travelling on the MRT trains may easily recognise that the crispy clear voice of some of the MRT announcements belongs to Juanita who was one of our local radio veterans. But most of our elderly radio listeners who also commute on the trains will relate well to her as the English Programme Manager of the then-Redifussion Singapore which was Singapore’s only cable radio station.
Like many of our pioneer radio listeners and the radio DJs whom she trained so well, I am deeply saddened to read of the passing of this iconic radio veteran.
My late wife and I had been a subscriber to Rediffusion for more than 30 years and the early morning radio requests that allowed its listeners to dedicate songs most certainly brought sunshine into our lives at the start of a brand-new day. I still recall that signature melodious greeting when the broadcast came on air at 6am each day after our national anthem was played: Rediffusion… Good morning…”
Despite her busy schedule in managing the English Silver channel, Juanita would often squeeze in time to perform DJ duties as she had this passion of staying connected to her listeners. Through songs requests and dedications which Junita and her lovely DJs arranged, it paved the way for cordial friendships to be developed among the Rediffusion listeners who chose to regard the station as ‘another family member.’
During her stint at Rediffusion, Juanita had often invited world famous singers like Pat Boone, Lobo, Skeeter Davis and Engelbert Humberdinck into the studios and it was so interesting, informative and entertaining listening to these interviews on the airwaves. Golden classics by these singers were some of the iconic broadcaster’s favourite tunes and together with her DJs went the extra mile by sourcing for complimentary tickets to give to their loyal listeners during quiz segments when these celebrities performed at concerts here in Singapore. My wife and I were privileged to attend concerts by Skeeter Davis and Engelbert Humperdinck where we met another fan of Rediffusion in Mrs Pereira.
In addition, Juanita teamed up with the handsome dude John Klass to give listeners the opportunity to win Rediware households products on Wednesday mornings. Some of these products like Tupperware and kitchen knives that I was lucky to win years ago, still last me a long time and so does my friendship for Juanita.
Juanita set the direction for some of our local DJ to chart their own career paths and they included Chris Ho, Brian Richmond of Mediacorp’s popular Gold 90.5 radio station, John Klass who went on to become a popular singer with his band KICK and Mel Ferdinands who together with his brothers became equally successful with their band GYPSY.
Given that Juanita had, to some extent, helped Brian Richmond to kick start his DJ career, it would be a nice gesture if he could pay a fitting tribute to Juanita on his weekly Sunday morning Gold 90.5 vintage show.
You may have left us, Juanita Melson. but as we listen to the golden oldies on the radio or on our CD players and while travelling on the MRT, we will always remember the fond memories you gave us.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
(1) Press letter to TODAY Newspaper
Radio veteran Melson stayed connected with listeners
Like many of our pioneer radio listeners and the deejays she trained well, I am saddened by radio veteran Juanita Melson’s death (“Radio DJs pay tribute to voice of MRT announcements”; Jan 24).
My late wife and I had subscribed to Rediffusion for more than 30 years, and the morning requests show, which allowed its listeners to dedicate songs, brought sunshine into our lives at the start of the day.
Despite her busy schedule as a programme manager, Mrs Melson would squeeze in time to perform DJ duties, as she had a passion for staying connected with her listeners.
Through these song requests and dedications, friendships were developed among listeners who regarded the station as another family member.
During her Rediffusion stint, Mrs Melson invited the likes of Pat Boone, Lobo, Skeeter Davis and Engelbert Humperdinck into the studios, and it was interesting to listen to these interviews on the airwaves.
These singers’ classics were some of the broadcaster’s favourite tunes, and Rediffusion DJs went the extra mile to source complimentary tickets to give to their listeners during quiz segments when these celebrities had concerts here.
Mrs Melson may have left us, but as we listen to classic songs on the radio or our compact disc players and also as we travel on the MRT, we will remember her.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO