Late DJ Mike Ellery loved Singapore

Ask Mr David Ellery, son of local radio icon Mike Ellery, how he best remembers his father and he will tell you: "My dad was the angmoh voice of the 1960s and 1970s."

Speaking to Life! over the telephone from Vancouver, Canada, where he has been living for more than 20 years, Mr Ellery, 58, says: "I think my father loved his job as a broadcaster. Everyone recognised his voice and every advertisment in the 1960s and 1970s used his voice."

The software architect says his father used to moonlight as a radio DJ using the alias DJ Roger Guest with the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation in the 1970s while working with Rediffusion, Singapore's first cable-transmitted commercial radio station.

He recalls with a laugh: "Dad couldn't use his real name because he was still with Rediffusion, but I'm sure listeners put two and two together."

His father died on Feb 3 from

lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands that affects the immune system. He was 82.

A funeral will be held on Feb 23 in Eastbourne, a town in East Sussex, England, and his body will be cremated. The family is arranging for his ashes to be spread in a memorial ground in Heathfield, East Sussex.

Ellery, originally from Bristol, had been living in Heathfield for the past five years to be closer to his family.

He is survived by his 86-year-old wife, sons Guy and David, and three grandchildren.

He was a prominent radio DJ from the 1960s to 1980s and had a long career with Rediffusion, where he was a programmes manager for many years.

Mr Guy Ellery, 55, who spoke to Life! over the telephone from England, says of his last memory of his father: "He was chirpy. Even the day before he died, he was organising a trip to the town coffee shop to have a chat with people. Even in his head, there was no reason why he shouldn't be going out.

"The key thing I remember was that he was completely positive all the time."

He says he visited his father about three times a week. His parents lived in a flat in the centre of town, not far from where he lived.

The brothers say their father was diagnosed with lymphoma in September last year.

Mr David Ellery says: "He was in reasonably good health until the lymphoma. In the few weeks before he died, he would walk out to the coffee shop, have coffee and read the newspaper. But around Christmas, the walking became harder and he became more and more housebound.

"In spite of the stage 4 cancer diagnosis, he was in denial. For him, it was business as usual until he couldn't walk on his own anymore."

Mr Ellery, who visits his family in England every six months, says his father was a "great dad" who loved Singapore.

"He took me and my brother out of British school and put us in St Andrew's School in Singapore, even though he was not a citizen or permanent resident. We were never Singaporean, but we grew up and were raised like Singaporeans."