Updated: Oct 1
Master Tailor Chung was the pioneer batch of National Service men who joined the Singapore Armed Force. Those days, army training was much strenuous as he retold his qiong sua (i.e. bash up the mountain in Hokkien) stories to my brother and I when we were growing up. "Lots of perseverance, resilience, and grit," he said. Likewise, for the tailoring craft, it is long hours of painstaking handiwork, cut after cut, stitches over stiches, fit after fit in perfecting the piece of cloth onto the body.
It is Mr Chung's pride, passion and relentless dedication in quality workmanship that snagged him a loyal following of customers. Having started his first shop together with his wife at Upper Boon Keng Road in the 1970s, Meiko Tailor has come a longways building the family business, growing with Singapore through the years.
This year, we celebrate Singapore’s 53rd year of nation building. We are thankful and blessed to be living in one of the world's safest countries, journeying with the country, and serving many generations of Singaporeans. He is proud that as a truly homegrown “made-in-Singapore” tailor brand, it is recognised among overseas customers and business travellers, too.
Now, at 69, he is still active at work at his tailor shop; his playground where he continues to hone his craft and engage with his customers. Even at his silver age, he is not resting on his laurels, subscribing to our late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's wisdom on complacency - "我担心的是自满". With no expectation that his children would take on the business, his daughter is now helping in the reins to continue the family business. His hope for his second generation is to carry on the passion, catch on with today's business disruption but with a mindfulness of staying true to the art of classic traditional tailoring, creating quality sartorial pieces and valuing customer service,