Ipoh Royal Club building was built in strategically located which was on top of a medium-high hill facing beautiful panoramas like Titiwangsa Ranges, Ipoh Padang and historical buildings in Old Town of Ipoh. The interesting of the building had two level storey that was a reading room called Nazrin Shah’s Library that kept various treasures of old books, magazines and photos that rare to find wherever.
The records of when it was established were lost during the Japanese Occupation, but it is believed that the Royal Ipoh Club was founded earlier than 1895. It was this premier institution that gave the name to one of the main roads in Ipoh, Club Road.
Located at Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab (formerly called Club Road after the club) and opposite Tun Razak Library, the Royal Ipoh Club was founded in 1895 by a group of Europeans based in Ipoh then. It is the oldest social club in Ipoh. During the Japanese Occupation, it was used by the Japanese Army as a laundry house for officers based at neighbouring St. Michael’s Institution. Today, the Royal Ipoh Club remains a private club with access to members only and their guests. However, the Royal Ipoh Club also offers seven 3-star rooms for travellers, like a hotel. These rooms are also available to non-members.
On the east side Ipoh Royal Club building is the Padang Ipoh (Ipoh field), a seven and a half acre of manicured lawn. The Padang Ipoh is a recreational space for football, cricket, tennis and croquet. It was created through donation from the Chinese community in 1898, in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
1895; 123 years ago
Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang, 38000 Ipoh, Perak
Italian Renaissance style
Take A Street view Tour.
Available, but limited. Alternative car Park along Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang/ Accross main road
Its white-and-black clubhouse is one of the old landmarks overlooking the Ipoh Padang (Field), 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 a 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.
The Royal Ipoh Club is now 123 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. 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 therefore 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).
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.
The first building for the club was put up in 1893 at the junction of Hugh Low Street and Club Road and described at the time as ‘an attap and timber affair’. Because of its drab and less than imposing appearance the Club was called by its members ‘The Dun Cow’, Dun meaning grayish brown, but the name never really stuck.
External Links & Reference
- Ipoh Royal Club’s Website. “Royal Ipoh Club Official Website”
- Ipoh World website “The First Ipoh Club Buildings, Mr A Oldfield And The Club’s History” – June 26, 2007
- Timothy Tye “Royal Ipoh Club, Ipoh, Perak”
- Ipoh Echo “Long-Bar Upgrade” October 1, 2012