Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thanks Google

Thanks to google, Norman Siebel's daughter got in touch with me! Mel Robertson nee Siebel (right, flanked by her cousin Farah) dropped me an e-mail from the US in July. By August we had the good fortune of meeting up in Bangsar! This was the e-mail she sent me on July 23, 2008. Norman Siebel was the sports editor of the Straits Times in the 60s and based on his writings, certainly the paragon of sports journalism in the country.

Dear Rizal,

I read with interest your blog in April about SAM .. "Clash of the Titans." My Dad, Norman Siebel, was one of the co-founders. I'm presently trying to compile anything I can find on him. He passed away in 1969 when I was 6 years old, so at that time, naturally, I was unable to grasp much of the 'other' side of him....the one completely dedicated to excellence in sports reporting.

It is only as an adult that I've come to appreciate his style of writing and to try to find people who may have known him to grab a few quotes from them about him. I don't even know if you knew him, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I went to KL last year (I'm from Santa Cruz, California...!!) to the National Archives to find his, that was kinda hard !! The guy behind the counter took half an hour to get the articles I requested, and then he only brought out half of what I wanted.. I guess he had to run out to the warehouse to get the stuff. Very interesting, though. It is not mircofiched. All the newspapers still in their orignal versions, bound in large books. Wow. That wasn't the hardest part for me. I'd been gone from SE Asia for 25 years ... and negotiating catching a cab from the Archives back to the Concord Hotel was a bit of adventure.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. My Dad loved sports... I read his articles on Rudy Hartono and badminton while I was at the archives. I struggled to make copies by taking pictures, but it was rather laborious and perhaps this year in August (I'm flying out again !!) I can figure out a better way! PJ and KL have changed sooo much, I kinda got lost. They even renamed the streets. We used to live off Jalan Templer past the mosque, near that roundabout by the Uni.

If by chance you knew my dad, and can write a few things about him for my collection, it would be great. If not, I'm still thrilled to read your blog, you're the kind of guy Norman Siebel would have had on his team in a heartbeat. Thanks for your articles !!


Mel Robertson nee Siebel


pencinta sukan said...

akum bro....

Nak tanya apa kesudahan dengan kabinet sam ni? ada pertandingan ke lepas ni?

rizal hashim said...

salam pencinta sukan,

saya pun tidak tahu menahu perkembangan sam. ada dua tiga kerat yang saya hormati masih memegang jawatan. macam juga persatuan sukan, sam barangkali harus kena overhaul dan diberi nafas baru oleh gandingan muka baru dan lama. yang penting kerja kena ikhlas dan sukarela. itu yang susah. saya dulu dari rumah ke pejabat sam lalu berapa tol tak pernah pun claim satu sen. dah sukarela lah katakan. itu belum kerenah pemegang jawatan yang tak datang mesyuarat, kalau datang lambat, mesyuarat patut bermula jam 10am, datang jam 11.30. ingat orang tak de kerja lain ka...lepas tu kalau mesyuarat asyik mesyuarat, mesyuarat saja...alahai

Anonymous said...

banyak sportswriter yang bagus-bagus masa kita kecik-kecik dulu. shukor rahman, fauzi omar etc etc ...

rizal hashim said...

benar, bahkan fauzi omar (sekarang datuk) memimpin SAM menjadi satu badan yang glamour. Arwah Zainuddin Bendahara mengangkat martabat SAM pada 80-an sebagai satu badan yang disegani, Fauzi meneruskan usaha itu dan mebawanya ke arah antarabangsa sedikit dengan pembabitan semua wakil akhbar dan penyertaan SAM dalam badan Asia ASPU dan badan dunia AIPS.