Originally a sports and social club for British people living in Ipoh when it was a British colony, the Royal Ipoh Club is now a private club under the patronage of the Sultan of Perak, which is the reason they use the term ‘Royal’ in the name.
The Royal Ipoh Club is located near Ipoh’s Court House in front the town’s ‘Padang’, which is a large open space, where they still play cricket and other sports as well as hold occasional local events.
About the Royal Ipoh Club
The Ipoh Club began at some point in the 1890s, with the year of 1895 the now accepted date as the club itself admits that there is a degree of uncertainty about the exact date. The reason for the uncertainty is the club evolved out of a group of British ex-pats who used to meet up regularly to eat and drink in the back room of Oldfield’s Medicine Dispensary. The black and white club house in which the Royal Ipoh Club is now housed was built a bit later in 1898 paid for by local contributions.
The Club has undergone some transformations over the 120 plus years it has been in operation. For the first 48 years the Royal Ipoh Club had only one non-European member, which was the then Sultan of Perak. This exclusivity came to an abrupt end, although as it turned out a temporary one, when Japanese Forces captured Ipoh on the 26th December 1941. The Japanese stayed until the entire 25th Army surrendered on the 13th September 1945. The Japanese used the club building as a laundry facility and made local government administrators gather every morning in the field outside the club to bow in allegiance to their Japanese masters. The next big change came after Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957 and the club gradually started admitting Malaysian members.
The Royal Ipoh Club is now a private member’s social club with a range of facilities including function rooms, pool, restaurant, the famous ‘long bar’, gym and games room. To join you need to fill out an application form and have two current members propose you for membership. After that the members as a whole get to vote as whether the person wishing to join the club may do so. Certain important local people, like resident Judges, District Officer, members of the royal family, and the commander of the local army unit are, under the terms of the club’s constitution, automatically granted membership. This is an exclusive club and not just anyone can join, which is probably one of the most appealing aspects of membership.
Location of the Royal Ipoh Club
- The Royal Ipoh Club is located at Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, 38000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia.