Lady who was voice of MRT announcements from 1994 to 2008 has passed away

RIP, Juanita Melson.

Guan Zhen Tan | January 23, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

It’s a rainy Monday, and we have some sad news for you.

Juanita Melson, the voice of MRT announcements from 1994 to 2008, has sadly passed away, on Thursday, Jan. 19. She was in her 70s.

If you need a little refresher on how her announcements sounded, which were removed in 2008 when the announcement system upgraded, here’s a sampling:

Other than being the voice we heard in stations, she was also the voice of Fujitech lifts. (Skip to 3:30):

She also did an interview for the movie Singapore GaGa in 2005, which did not make it to the main film, but nonetheless, made for an insightful look at her character.

More than just voicing trains and lifts, she is also well-known for being programme manager for Rediffusion, Singapore’s first subscription-based radio station, for over 20 years.

 

Tributes

Melson had touched many lives with her grace and kindness, which did not go unnoticed as tributes poured in.

They include Kiss92 DJ John Klass, who mentioned that Melson had showed him the ropes in radio, and even set up a meeting for Klass to pitch his band’s demo to record label Pony Canyon:

Many of you, having looked back at your career, may find that one person who made a difference and helped get you on the road to the career path you are at now.

That person for me was Juanita Melson. She was at the time, the Programme Manager of Rediffusion English programming and she hired me as a Radio DJ – fresh out of NS.

Having no experience, she trained me and guided me in the fundamentals of broadcast presentation & the technicalities of radio.

It was her that set up a meeting for me and my band KICK! to meet the MD of record label Pony Canyon so that we could pitch our song demo to him. We were signed on the spot on that fateful meeting and the rest is history…

Her influence on my career from being in radio and the music business is undoubted.

Eventually, she was more than just a boss and like for many of us at Rediffusion, she was a good friend and to some extent, like a mother I never had.

Today I say goodbye to Juanita, but her legacy lives on in many of the countless lives she’s touched just like mine, through nurturing radio talent and also through her resonant & distinct voice that is still heard throughout Singapore. (She used to be the mainstay voice on MRT trains and is still heard in many lifts telling you which floor you’re on)

Thank You Juanita, I’ll never stop being grateful for you in my life. Now Rest In Peace. #payitforward

And a friend of hers, San’ah Bahweris who remembers her as a graceful and caring motherly figure.

Im always amazed by her magnificent voice, how tactful & graceful she is whenever she present herself when we are working together in the same call centre. She is more than a friend to me, a Motherly figure. Its still fresh in my mind when my brother passed away she is the first to call me, that left a great impact to me on how caring she was, as the saying goes a friend in need is a friend indeed..

Im truly touched to have known an angel friend like you Juanita Melson. May you rest in eternal peace.
My deeepest condolences to your family my dear Erika Melson-Lim. No words can describe how sorry I am for your loss. She will always be in my heart.

SM Ong, who was a former executive producer of TV show Phua Chu Kang, recalls meeting the classy lady in the 90s for a magazine story.

I just found out that Juanita Melson, radio veteran and original voice of the MRT, died on Thursday. I met her for a magazine story in the 90s when she was with Rediffusion. I remember her telling me how much she liked Mariah Carey’s new song Without You. So it must have been 1993. I will never forget how nice she was to me. Here’s to a truly classy lady.

RIP, Juanita Melson. Thank you for being the iconic voice that Singaporeans love and remember.

 

Related article:

This is the lady behind the voice of Changi Airport’s public announcement system

 

Top image via and via 

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About Guan Zhen Tan

Guan Zhen is a serial doodler with multiple pens with her wherever she goes. She loves listening to Visual Kei bands, Jamiroquai and random songs from the future-funk genre.

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