Sunday, December 29, 2013


If you were into pop songs back in the 1960s, you would remember The Quests and The Blue Diamonds. They were immensely popular then and had a string of hits to their name. It was therefore a double treat for me to catch Vernon Cornelius, former vocalist with The Quests, and Riem de Wolff of The Blue Diamonds performing live at the benefit concert for victims of Typhoon Haiyan on Boxing Day.

During the three-plus hours, Vernon and Riem took the audience on a journey to nostalgia with covers of classics made famous by Johnny Mathis, Cliff Richard and others, while Riem reprised The Blue Diamonds hits including "Ramona", "Sukiyaki", "Little Ship" and "Mona Lisa".

(Left) Vernon with the Quests circa 1960s, and (right) The Blue Diamonds album of hits
50+ years on, and still going strong - at the benefit concert on 26 Dec 2013

In the audience that night unbeknownst to me was a petite middle-aged lady whom Vernon kept referring to as "Grandma Mary". He had singled her out to thank her for her generous support of the concert. It was only a day later through a cousin's Facebook posting, that I found out who Grandma Mary was. She is Singapore's coolest guitar-playing grandma, and an internet sensation!

Mary Ho, 77, started out learning to play the acoustic guitar at the age of 60. That soon developed into a passion for playing the blues on the electric lead guitar. When I heard her video on Youtube for the first time, I was completely blown away. And later when I checked out her website at Grandma Mary Rocks, I was left in jaw-dropping awe by what this remarkable grandma of seven has achieved in a short span of time. Google her and you will agree with me.

If Grandma Mary can learn something new at the ripe age of 60, what excuses do we have? If we had a childhood passion that we were unable to pursue because of circumstances at the time, this could be the right time to do so, with the children all grown and flown the nest, and with more time on our hands. As Grandma Mary has shown us, age should not be an excuse for not learning a new skill.


Unknown said...

My name is Toh Chee Tiong and I am 59 years old.

Like to proudly inform that I took up scuba diving and climbed Mt Kinabalu at 55 years of age.

I continue to pursue these two adventures besides other sports.

Mind willing, all is possible!

Unknown said...

Hi, I learn scuba diving and climbed Mt Kinabalu at the age of 55 years old. I am now 59 and continue to pursue these two adventure sports besides other sports exercises.

Mind willing, keep body on exercise routines, all is possible.

Toh Chee Tiong

seniorsaloud said...

Hi, Chee Tiong, thanks for the comment. You are an inspiring role model too to older adults who baulk at learning new skills because of their age. Perhaps you would like to email us a picture of yourself in your scuba diving gear to share on Seniorsaloud blog or Facebook?

foodbin said...

I like The Quests version of Every Mother Son "Come on down to my boat"