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Another Star oldtimer gone: Bob the printer dies at 68

Wed 2012-Jun-6 @ MYT 00:39:34 am

Bob Teoh the printer, the cheerful, always jovial boss of the Star’s machine room in Jalan Travers, Kuala Lumpur in the late 1970s, has died in Penang at the age of 68 after collapsing on Saturday with breathing difficulties. He died the same night, of fluid retention in the lungs, the Star reported yesterday.

Bob rose to be executive assistant manager of the Printing Department and was one of the many unseen heroes behind the Star’s growth, keeping his beloved machines going through day and night as the Star’s circulation broke through the 100,000 papers a day mark, then breached the 200,000 and 250,000 marks.

He was a frequent visitor to the news room, chatting with production editors on the news, always with a smile and a wisecrack, and always staying vigilant for breaking stories that might mean editions closing late, and thus additional pressure on the machine room to deliver to the vendors waiting impatiently outside the circulation window.

As circulation sales grew, Bob helped put the elderly almost tinker-toy-like Harris V15 machines out to pasture, to be replaced by Harris 845 automated presses in Section 13, then to Goss Colorliners in 2001 in Shah Alam followed by a twin-line installation in 2004 of Goss Universal presses in Shah Alam and a single line in Penang.

As the paper grew and the machines kept growing larger, Bob kept smiling, in pride at how far the little hometown newspaper had come, from two sheetfed Heidelburg presses at Weld Quay.

Bob is survived by his wife Ong Lay Hoon, daughter Celia Teoh Wan Ching, 39, son Benny Teoh Yew Guan, 36, and three grandchildren. Bob and Lay Hoon, an advertising graphic artist, were one of the many Star couples who met, married and raised a family while working with the Star.

The Star’s report on Bob:
Published: Tuesday June 5, 2012 MYT 8:22:00 PM
The Star’s former printing exec Bob Teoh dies
GEORGE TOWN: A former employee of The Star, Bob Teoh Seng Lye, has died at the age of 68.

The long-serving Printing Department executive assistant manager, who was with The Star for 30 years, died of fluid retention in the lungs.

His wife Ong Lay Hoon said Teoh had cough and fever, and complained of breathing difficulties on Saturday.

“We went to the clinic but the doctor immediately referred him to the Penang Hospital for treatment. At the hospital, he lost consciousness and died at 11.28pm the same day,” she said Tuesday.

Ong, said her husband’s passing was very sudden, adding: “He had a heart bypass done 18 years ago but other than that, he was rather healthy.”

His funeral service will be held Wednesday at the Mount Erskine funeral parlour at 2pm before the cortege leaves for cremation at the Mount Erskine Crematorium.

Teoh, who joined the company in 1976, was assistant manager in the Printing Department before he retired in November 2003. He then accepted a three-year contract for the same position.

Ong, also an employee at The Star, was Chief Graphic Artist in the Advertising Department before retiring in June 2006.

Star Publications engineering and building property services general manager Choy Kum Wah described Teoh as a “friendly, jolly and helpful person, who always liked to lighten a tense mood or stressful situation”.

“He was the first person to come up to me and shake my hand when I joined The Star in 1982. Whenever we were stressed out at work, he would never fail to cheer us up by telling a funny story or encouraging us. I am saddened to hear of his passing,” he said.

 

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