Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Maria Hertogh Saga....Final Part 8, Pulitzer Prize Winner James A Michener wrote about Mansor Adabi

Tribute : JAMES A MICHENER ( Source: Wikipedia )
On the evening of September 14, 1998, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore named one of their suites after the illustrious author, in memory of his patronage and passion for the hotel. Michener first stayed at the Singapore hotel just after World War II in 1949, and in an interview a decade before his death he said it was a luxury for him, a young man, to stay at the Raffles Hotel back then, and had the time of his life. It was officially christened by Steven Green, then Ambassador of United States to Singapore, who noted the writer's penchant of describing 'faraway places with strange-sounding names' to his American book readers. His last stay was in 1985 when he came to Singapore for the launch of the book Salute to Singapore, for which he wrote the foreword. He was so fond of his last stay in Raffles that he took the hotel room key home with him as a souvenir. The suite contains a selection of Michener's works, like Caribbean, The Drifters and Hawaii, as well as two photographic portraits of the author taken at the hotel and in Chinatown in 1985. After his death, the Michener estate corresponded with the hotel management to return the room key, and from there the idea to name the hotel room after him, came into fruition. The souvenir key was duly returned to the hotel, and now on display in the Raffles Hotel Museum
James A. Michener Art Museum

James Michener was one of the literary great of American literature. At the age of 40, and with his first book, "Tales of the South Pacific", he was awarded the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He was a roving reporter covering many parts of Asia, the Pacific and the world. He was also a prolific writer having written more than 40 books.
He died at the age of 90 and was greatly honoured for all his achievements, accomplishments and great charity. He has been featured on USA stamps too.

The reason why I chose to highlight him here in this final Mansor Adabi and Maria Hertogh saga story is because few people anywhere would know about this fact today...... James Michener actually came to Singapore in 1950 to look for Mansor Adabi whom he wish to interview for his published column " Tales of South Asia " in the Milwaukee Journal ( a daily newspaper ).
When Michener asked around, in December 1950, just after the riots had passed and things have quietened down, he was advised, probably by those in the know...not to pursue or locate Mansor Adabi. His detractors felt the subject was perhaps too sensitive to touch on in the open.
Obviously, the great man felt otherwise.
He did locate Mansor Adabi and conducted a face to face interview with him about the whole saga.
In his most intriguing report Michener said, " Mansor Adabi was one of the most provocative and yet winning persons I was to meet in Asia" ( 1950 interview ).

Visitors of my blog can click on the link below to read the FULL story at the Milwaukee Journal of May 2 1951. This is a live, free digital online journal and you can enlarge the text, scroll up and down, turn pages, zoom in or out etc.
The Heading of the story : "Tells of Thwarted Love that led to Fatal Riots ".,292817


Anonymous said...

Dear Uncle Dick,

I see you have done some extensive research on the Maria Hertogh riots. I'm doing a similar project about the affair and was wondering if I can find out more information from you. Please contact me at justin [at]


unk Dicko said...

Hi Justin,
Certainly,if I can be of some help do let me know.
I've sent you an email.