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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green Spot in the 50's and 60's







How many of you remember this drink? My siblings and I enjoyed it alongside the Ta Fong Cream Soda and Cherry Drinks which were less expensive for our usual festivals and Chinese New Year . We were younger then in the 50's and early 60's so we could tolerate all the high levels of sugar content. When Cola and 7 Up hit the town in post Mederka days we drank these new brands during occasional visits to the coffee shops when we had extra money in our pockets. I also remember my parents buying cola from Kim Guan Siang (the shop which belonged to the SUPP strong woman Cheng Yi) for special treats and Chinese New Year.

However we continue to buy Cream Soda and Cherry from Ngo Kiang until today for old time's sake. But actually truthfully speaking I really like Cream Soda. Where aerated drinks are concerned we are really spoilt for choice today. Our children are never short of soft drinks even though we try to control their consumption and to educate them to be wise in their intake of sugared drinks.

With the help of the Internet it is nice to find out more about Green Spot today. Unknown to many of us Green Spot is a non-carbonated orange-based soft drink that is sold in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries!

Developed in 1934 in the United States after the introduction of Orangeade, the brand established operations in Thailand in 1954. While the brand is no longer popular in the United States, the current brand is now focused on the Asian market.

Formerly only available in bottles, Green Spot is now sold in a 325 ml can or 325 ml bottle.

Green Spot was once popular in Hong Kong, but it has since ceased to sell their bottle drinks and tetra pak boxes are sold in small quantities.

However in the minds of a lot of my friends Green Spot stirs up a lot of emotions and nostalgia.

In the 50's and 60's the Chua family of Sibu who lived in Blacksmith Road were called the Green Spot family because they were the sole agent for this lovely drink.

During the Hari Raya when I was younger my friends and I had a lot of fun visiting our Malay friends and we drank literally from one house to another all along the road!! Some of us went on our bicycles while some actually walked. We were warmly welcomed by our school mates and their parents. It was good visiting them as such visit was once a year.

The Chua family continued to be the sole agents of Green Spot right into the 80's. Their son Ah Chai or Tua Pui Chai was quite a jolly good fellow and a favourite amongst the business men of Sibu. The Chuas remained a strong and wealthy Hokkien business family when pitted agains the up and coming Foochow traders who any way formed the majority of the business community. It was also known that they were related to Wee Hood Teck but again my memory may not be as good as before.

I remember their shop as a very clean and traditional Hokkien or Chinese shop cum office. They could even put a bicycle and a motor bike in the shop. They had a big clock and a large table. The abacus was on the towkay's desk and there was a lot of space in the shop unlike many of the other Foochow shops which were cluttered with goods and a lot of knick knacks. An old ceiling fan circled continuously overhead while the clock tick tocked away. Occasionaly Ah Chai would give a shout to answer an order. The other brothers I remember were soft spoken men with extremely fair skin. The Chua sisters were very pretty.

Green Spot remains a sweet and nice drink in my mind. I like the special shaped bottle too.

Source : Wikipedia

10 memories:

David Chin said...

Do you remember F&N, another orange drink produced from a factory in Kuching.

Chen said...

Hehe, I remember this drink. Drank it several times in the past :)

abana said...

A teacher ,always a teacher, good explainations.I ran down through your blog and was impressed by your write up.
Oh dear, i should have paid more attention in Class back in School days.
But Methodist secondary School wasn't a bad school at all. Having passed the Senior Cambridge Certificate was something to be proud of.

sarawakiana said...

Hi SL ..how are you? This is a very refreshing drink different from the ordinary carbonated drinks. The forerunner of the orange juices that we have today.

Bintangor tried to imitate it by producing Ching San or Green Mountain but you may be too young to know it.

May be I will try to find it somewhere around here.

What about at your place of abode?

sarawakiana said...

Hi Abana...I must be your super senior at school?

Nice of you to drop by my blog...each article is like a preparation for a class...it is always nice to be able to explain things.

Hope to hear from you too.

sarawakiana said...

Hi DC
Nice to remember Fraser and Neave. Where was the factory situated in Kuching? Is the old building still there?

I still remember that there was one General Question which was "What does F and N stand for?" And those of us who had some F and N could answer the question and spell the words Fraser and Neave!! Check the bottom of the bottle if you have it in your collection. In our plastic throw away age glass bottles are very rare and people have forgotten how proud tradespeople were of their brands. They carved their names in and their products 50 years ago. Although some still do.

YTSL said...

I remember this drink! When I was small, whenever my parents and I went to Kuala Lumpur, we would stay at the Federal Hotel. There in their rooms, we would find bottles of Green Spot in the fridge. Occasionally, my mother would allow me to take out one bottle and drink it. What luxury and bliss! And what childhood memories! :)

sarawakiana said...

Dear Y
Thank you for visiting. Yes you had a great memory of drinking Green Spot like many of us and we will all continue to have that very good feeling for the soft drink....it is just so thirst quenching!

Good product too.

frightrice said...

May i know the exact location of the old/original F&N factory in Kuching, Sarawak?

frightrice said...

I believe Green Spot was first drank by the Sarawakians in 1958 with assistance of Capital Foods, U.S.A, the brand owner of the Green Spot soda drink. The local company was first incorporated on 30th Dec 1957 as GREEN SPOT (BORNEO) BHD.

 

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