The Royal Ipoh Club is now 121 years old. It may have been established much earlier than 1895 but records of its history were lost during the Japanese Occupation during World War 2.
The premises was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as a laundry house for the officers living at the nearby St. Michael’s Institution. It is claimed that even the Club’s pride, the original “Long Bar” was used as fuel for the laundry.
However, the age of the Royal Ipoh Club was fixed by its Management Committee in 1976, attempts were made to pin-point the date of the Club came into existence. Reference was made to a local historian, the late Datuk Chebalier J.F. Augustine, a Penang Eurasian who resided and taught for many years in Kedah. The nearest date this gentleman could come up with was 1895 and this has had to be accepted in the absence of more precise and authentic information. According to earlier records, it would appear that a Club to serve the needs of the early expats in and around Ipoh was first mooted and subsequently acted upon by a ‘group’ who used to meet regularly in a back-room at Oldfields Dispensary Ltd. on Station Road where they imbibed elevenses and Johnny Walker to restore their flagging energies. Credit must therefeore go to chemist, Oldfield and this group for starting up the Ipoh Club which was first sited in a plank building at the junction of Club Road and Hugh Low Street (now Jalan Sultan Iskandar).
Its white-and-black clubhouse is one of the old landmarks overlooking the Ipoh Padang, which was set up with contributions from the public in 1898 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Coronation. The building has since been aptly declared as one of the heritage buildings in the city.
The ruling British selfishly kept the Club membership completely for the “Whites” as in their colonies. The very first Malaysian to be invited to use the Club was of course the then Sultan of Perak. It was only after the country attained independence in 1957, more and more Malaysians were gradually admitted as members. The first Malaysian to become member of the Club was Eu Tong Sen, a tin miner. Eu was also the donor of the present “Long Bar”, which was cut from a single tree. Subsequently, the first Asian was elected as President of the Club in 1959. He was Mr. Lim Chen Chuan. It marked the beginning of the new era of the Royal Ipoh Club with Malaysians taking over the helm of the once colonial preserve.
Now the Club, which has the Sultan of Perak, D.Y.M.M. PADUKA SERI SULTAN PERAK DARUL RIDZUAN SULTAN NAZRIN MUIZZUDDIN SHAH IBNI ALMARHUM SULTAN AZLAN MUHIBBUDDIN SHAH AL-MAGHFUR-LAH as its Royal Patron, can be a pride of all members irrespective of race and religion. There is no longer any discrimination against anyone. It is also undoubtedly the most suitable social club in the city, where people of various walks of life can integrate. It is conveniently located in the Old Town Sector and provides various facilities for good clubbing. As such, it has become a focal point of most social and sports’ activities in the city.
Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab,
P.O. Box 3, 30000, Ipoh
Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
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