Former Swan Socks factory workers searching for ex-colleague

Madam Ong was last heard from in 1980, from Toronto.
Madam Ong was last heard from in 1980, from Toronto.

Mr Fong Ah Ngow is trying to contact Madam Ong Lay Kheng, a former colleague from Swan Socks.

In the mid-1960s, she was in charge of the yarn-winding and quality-control department at the now-defunct factory in Jurong.

English-educated Madam Ong was friends with her Hokkien-speaking colleagues, and is thought to have migrated to Canada with her husband probably by the 1980s, after most of them left the firm around 1969.

She was last heard from in 1980 when she sent her old colleague, Madam Teo Kim Lian, a postcard from Toronto without a return address.

She used to live in a block in Boon Keng that has since been demolished.

Said Madam Teo of her old friend: "She was soft-spoken, very trustworthy. We had similar personalities so we got along."

Mr Fong has similarly fond memories of his former colleague: "She was very helpful, quiet, well-respected... we all miss her."

Old colleagues, or anyone with information about Madam Ong's whereabouts, can get in touch with Mr Fong on WhatsApp on 9715-2045, or e-mail him at

Toh Wen Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2016, with the headline 'Searching for ex-colleague'. Print Edition | Subscribe