Resident historian of Raffles Hotel Singapore, the much-loved Leslie Danker, is its longest-serving employee and this year marks his 44th year with the co-production of 12 short videos on different aspects of Raffles Singapore’s past, collectively titled The Raffles Stories.
Danker joined Raffles Singapore in 1972 as a maintenance supervisor, and later rose through the ranks to oversee the property’s restoration in 1989, after which he took on roles including Chief Information Officer and Guest Relations Manager. Today, as the Resident Historian, he is a walking encyclopaedia on the hotel, continually researching its role in Singapore history, and conducting tours for guests. Quiz him on any aspect of the hotel and he will always be brimming over with information.
It was therefore apt that The Raffles Stories series be created, featuring him as the narrator sharing 12 of his favourite anecdotes about the hotel’s history. The first video will debut on social media platforms on 7th April 2016 and the remainder will be uploaded over five weeks. Get to know the iconic Raffles doormen, hear about how Cad’s Alley was a vantage point for the gentlemen to watch the ladies go by, and find out more about Michael Jackson’s unique stay and his special visitor when he stayed in 1993.
In addition to Danker’s narration, each of the 90-second long Raffles Stories will feature archival photographs and videos. All these are complemented by a fun and light-hearted soundtrack that sets the tone and recalls the Jazz Age of the Roaring 1920s.
“When I first joined Raffles Singapore in 1972, I never imagined I would stay for 44 years,” admitted Danker. “But I have and it has been a vastly rewarding experience. I hope audiences will enjoy The Raffles Stories that I helped put together. The hotel opened its doors almost 130 years ago and has collected countless anecdotes, so it was challenging to select 12 of my favourite to share. But choose I did and now, I invite you to join me in turning the page and revisiting these precious memories created within its walls.”
Discover The Raffles Stories on the Raffles Hotel Singapore Facebook page and YouTube channel, where two videos will be uploaded every week. Alternatively, visit www.campaign.sg/
It does not end there. Follow The Raffles Stories, correctly answer the questions at the end of all the 12 videos and earn 12 chances of winning a grand prize. Then, share each of the videos to “unlock” a bonus question; answer all 12 correctly and double your chances of winning that grand prize.
The aforementioned grand prize is The Raffles Experience package worth S$1,260++ (AUD1,230++)*. It comprises a one-night stay at Raffles Singapore in a Personality Suite and has an itinerary specially designed to showcase the hotel. Included is an exclusive one-hour tour with Danker, a demonstration on how to create the world famous Singapore Sling, and a three-course Set Lunch at Raffles Grill.
The Raffles Experience suite package is also available to book for those who are keen to experience The Raffles Stories in person. Valid from 1 March to 31 December 2016, it offers the opportunity to stay in one of Raffles Singapore’s 12 exclusive Personality Suites. Each of them are named after an esteemed guest who has resided in the hotel, such as Ava Gardner, Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and John Wayne.
“As Leslie, our treasured and unique Resident Historian, marks this impressive and major milestone in his career, it is a perfect time to launch The Raffles Stories. His contribution to the preservation of the history of Raffles Singapore has been invaluable and we all thank him very sincerely for his 44 years of service with us,” said Simon Hirst, General Manager, Raffles Hotel Singapore.
“The Raffles Stories is as much about a historian sharing his great passion for this national monument, on which he is a true expert, as it is about the hotel showcasing a selection of its countless tales and yarns – some amusing, some almost unbelievable, some cheeky. As many of these were previously only available in print, we therefore thought to use social media to present The Raffles Stories in a modern manner. This way, they can be shared with the world and let the Raffles story continue.”
* based on exchange rate at time of print, subject to change