Exhibition to celebrate made-in-S'pore brands

Exhibition to celebrate made-in-S'pore brands
NHB's Mr Alvin Tan (foreground) with (from left) Chuen Cheong Food Industries managing director Chia Weng Kaye, Boncafe managing director Christian Huber, Leung Kai Fook Medical Company business development manager Jimmy Leong and DFurniture managing director David Lim. They are holding up made-in-Singapore products, some of which will be displayed in the NHB exhibition next year.

Commonly mistaken as a "made in Hong Kong" product, Axe brand medicated oil can trace its roots back to 1928 when an immigrant from China set up Leung Kai Fook Medical Company in Singapore.

The medicated formula - which helps to relieve giddiness, headache, stomach ache, blocked nose and cold - has stayed in the family through the decades and is one of 50 made-in-Singapore products that the National Heritage Board (NHB) will be showcasing in an exhibition.

Slated to open here mid- next year, it is the result of a research project tracing the growth of the Republic's manufacturing industry.

It will also be part of the board's efforts to mark 50 years of Singapore's independence in 2015.

Other products to go on display will include packets of Boncafe coffee beans from the 1960s, Diethelm furniture pieces, Chuen Cheong Tiger Brand soya sauces, Khong Guan biscuits and a Setron television set from the 1960s.

Mr Alvin Tan, group director of policy at the NHB, said his team has shortlisted more than 70 products, although only seven have been confirmed so far. These will come from a range of categories such as food, fashion, furniture, accessories, electronics and household goods.

The researchers used newspaper reports and company publications such as annual reports, and also conducted interviews with owners and representatives of some of the companies involved.

"We started this project because we wanted to raise public awareness about products that were or are made in Singapore and, in doing so, instil a sense of pride among Singaporeans in the lead-up to Singapore's 50th anniversary celebrations," said Mr Tan.

Mr Chia Weng Kaye, 62, the managing director of Chuen Cheong Food Industries, was glad his company was selected to be part of the exhibition. The company was set up by his great-grandfather in 1930.

Apart from old and new sauce bottles, he will contribute documents such as an old invoice from 1956, cinema advertisement slides bearing the Tiger Brand logo and a partnership agreement which was signed by his great-grandfather and a relative when the company was started.

"We enjoy knowing that our brand has been recognised for its heritage value," he said. "It's important for us to continue the legacy of my great-grandfather."

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