Michael and Me, a Friendship Among the Scout Memorabilia Collectors

in friendship •  10 months ago

The first time I met this man was on the 2008 ASEAN Scout Jamboree, which been held at the Cibubur Scout Camp, about 30 kilometres from Jakarta, the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia. His name is Poh Cher Huat Michael or people mostly known him as Michael Poh. He went to the jamboree with the Singapore Scout Association (SSA) contingent.

We swapped some Scout badges (or patches as our friend from the American said). Since then, we became a good and even a best friend. Not only because we are active in the Scouting movement – Michael in Singapore and I in Indonesia – but also because we share same hobbies and interest on the history and its memorabilia.

(Michael Poh in his Singapore Scout uniform. Photo by R. Andi Widjanarko, ISJ)

Later I knew that Michael owned a vintage and memorabilia shop in Singapore. Called as the Viewpoint Trading and Collectibles, the shop is a must to visit for every memorabilia collector. He opened the shop in the 1990’s, and now located at the Fook Hai Building in the South Bridge Road, Singapore.

Every time I go to his shop, I always amazed with the memorabilia collection he have. From an antique wooden table to Coca-Cola memorabilia, such as bottle, sign ad, pin, and many things. Just to mention, he have also some philatelic and numismatic collections, books, vynil music record, some chinese ceramics, and more.

He is very generous to the Scouting. He helped the SSA to build a Scout Gallery in their Headquarters, as a museum to tell the story of the Scouting movement in that country. He also active to spread the brotherhood and sisterhood – more than just friendship – not only in Singapore, but throughout the world.

(Michael's Viewpoint Trading & Collectibles shop at the Fook Hai Building, Singapore. Photo by: BDHS)

For example, when a brother or sister in the Scouting movement from foreign country came to Singapore, he is very kind to help and become a very good host. The Scouting spirit also sees when he was became the contingent leader or part of the contingent/delegation of the SSA to participated in the Scouting activity abroad.

Later, with some Scout memorabilia collector, Michael established the Singapore Scout Collectors Club (SSCC). This is a club for anyone who like to collect the Scout memorabilia. The memorabilia itself can be anything related to the Scouting movement, from the badge, pin, unform, scarf or neckerchief, flag, banner, book, leaflet, stamp, banknote and coin, postcard, trading card, and so on.

(Michael presented me with some Singapore Scout contingent badges. Photo by: Afriani S)

With the SSCC, Michael created an event called as the Singapore Scout International Friendship Fiesta. Began on 2014, the Friendship Fiesta became the place for Scout memorabilia collectors from every country in the South East Asia (SEA) – and even from other country outside the SEA – to have gathering and foster the brotherhood and sisterhood.

Last March 2018, I visited Michael shop again. As I went there on Sunday, I have the opportunity to saw the fleamarket organized by him. Each Sunday morning until late afternoon – for many years – Michael organized a fleamarket for seller in the antique, vintage, and memorabilia collection. For a collector like me, the fleamarket was remarkable and many of the items the sellers have were in a good quality.

(I gave Michael a painting made by myself. Photo: Afriani S)

When I met Michael in his shop, as usual we always swap memorabilia item. This time Michael gave me some SSA contingent badges, and I gave him my 30 x 40 cm canvas painting. We both were very happy with items we got.

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