Monday, 3 May 2010

My Time in Orchard Road (Part One)

It's time for me to pen down the memories of my time in Orchard road when I first worked in early 1980s on both department stores - OG and Metro after worked at Factory in Ayer Rajah road.  Orchard Road changes overtime over the decades which spanned from Tanglin road to Orchard road that I used to stroll along the stretch of roads for as long as I could remember. 
Orchard Road Market
Courtesy of NAS
I still remember there was Orchard Market located where the Orchard Point (opened in 1983) is.
Me & ex-Colleagues (OG)@Plaza Singapura
My ex-colleagues and I were posed outside Plaza Singapura in 1985 and we were once worked at OG Elite at Plaza SIngapura in 1983 and we wore green uniforms with skirts as long as I could remember. How times flies and it's been more than three decades. Can you spot where am I in this photo (above)?
Me@FarEastPlaza 1984
I wore Metro uniform and sat on the bench outside Far East Plaza in 1984, behind me was a fountain where the overhead (background) and bus-stop (umbrella-shaped) located. On the far right, opposite the road was Holiday Inn hotel ( now as Scotts Walk and Royal Plaza). On the far left, was Hyatt Regency Singapore (hotel now known as Grand Hyatt) where my god sister's mum worked over the decades till she retired. Now the fountain was no longer there and it's been moved inside the Far East Plaza, I presume. I fondly remember..I used to alight at the old bus-stop just outside former Holiday Inn and walked up the overhead bridge to the Far East Plaza where I worked.
Me@GoodwoodParkHotel (1988)
To the farther up the hill of the road where I stood in front of Goodwood Park Hotel (above pic taken in 20th Nov 1988 by my god father using my old Pentax camera).  At that same time, we dined at restaurant there. 
Teutonia Club (Today's Goodwood Park Hotel)
Source: NAS
Goodwood Park Hotel was once the site of Teutonia Club in the 20th century was the common sight along Orchard Road. The entrance structure of the Goodwood Park Hotel is still around. The street hawkers were seen selling fruits and the rickshaw puller in the front of Teutonia Club (Goodwood Park Hotel).
Every year from early 1980s, my old friends, best friends, ex-colleagues, classmates as well as my family including my god father would stroll along Orchard road during Christmas and other occasions.
Along the road, the old hotels - Ming Court Hotel where I used to frequent cafe with my family. Many foreigners visited SIngapore and stayed at Ming Court Hotel in 1970s to 1980s.
Me@MingCourtHotel (1986)
On the 15th Dec 1986, I stood and posed at Christmas tree outside Ming Court Hotel at night. 
Ming Court Hotel (1970s)
Source: Sg Institute of Architects
I remember there was a swimming pool on the upper 4-storey podium, complete deck with sauna and club facilities. Remember the famous character - David Bowie visited to Singapore in 1983 and stayed at Ming Court Hotel while filming "Ricochet".
Me@Orchard Parade Hotel 1990s
In the year 1987 that was a year later, the hotel was acquired by Far East organisation and in 4 year later in 1991, the hotel was renamed as Orchard Parade Hotel. Above pic taken outside Orchard Parade Hotel (background) in early 1990s.
 Paragon By SOGO (pic in 1995)
I remember there was once a Fitzpatrick Supermarket along Orchard road, opened in 1958 that was replaced by Promenade and then Paragon after it (Fitzpatrick) torn down. My mum and her old friends as well as her siblings used to frequent the supermarket in early 1960s. Little did she mention to me about the "wet market" along orchard road. That was long long time ago.
Me stood behind Paragon By SOGO
I stood behind the shopping centre - Paragon By SOGO in 1995 after I heard about the supermarket from one of my aunties.The 20-storey shopping centre was designed by Kumpulan Senireka Sendirian Berhad, a Malaysian architectural firm. The Paragon owned by SOGO group, later in that year 2000 around Sept, Pokka Cafe in Paragon Sogo Food Stall in Orchard Road is closed because Sogo Department Store in Japan had gone bankrupt and its Singapore subsidiary had to be closed down. In addition, Pokka Singapore Group once owned one family restaurant (Compass Point Seng Kang Square), two patisseries (Takashimay Shopping Centre Basement 2 and Isetan Scotts Shopping Centre level 4), three Tonkichi (Takashimaya Shopping Centre level 4, Basement 1 Suntec City Mall and Isetan Scotts Shopping Centre level 4) and one ice-cream shop (Isetan Scotts Shopping Centre level 4)
There used to be Metro department store at Paragon. Along the Orchard Road, there was a huge flood in 1960s.
My mum's old friend whose sister works at Isetan for more than three decades till present. My god father's eldest son who set up his clinic at Orchard Midpoint and has been operated since late 1980s till present.
Last but not least, I have to stop here and will continue in my next blog (Part Two).

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