Sunday, May 30, 2010

Singapore makes world Table Tennis History !

Who says "impossible" dreams cannot ever come true? Banish those pessimistic thoughts from your mind. Dig them out and yes, throw them away. As they say, " nothing is impossible., the impossible takes a little longer, that's all! ".
Don't believe? You want PROOF?
Read the 2 breaking news reports I have included in full below. One is from CNA news online.
The other is from Straits Times breaking news online.

Our Singapore Women's Table Tennis team has just beaten MIGHTY CHINA, the reigning WORLD Table tennis Team Champions with a score of 3 - 1, in Moscow to be crowned the NEW WORLD CHAMPION!
I was having pleasant conversation over dinner with my family and grandkids after a nice swim at the club....when suddenly my daughter D3 received news of this historic happening on her Hp. She stopped and in a raised voice, almost like a yell..blurted out .." Hey..hey..hey! Singapore is now World Champion in Table Tennis!!! Wow! "
Me: " WHAT? Are you sure? "
D3: " Yes...that's what the message says! "

As soon as I arrived home later, I checked the news immediately as confirmed here.
Unk Dicko would like to SALUTE this " Never say die" Team of ours.
My warmest Congratulations to all our Singapore heroines who have scaled the Mt Everest of Table Tennis.
You and your coaches and other officials deserve our undying respect!
As far as table tennis and badminton are concerned, beating CHINA is almost similar to David overcoming Goliath the Giant.
Hopefully this great SUCCESS will spur other S'pore teams to dream the impossible dream as well.

Table Tennis:
Singapore women's team upset China to become world champs
By Savitha Narayanan
Posted: 30 May 2010 2026 hrs
Singapore team members gesture after the women's final match against China at the table tennis world team championships in Moscow.

Table Tennis: Singapore women's team upset China to become world champs

Singapore's trio Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Bei Bei rocked the sports world in Moscow when they beat reigning champions and world No 1 China 3-1 in the World Team Table Tennis Championships. It was sweet revenge for the Singapore women's team, ranked No 2 in the world, after they lost in the 2008 final and the Olympic final to the Chinese.
China, powerhouses in the men's and women's game for so long, were left stunned by a confident display from the Singapore women. Feng, Singapore's world No 2, was the star of the team, after she beat China's world No 4, Ding Ning, in the first singles, before coming back to the table to clinch the winning point 3-2 against women's No 1, 19-year-old Liu Shiwen.
Earlier, Wang stunned Liu in the second singles, while Sun fell to Guo Yan, setting up Feng's epic finale as the Singapore women became the 2010 world table tennis champions.
Speaking after the victory, Singapore Team Manager Eddy Tay said the girls had a strong belief that they could beat China this time. He said: "A lot of times, when we met them in the finals we lost 3-0, 3-1. But we kept telling them (Singapore players) that one day, we should be able to beat them....So, during the training, we kept drilling this into them - to have this mindset that we're able to beat them, because we felt that without Zhang Yining, it's one of the best chance to win them. "A lot of times, some of them, when they meet China players, they tend to feel that there's a gap between them. If you watch today's match, you can see that Tianwei was even trailing in the first match. She was fighting for every point. "That makes a difference, because....(in) Tianwei, you see the fighting spirit, and when she won the match, it really gave a lot of confidence to Yuegu going into the second match. She has also never beaten that China girl before. "So I think that makes a lot of difference, because suddenly, they felt that, hey, the past doesn't count, that although we have lost so many, many matches, it's like a fresh start."
Eddy also described the team's reactions immediately after the win.
He said: "When we came out, all of us were in tears and they were lost for words. They couldn't believe (they won)....especially Tianwei. She aspires to be the world champion. I think she's done it, at the age of 24, and what's there more to say. I think this is a lifetime thing that will stay with you, and Singapore created history, because in 19 years, no one has beaten them (China)."

Singapore bt China 3-1
Feng Tianwei (SIN) bt Ding Ning (CHN) 3-2 (8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9)
Wang Yuegu (SIN) bt Liu Shiwen (CHN) 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10)
Guo Yan (CHN) bt Sun Bei Bei (SIN) 3-1 (6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6)
Feng Tianwei (SIN) bt Liu Shiwen (CHN) 3-2 (11-7, 14-16, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7)

The team will arrive back in Singapore on Monday night on an Emirates flight. They are scheduled to land at Changi's Terminal 1 at 9pm. - CNA/ir

Straits Times, Singapore
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
May 30, 2010
We're table tennis champs!

The Republic's team of Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Beibei stunned mighty China 3-1 in the final of the World Team Table Tennis Championships.


SINGAPORE lifted its first table tennis world title in Moscow on Sunday night.
The Republic's team of Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Beibei stunned mighty China 3-1 in the final of the World Team Table Tennis Championships.
Feng shrugged off a poor start against Ding Ning to give Singapore the lead. She beat the Chinese 8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9. Wang Yuegu then doubled the advantage for Singapore when she upset world No.1 Liu Shiwen 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10.
However, Sun Bei Bei was unable to wrap the title up for Singapore when she surrendered to Guo Yan in four sets, losing 11-6, 6-11, 4-11, 6-11.
That set the stage for the mouth-watering clash between Feng, the world's second-ranked player, and Liu.
Liu, 19, fought tooth and nail to keep her nation's title hopes alive. But a tenacious Feng eventually prevailed, winning 11-7, 14-16, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 to give Singapore the winning point and end China's 17-year stranglehold on the title.

For a point by point Dramatic account of the battles, for sheer nerve-wrecking reading..for this unbelievable, unforgettable historic WIN, one of the greatest upsets in sporting on this link below.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TEKONG Camp Days 80's...more memories.

A close up view of me supervising the setting up of another structure for Obstacles on 1st Day
of a Training Camp at Tekong. Watching from behind is Alan Chng ( NTU PE lecturer today ). The campers were organised into groups with names like Shark, Piranha, Barracuda, Manta etc..

This memorable snapshot showed the groups we were teaching canoeing to.
The life jackets of those times were bulky and much heavier than today's versions.

Photo: L to R
Poh Kheng, Lim Ming ( Camp Commandant), Lee Foon, Ismail, unk Dicko ( Chief Instructor )

The nights in camp were never ever wasted, whether at base camp or at our field campsites
used during the overnight land and sea expeditions.
At the field campsite, the respective land and sea groups were expected to arrive by nightfall..
set up camp for their own watch, prepare dinner, wash up, prepare for the next day's changeover activity from land to sea and vice-versa.
This particular photo show that although C Kunalan ( once the fastest man in S'pore for the 100 metre ) can outsprint anyone, he was having some difficulty building up our cooking fire. And so I was right behind him fanning the smoke away from him.
The Camp staff ( instructors ) set a good example by always cooking their own meals.
Kunalan had also served as Camp Commandant before.

When I look back fondly at my camping days spent with so many different groups
of people, and in so many different campsites...I cherish most the moments of simplicity, warmth, camaraderie and friendship as in this photo above. We had no table nor chairs. Don't need them anyway! Just spread a good old poncho on the ground and everything's set.
At times, I just use 2 twigs which I had picked to be my chopsticks.
Often, a few of us camp staff just slept in the open ( no tent set up) under the starry sky...with a small campfire close by to provide sufficient warmth in the cold of the night.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TEKONG Days...IE,NIE Training Camp activities, 80's

More photos of those Training Camp days in the early to mid 80's at Tekong.
Base camp was at Tekong Primary School at Tg Ladang. The school was situated ideally for camps such as ours. Our camp equipment and other stuff came with us on the RPLs and were
off loaded at the Ladang jetty.
From there it was sheer human power to carry all the tons of stuff to this campsite. On the last day of camp the same thing took place in reverse.

So no lorry or truck to help transport our things. Just good old fashion organisation of all available manpower plus hardwork and sheer perseverance... saw us through.

Me and fellow camp instructors doing pre-camp work at our base camp.
For any outdoor camp activity or trek, I always have my trusty BOWIE knife with me.
I made special mention of this treasured knife in my Gunung TAHAN Blogs ( Do check it out on this blogsite ).
The knife can be seen tucked at my right hip.

On the 1st day of camp, we complete the setting up of all our pioneering structures with the help of the teacher trainees. Here, I was supervising the proper set up of " Swinging Trainer ". We set up many of these structures as "challenges" to test the dexterity, flexibility, agility, strength, skill and courage of the campers. They were often simply referred to as " Obstacles Course".

Morning PT was a very important component of daily camp training. It was carried out immediately after all were up and about and always before Breakfast. The PT will conclude with a run taking a route away from the campsite and back.

Location: Deep in the bushland of Tekong, Unk Dicko used his Bowie knife to split a green coconut...closely watched by fellow camp instructors.

In the middle of seemingly nowhere while on orienteering, a camp group
takes a short breather while confirming their position with map and compass.
Many people have asked me about the different aspects of Tekong camp life.
How long did such training camps last?
Were there mosquitoes and how did you deal with them?
How were the meals prepared for such a large camp population?
How were the campers accomodated?
Toilet and bathing facilities?
Sea activity...dangers?
Land activity....dangers?
Safety and Security within the Camp compound? Were there any incidents of breaches? Crime?
Accidents and emergencies? Evacuations?
Any supernatural or similar experiences encountered? ( Tekong is supposedly a lively haunt for such spirits, unseen beings and other apparitions ).
Regarding the above questions,
would any of my readers, visitors and friends be interested to hear or learn first hand from me?
If you are keen to know something more about any of the above or have questions of your own, just shoot away...tell me.
Otherwise, If I were to describe everything about the Camps from A to Z, it would be like writing
a thick guidebook on how to organise and run an outdoor training camp successfully.
That is not my purpose here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dr Goh's State Funeral...Part 3

After the final eulogy was delivered, Dr Phua Swee Liang his wife since 1991, walked up to place a wreath at the casket. This was in turn followed by PM Lee Hsien Loong who represented the government and people of Singapore.

PM Lee standing firmly and ramrod straight in respect after he had placed the wreath.
At the lectern is the MC Mr Peter Ho, Head of civil service.

The military pall bearers preparing to remove the state flag and medals
from the casket to be handed to President SR Nathan who then handed
the same over to Mrs Goh Keng Swee.

To the left of this scene, a lone bugler from the SAF began to play
"The Last Post". This solemn piece always played only on a bugle signals the
Final Farewell, the Final Goodbye for a fallen comrade, soldier or stateman.
The sounds from the bugle echoed throughout and within the confines of the sombre
hall...Ta..ta..ta..ta..ta..ta..ta.. tah..ra..ra.tah..ra..ra..tah..ra..ra..ta..ta..tum..tum..tum..thumph....!

The whole assembly stood in stoic silence, many reliving their
private moments of sadness and grieve at the passing of such a great man
they have all loved and cherished.
Many must have felt blessed to have at least come into even the briefest
of contact with him. Others knew they had the privilege only few can dream
about...they had actually benefitted from his advice, mentoring and teaching.

Men from all the military wings of the SAF giving The Final salute: We salute you, Sir!

Unk Dicko doesn't think this is the end of the Dr Goh Keng Swee story.
If I gauge correctly, the larger public especially the older generation,
will want our nation to not only preserve the memory, legacy and accomplishments
attributed to him, but to HONOUR and RECOGNISE him in more elevated and
permanent ways.
Ask any student of history, ask any ordinary person if he or she has heard of this or
that king of a certain period of China and I would not be at surprised if the reaction
is "No".
But ask the same person about a certain man called "Confucius" and the response
will likely be ..."A-ha, yes Confucius. I know ! "
In the same way, we ought to ensure that, at least our present younger generation and those after them,
know WHO Dr Goh once was and the immensity of his contributions to Singapore.
So, what and how can the Government, the people, the stat boards, the universities
and so forth do this?
We the ordinary folks can suggest...for a start.
Any suggestion anyone ?

Dr Goh's State Funeral....part 2

Before the MC for the occasion spoke, the TV cameras had panned around the sombre hall to
show the faces of the approximately 800 people inside. They came from a cross-section of Singapore society...Cabinet members, government, stat boards, military, unions, ministries, grassroot organisations, schools and even some ordinary folks like the 2 old ladies both carrying umbrellas ( they could be ex-samsui women from Dr Goh's Kreta Ayer Constituency ). I recognised many of the old familiar faces of former PAP MPs, all looking obviously much older with white and greying hairs seated a few rows back.
There were students in their full school uniforms seated a few rows further back. I have no idea how they were selected to attend or what they were feeling, what impressions they got from the experience. But if I may say so here, I think their school and family should be thankful that years down the road, these students will look back and recall this rare privilege of witnessing a momentous event together with others who have made history and are still making history in the Singapore story.

The MC, Mr Peter Ho, head of the Civil Service then invited the first of the 5 people to deliver
the eulogies. PM Lee Hsien Loong was the first to walk up on stage and spoke warmly, and at one point when he was recounting a particularly poignant shared experience which he had with Dr Goh, I noticed a slight change in his voice and his eyes almost teared.
He spoke about the time he went on a site visit with Dr Goh and noticed the NS men were all busily digging bunkers. No one idled.
But the scene did not escape the sharp eyes nor the mind of Dr Goh who suggested that perhaps it would have been better if the NS men had been divided into 3 digging, one guarding and one group r-e-s-t-i-n-g ! ( He knew they needed rest, men are not machines ).
After the PM has spoken, the name, the person that almost everyone in the hall and in Singapore was waiting for to listen to....MM Lee Kuan Yew. He was the Prime Minister when Dr Goh was his able deputy PM.
MM Lee had just returned from a working trip to China and Japan and had especially asked the organising Committee for the State Funeral to make arrangements so that he could deliver his eulogy.

MM spoke with sadness yet with a great sense of pride of the immense contribution that Dr Goh had made to Singapore. He recounted their early fledgeling days before the PAP was even formed. How Dr Goh became his economics tutor...and his then discovery of what a brilliant mind Dr Goh had.
MM Lee touched on a few poignant moments in his delivery...all very frank and revealing.
But the one moment in his eulogy that I would never forget is this.....the moment when he recounted in greater detail the role that Dr Goh played in negotiating the complete breakaway from the Fed of Malaysia...and he mentioned Tun Tan Siew Sin ( former Finance Minister, M'sia ) who was related to Dr Goh.
MM Lee said....that what Tun Tan Siew Sin did ( back then between 1963 and 1965 ) was to deliberately SPITE Singapore. He added that Singapore was " ambushed " by our supposedly good partner, Malaysia.
If you are like me a fan of the old wild west ( cowboys, outlaws and red Indians ) then the term
used in their lingo, their setting is, to be " bushwhacked".
MM is still a gripping speaker in many ways. He chose his words ever so carefully...describing Dr Goh as his most able, chief "trouble-shooter" while he himself was the " executor".

Former top Minister Mr S Dhanabalan was the 3rd speaker. He recounted episodes of working
closely with Dr Goh on overcoming many complex problems.
The one story I will remember from his telling about how his mentor Dr Goh went out of his way when he was slated to do English Lit by the MOE when he actually wanted to do Economics.
How Dr Goh helped him as a then unknown has changed the course of his personal history as well as that of S'pore.

The family members of Dr Goh sat in the front row.

The 4th speaker was Dr Goh's grandson, Goh Ken-Yi whose father is the only son of the late Dr Goh. In a soft but moderated voice, he told of his memories with his gradpa...the nights Dr Goh spent reading him bedtime stories until poor, tired Dr Goh fell asleep while he was still actively awake...and nudging his grandpa to continue reading. Dr Goh always obliged.

The last speaker was the grand niece of Dr Goh... Marian Hui.
She may have been the youngest of the speakers but her eulogy was so, so moving that there
were many watery eyes among the gathered assembly.
Even D2 and I succumbed to the emotions as she spoke so warmly, so affectionately and so lovinglyly
of her Granduncle "Keng Swee".

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The State Funeral for Dr Goh Keng 1

Sunday 23 May 2010 will be remembered as the day Singaporeans, friends and diplomats bade a final farewell to our former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee in a moving State Funeral. The entire ceremony and procession was telecast "Live" by CNA Tv channel and also covered "Live" by 93.8 Fm radio station.
D2 and I had gone on our own to pay our deepest respect at the Dunbar Walk wake. Thousands of Singaporeans took the trouble to make their way to Parliament House since Thursday when Dr Goh's casket was moved show their love and pay homage to this truly GREAT son of Singapore.
At 1 pm, a one hour programme was shown on CNA highlighting the great achievements and contributions that Dr Goh had made to our country since 1959. It contained a lot of flashback footage of our early days in black and white showing the work he was doing...Jurong Industrial Estate, SAF, MINDEF, Elections, Kreta Ayer, opening factories, EDB, DBS, Zoo, Bird Park, Sentosa and etc. Many of the key people who have worked with him were interviewed...and their very frank and candid comments were a revealation!
Former ministers, perm secs, Generals and others spoke about Dr Goh and what they fondly remembered about him most.
There seemed to be a common trait running through their different strories.
The trait?
I think in bits and pieces, a little here and there, the picture becomes very clear....that Dr Goh Keng Swee was a man, a Minister, a LEADER like no other we have seen in Singapore before or since!
He was unique.
A man with a brilliant, creative mind and was forceful and very original in his ideas and approach to solving the country's complex problems. Yet, he was most frugal and prudent in his own ways. Strict but fair-minded, he went out of his way to help those who needed it most.

More can be said and more will be said by many.
Looking back to history for examples of such selfless and capable leaders, I can think of the great Chinese sage Confucius.

The photos in this post are all captured from images appearing on my Tv screen "Live", today.

The Gun carriage that carried the casket of the late Dr Goh from Parliament House to Singapore Conference Hall.

The route that the funeral procession took ended at the SCH. All flags at Govt buildings were flown at half-mast in a sign of deep respect.

The gun carriage carrying his casket arrived and the Bagpipers played their soulful sounds. Men from the Military Police executed a special drill with their heads bowed and arms on rifle.

Mr Tharman, Dr Yaacob, Mr Lui Tuck Yew accompanying Mrs Goh ( Dr Phua Swee Liang )

The casket being gently borne into the Conference Hall. The state flag was draped over it.
And Dr Goh's medals were on top of the flag.
The casket being placed on a blue raised bier while solemn music
was being played in the background.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Paying Homage and Respect to a Legend.

Yesterday, under a hot and blistering sun, I drove myself to a corner of Singapore I had not visited for a mighty long time....Dunbar Walk, off East Coast Road. It is a neighbourhood that I knew rather well back in the early 60's. As a scout, some of my scouting buddies and I had explored Katong, Siglap and the adjacent Opera Estate areas in the hunt for jobs during annual Job Week.
However, it was for a different reason that I decided to go to Dunbar Walk yesterday.
The beautiful house in Dunbar Walk is the home of Dr Phua Swee Liang and her husband, the late Dr Goh Keng Swee who passed away last Friday morning. Maybe the younger generation may not know who Dr Goh K S was and the IMMENSE role he played in the building of our young nation. The people of my generation who had lived through those tumultous years and seen it all happening before their very eyes not only knew but were deeply thankful that we had among our founding fathers men such as the MM Lee Kuan Yew, former DPM Toh Chin Chye, the late S Rajaratnam, Eddie Barker, Lim Kim San, Hon Sui Sen and Dr Goh Keng Swee.
Even in this elite group of the inner circle, the late Dr Goh is regarded by many as a Giant of a man, and as a leader of the highest standard and quality.
In the years to come, Raffles will still be remembered as the founder of Singapore in 1819. His place in recorded history remains safe.
How will Singapore history remember Dr Goh Keng Swee?
I have no idea what and how future historians will conclude about him.
To me, if we leave MM for a short while out of the picture...then Dr Goh would be the first among equals. Even if we consider all Singaporeans who had ever lived from Raffles' time till today...I truly believe that Dr Goh qualifies as the greatest Singaporean from 1819 till now.
I have the deepest respect and admiration for such a man, such a leader.
And yet, personally I have not known him.
And suddenly, he's gone from among us. Not even the time nor the opportunity to thank this great man for all he has done for us, for Singapore.
Thus my journey there yesterday to pay homage to one of the greatest heros S'pore will ever see...while he's lying peacefully in his simple coffin at his home. Even in death he is still surrounded by simplicity and humility.
Such a man was Dr Goh..frugal, thrifty, my book he is now a LEGEND!

Photo: A side view of his Dunbar Walk home
Another view of the home with the tentage fronting it

There were many wreaths from all over S'pore.

The public, like Unk Dicko, can go to pay their last respects
at the wake at his home. When I walked into the entrance, I was met
by a genial Mr Lim Cheng Hoe ( a seniorMFA staff ) who asked where I was from.
I told him and we chatted about a very close friend of mine who had just
retired as an ambassador.
There was a guest book to pen your condolences. Taking the pen, I wrote
from my heart these words,
" My greatest respect and admiration!
With deep sympathies and condolences.
Dick Yip "
I walked over to pay homage at his open coffin. The late Dr Goh appeared

very serene and peaceful as though he was asleep. He still looked like the face
in the photograph below.
After my own minute of bowed silence and goodbye, I walked out to the patio.
There I was given a copy of the private booklet entitled,
" Goh Keng Swee - PUBLIC FIGURE, PRIVATE MAN "..authored by Dr Phua Swee Liang.

Just as I was about to leave, a party from MOE consisting
of senior staff arrived to pay homage. As I am known to some of them,
I remained behind until they came out and chatted with them.
The MOE senior staff who came. Dr Goh K S played a huge
and pivotal role in transforming the education system and service in 1979.
I still have the entire 1979 Goh Keng Swee report as published in the Straits
Times in my archives.
The booklet given to me has 51 pages and is not for sale.
The book is not a biography but is just a sample of his accomplishments
and contributions to S'pore's development.
It also has captivating anecdotes, photos and some other peeks into
the private side of Dr Goh.

Photo: This is the cover of the Booklet

[ All photos in this story is from Unk Dicko ]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ukulele...Shigeto Takahashi and Unk Dicko Meet Again, part 2.

Before Shigeto-san ended his memorable visit to Ukulele Movement shop, Glyn presented him with a special "Ukulele" T-shirt and he autographed copies of his CDs for those who had purchased them. He has a playing style of his own, quite distinct from many of the other Ukulele players.
Shigeto presented me this very "Roots Trip "CD and also another one from that Ukulele couple "Bosko and Honey, titled " Ukulele Safari - Volume 1.

Photo: The cover of Shigeto's Ukulele CD

Photo: The inside message of the Cover page.

Photo: Glyn from UM presenting this T-shirt to Shigeto

From UM, I drove him to my club for a Dinner ..reservations had been made.
Shigeto meeting my family at my club for Dinner. Of the two
grandkids in this picture, it was my 4 year old grandson in red[ BT] who
captured the 2 snapshots below! In fact, he enjoys my camera so much
that he is often the one taking potshots at me and at will.

Shigeto enjoying his special Javanese Dinner prepared
by 2 master chefs flown in from Bali.

There was still time for a beer before I drove him to my home
and then to Changi Airport for his departure the same night.
As we chatted over dinner and the drive, Shigeto told me of his dream to be
a full time Ukulele musician, entertainer, traveller perhaps in a year or two.
And when the dream becomes reality, Unk Dicko has offered to connect him
with the relevant people and agencies when he intends to perform in S'pore.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

UKULELE...Unk Dicko and Shigeto Takahashi at Ukulele Movement.

Last month, my good ukulele friend Shigeto Takahashi whom I have blogged about in April 2009, contacted me by email from tell me he will be making his 2nd visit to S'pore again in a few days' time. He was here on work attachment with his company. Before arriving, he had indicated to me he would like to visit the Ukulele Movement shop at Beatty Road with me.
Unk Dicko has been around to many of the shops that offer ukuleles and guitars for sale. However, I have yet to visit UM until that Saturday in April.

Over a series of emails I sent to UM's owners...Glyn and Simon, a warm online contact has been established. The husband and wife team had wondered if I could persuade Shigeto to do a " mini-performance" and sharing they have not met him before. They were both very excited as they had Shigeto's latest Ukulele CDs on sale in their shop.
After Shigeto's arrival, he was accomodated at Pasir Panjang Inn, same as last year. I called him and we chatted once again. Having known him since a year ago, I found Shigeto to be a really nice guy...easy going, relaxed and very comfortable with anyone with a ukulele or music background. So, it was not difficult for me to request him to do the mini-performance. He agreed wholeheartedly.
On that rainy Saturday, we met up again at our rendezvous...the Ukulele Movement shop at Beatty Road, around 3 pm. The first person to greet me as I entered the room was Shigeto-san!
" Ah...Dicko-san ! " he shook my hand warmly.
" Hai...Shigeto-san! Long time no see! " I said.
Then a pretty lady stepped forward and introduced herself as Glyn and asked her hubby Simon to come forward.
" So you must be Unk Dicko..." she said as we shook hands warmly.

Although this was the first meeting between me and this wonderful couple, they told me that they have been visiting and reading my blogs especially my blogposts on Ukulele.

UM's premises has a lovely set up. I like the simplicity of the concept. There is a warm atmosphere about the place and the ambience is unlike so many of the other shops I've seen.
There was a small gathering of ukulele enthusiasts and a little later, Richard Chee came in.
I had invited him to drop over as a Glyn was his former student at CJC years ago.
Glyn personally walked me over some of the Uke items on sale and I must say I was and still am impressed by the good to high quality standard of the Ukuleles I tried there.
I have taken note of 2 or 3 which I was attracted to including the very slim Travelling Ukulele
( 2 versions ). Sounded superb!
Soon as all the introductions and browsing around were over, Shigeto was formally introduced.
He spoke off the cuff and warmly thanked everyone for their presence.

Then he played some of his most recognised pieces...including Hiro March, The Peanut Vendor and The Saints Go marching In.
All were enjoying his playing so much. The fortunates ones filmed or videoed it.
Shigeto himself had his own recording set up.
He gave an encore when asked!
After the demo, he shared some strumming tips like the fan strum.

Photo: Shigeto being introduced...

Photo: Ok, I sing.

Photo: The appreciative ukulele people

Photo: And this piece is from Cuba.

Photo: Richard and Unk Dicko

Photo: Young and old enjoy Ukulele music

Glyn, Unk Dicko, Shigeto, Richard and Simon

Photo: Shigeto outside the entrance to U M.