Taiping Clubs

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With the growth of the European community in Taiping and other immigrants such as Chinese, Indians, Arabians and Indonesians, the demand for sport and recreation clubs. These are the clubs that were established during the 1880s.


Perak Club (Old Club)[edit]

The Perak Club was the premier social institution of Taiping and was the senior club in the Malay States. Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker was in large measure responsible for its formation and development in 1881.[1] Among the early patrons were Sir Hugh Low, formerly British Resident of Perak, Mr. William Edward Maxwell, Assistant Resident, and Major Paul Swinburne. The capacious club-house was erected by the Government, and is still kept in repair by the Public Works Department. In front of the building is a playing-field, which is used for cricket, football, hockey, and tennis. The athletics section of the club is known as the Cricket and Recreation Club, and is the leading sporting club of the Federated Malay States. It arranged the first inter-State matches in Malaya. Many European residents of Larut, Matang, Krian, and Upper Perak are members of the club, and as is usual with most Federated Malay States clubs, ladies are admitted to its privileges gratis.

The New Club[edit]

The leading social institution in the capital of Perak is the New Club, formed in 1892. the chief promoters of it were the late Dr. Shepherd and Messrs. Lefroy, Mais, Gray, and Aylesbury. During the first year of its existence the club house was sold to the Sultan of Perak, and the present structure, built on a site granted by the Perak Government and H.M. Sultan Sir Idris Shah from plans prepared by Mr. Lefroy in 1893, was opened in the following year. The building scheme was financed by the issue of debentures to the value of 10,000 dollars, nearly the whole of which has now been paid off. The clubhouse overlooks the cricket and football grounds, and affords a magnificent view of the Taiping Hills. It contains reading billiard and card rooms, a large dining room, and five residential chambers. To the rear of the club building there is a croquet ground. The Taiping Golf Club has its headquarters in the New Club house. The membership numbers 270.

List of New Club's Presidents

1894 - 1898 H.A.W. Aylesbury

1898 - 1900 A.R. Venning

1901 - 1902 F.St. G. Caulfeild

1903 - 1907 Colonel R.S.F. Walker

1908 - 1909 H.C.N. Barnard

1909 - 1910 Sir E.W. Birch

1910 - 1911 B.C.N. Knight

1911 - 1912 Lt. Col. W.P. Hume

1912 - 1913 W.H. Tate

1913 - 1914 D.S.C.G. Fox

1914 - 1915 R.G. Watson

1915 - 1916 T.C. Fleming

1916 - 1918 R.G. Watson

1918 - 1919 V. Hill

1919 - 1920 C.W.H. Cochrane

1920 - 1921 W.A. Wilkinson

1921 - 1922 J.N. Sheffield

1922 - 1923 F.W. Mager

1923 - 1924 D.G.B. McHutchison

1924 - 1926 T.S. Adams

1926 - 1927 H.G. Baxter

1927 - 1928 L.C. Pearson

1928 - 1929 Major W.A.D. Edwardes

1929 - 1930 S.B. Palmer

1930 - 1931 J.N. Sheffield

1931 - 1935 S.B. Palmer

1935 - 1936 E.T. Jacques

1936 - 1939 S.B. Palmer

1939 - 1940 H.L.H. Tate

1940 - 1941 S.B. Palmer

1940 - 1945 (World War II)

1945 - 1946 C.N. Wood

1946 - O.T. Lovett

Perak Turf Club[edit]

The Perak Turf Club was established in 1884; it was the first exclusive turf club ever built in Perak. The establishment of the Perak Turf Club at Taiping was the idea of Sir Frank Swettenham, who was passionate about horse racing. The new race course was located at Waterfall Road, later changed to Race Course Road, near the Lake Gardens. It held ordinary racing in the Federated Malay States—the major tournaments held at Penang, Selangor or Singapore. In 1906, it had a membership of about 250. The present course is at Waterfall Road, Taiping, which is 7 furlongs in length. There was an old course, situated about three miles away from Taiping, at which the current races were then run. In 1886, Burma ponies provided most of the racing and the meetings were primarily social functions. The turf club was the only club that attracted people of all classes, especially the Chinese, to mingle around, because of the sweepstakes and lotteries, as they preferred to gamble as their favourite pastime. Sir E.W. Birch, a racing enthusiast, would travel to distant Turf Clubs just to join the major tournament, and was crucial to developing racing interest in the area.[citation needed] In 1934, when the importance of Taiping had declined below that of Ipoh, the club was shifted to Ipoh, still bearing the same name.

Taiping Swimming Club[edit]

The club was formed in 1914 and shared a building with the New Club. At the beginning, the club’s activities were carried out at the waterfall site near the foothill of Maxwell Hill. However, in 1929, a swimming pool was built near the Maxwell Hill to accommodate the growth in membership.

Perak Golf Club[edit]

The Perak Golf Club was established in 1894 and housed at the New Club buildings. The golf club claimed the first golf club formed in Federated Malay States. This nine-hole golf course was reserved exclusively for New Club members. The golf field was originally located near the Taiping Goal.

Ladies’ Rifle Association[edit]

It is not surprising that in a country like the Federated Malay States, where shooting is one of the most popular sports, ladies should share the enthusiasm for it. The Ladies' Rifle Association was formed in 1903.

Taiping Sikh Club[edit]

Taiping Recreation Club[edit]

Istana Club[edit]

Muslim Club[edit]

Perak Rifle Association (gentlemen)[edit]

Chinese Recreation Club[edit]


  1. ^ Wright, Arnold (1989 (Originally published 1908)). "Twentieth Century Impressions Of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources" (PDF). Singapore: Graham Brash (Pte.) Ltd. p. 584. Retrieved 1 March 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Swettenham, Sir Frank, British Malaya: An Account of the Origin and Progress of British Influence in Malaya, London, (1955)
  • Wright, Arnold, Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya, London (1908)
  • Keane, Augustus Henry, A Geography of the Malay Peninsula, Indo-China, the Eastern Archipelago, the Philippines, and New Guinea (1892)
  • Harrison, C.W., An Illustrated Guide to the Federated Malay States (1910)
  • Smith, D. Warres, European Settlements in the Far East (1900)
  • Japan. Tetsud-osh-o, An official guide to eastern Asia v.5 1920
  • Federated Malay States Railways Pamphlet (1914)
  • Eugene Khoo, 2007 A History of Taiping, Malaysia