Day By Day: 1936

Thursday, March 19th: Paulette’s first rickshaw ride

Paulette & Charlie on the rickshaws

Accompanied by Charlie, her mother, Alta, and Chaplin’s valet/secretary, Frank Yonemori, Paulette took her first rickshaw (or ricksha) ride through the Chinatown section of Singapore.

The following description of the ride from the Singapore Free Press is filled with the usual speculation about the Chaplin/Goddard marriage:

Paulette was fascinated with the rickshas. As her puller carried her a few paces, she cried out excitedly to Charlie, who laughed back a reply. 

 The party went down North Bridge Road and many who saw it wondered–was it making its way to the Office of the Registrar of Marriages, not a quarter of a mile away?

The curious followed them. 

They were disappointed. But the rickshas turned down Upper Nankin Street which runs by the Registrar’s office. 

The pullers’ trot developed into a slow walk—but it was only because Paulette Goddard was anxious to have a closer look at the Chinese houses. 

As usual, Charlie removes his glasses before being photographed. 

 As the rickshas turned into New Bridge Road, Paulette reached out a hand to Charlie, whose vehicle was alongside. She was trying to shake hands, but the vehicles were too far apart. 

Was there any significance in this action? The rickshas had already passed the Registrar’s office.1 

Charlie (2nd from right), Alta, Paulette, and Frank on the rickshas

Earlier in the day, Paulette was asked in an interview with the Straits Times, if she had been wearing a wedding ring on her arrival in Singapore the previous day. She replied: “Oh, yes, I might have been.”

“Does that mean you are married to Mr. Chaplin?” she was asked. 

“I cannot say. I never discuss my private affairs…I have my career to think of.”

The article noted that Paulette was wearing “on her engagement finger” a large turquoise platinum ring.2

That afternoon Charlie and Paulette attended a luncheon party, along with Singapore showmen, Joe and Julius Fisher, in the Tiffin Room of the Raffles Hotel.

Raffles luncheon. L-R: Mrs. Julius Fisher, CC, Paulette, Joe Fisher, Alta, Julius Fisher.

Tomorrow on Day By Day:1936: Charlie visits the Singapore Reformatory.

1Singapore Free Press, March 20th, 1936
2Straits Times, March 19th, 1936

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