Club History

The History of The Rotary Club of Malacca

Rotary International District 3310
How It all Began?

Founded – 8th July 1930

Chartered – 8th September 1930

Charter Number – 3367

Club Number – 16226

  • Rotary came to this part of the world in 1929-1930 when seven Rotary Clubs were organised in the Malay Peninsular and Siam region. The clubs included Penang (1929), Seremban (1929), Kuala Lumpur (1929), Ipoh (1929), Klang and Coast, (1930), later changed its name to Port Swettenham (now Klang), Singapore (1930) and Malacca (1930).
  • During this period the clubs in the region were “undistricted”. James Wheeler Davidson, also known to his friends as “Big Jim”, had organised a meeting with the Heads of State and the distinguish community leaders in Cairo, Egypt. The Rotary Club of Cairo was officially chartered with 22 members on 2nd Jan 1929. Jim with his wife Lillian and daughter, Marjory boarded a steamer to India, Ceylon, then to Burma, Malaya and Singapore. It was an exhausting journey through some inhospitable terrain. In Malacca, their speeding driver crashed the car, trapping them beneath the vehicle. Luckily, the local villagers rushed to rescue them (extracted from “A Century of Service by David C. Forward).
  • Tuesday, 8th July 1930 (Extracted from “The Illustrated Historical Guide To Melaka”, published by The Rotary Club of Malacca) will remain a memorable date in the annals of The Rotary Club of Malacca, as on that day Rotarian James Wheeler Davidson, ambassador of founder Paul Harris, instituted this club. The organised dinner attended by over 60 persons was presided by “Jim” Davidson at the Masonic Lodge, Koon Cheng Road, which still stands today. The gathering was remarkably represented by practically every community. The official charter date of The Rotary Club of Malacca is 8thSeptember 1930 confirmed by Rotary International.
  • The first office bearers were:

    President : Mr. D.A.E. Bell, J. P.
    Vice-President : Mr. Loh Kim Swee, J. P.
    Hon. Secretary : Mr. E.C. Martin, J .P.
    Hon. Treasurer : Mr. B. S Walton.
    Directors : A. S. Reddi, H. S. Russel, Raja Mohamed Noordin,
    Hon. Mr. Tan Cheng Lock, J. P. & Mr. H. E. Nixon.

  • The Hon. Resident Councillor, Mr. C.H.G. Clarke, presented the Charter numbered 3367 to the newly formed club on 6th December 1930 at a dinner in the Masonic Lodge where 39 members and guests were present. Congratulatory messages were received from Rotary Clubs of Seremban, Ipoh, and Singapore, Klang and Coast and Gravesend in Kent. The Chief Police Officer, Mr. A. H. Dickinson addressed the meeting on “The Paris Police Judicare”.
  • On 1st July 1931, the region was designated provisional district “B”. On 1st July 1935, French Indo-China was included and the region became District 80. The first District Governor (DG) was Prince Purachatra of Siam and our Club President was M.C.Shepherd. On 13th April 1936, Sarawak, Brunei and British North Borneo were included in District 80.
  • During the Second World War and the Japanese occupation of Malaya, membership of all Rotary Clubs were terminated and the District voided by Rotary International. Although this resulted in the official suspension of activities, the Club continued until 1942 under the Presidency of Tan Eng Chye. Club activities were finally suspended in 1942 and remained so until 1946 when, with suspension of hostilities, Tan Eng Chye attempted to revive the Club. On the 18th December 1946, all Rotary Clubs previously under District 80 were re-admitted and the District was officially re-established. The Club’s first President upon re-establishment was Tan Siew Sin.
  • In 1948-1949 all Rotary International Districts were re-numbered and District 80 became District 46 with the DG being Richard E. Holtum and our own Club President being Dr. R.H.Isaac. On 1st July 1957, another District re-numbering took place and District 46 became District 330 with the DG being Datuk Gun Lay Teik ( R C Kuala Lumpur) and our Club President Dr. A. X. Pakiam.
  • Under the Presidency of Rotarian Humfrey Ball in 1961, Rotary Club of Malacca sponsored the formation of Rotary Club of Tampin D 3300.
  • In the year 1963 – 1964, 3 Rotarians were vying for the post of District Governor in D 3300. Bhichai Ratakul from Rotary Club of Bangkok, one from Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur and PGMG Mahindasa, a former SFI teacher, from Rotary Club of Malacca. Bichai Rattakul was voted as District Governor.
  • In the Rotary year 1965-1966 under the Presidency of T.A.G. Menon, the Interact Clubs of St. David’s High School and the St. Francis Institution were formed and on 27th July 1969 under the Presidency of P.V. Jacob, The Rotaract Club of Malacca was formed.
  • President Charles K K Chua (1975-1976) organised the “Malam Anak Melaka” at Pay Fong High School and funds raised were put to good us for charitable purposes.
  • In the early 1980’s District 330 was split and the clubs in Thailand formed their own District leaving the Clubs in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei comprising District 330.
  • President Ron P’ng Beng Hoe (1980-1981) and his members organised a Fund Raising Project by holding a Premier Show of the Star Wars Movie raising RM8000.00. The Premier Show was graced by the Governor of Melaka and his consort. He also helped send a girl with bowel ailment from the Portuguese Settlement for a successful operation in Australia.
  • President A C Vohrah set up the Malacca Cancer Society in 1981, a Halfway House for Cancer patients going to Kuala Lumpur for further treatment of cancer.
  • In 1982 -1983, President Lim Jit Kim took over the Chair. A successful WALKATHON was organised to raise funds for Malacca Rotary Educational Charity Trust. A special Rotary award, the Paul Harris Fellow was bestowed on PP Lim Jit Kim, in recognition of his long service to the Club. He was also responsible for the formation and the “father” of the Rotary Club of Kota Melaka in 1984 and it was officially chartered on 2nd March 1985.
  • President Datuk Ang Kim Hai in 1987-1988 sent a boy from Machap Umboo, Melaka with a hole-in-the heart to Australia for an operation.
  • In 1988-1989 under the Presidency of M V Kumar, the club established the Malacca Rotary Youth Council to coordinate activities of its sponsored youth clubs and the first Interact Officers Leadership workshop was held in 1990-1991 during the Presidency of K. Ravindran. In 1990-1991 while Charles Chiam was President, the Interact Club of Methodist Girls Secondary School was formed. The second Interact Officers Leadership Training Camp was held again at Taman Rekreasi.
  • Funds raised during the previous year was used for building a Sick Bay Room at the Salvation Army Melaka and a Sound Proof Chamber for the Sekolah Pendidikan Khas at Durian Daun, Melaka under the helm of President Dr. Tan Cheng Hock.
  • On the 1st July 1991 with the number of clubs exceeding 90, District 330 was again split to form District 3300 comprising of clubs in Peninsula Malaysia except those in Johor and Malacca, and District 3310 comprising all clubs in East Malaysia, Singapore, Johor, Malacca and Brunei. The first DG of District 3310 was Robert C.K.Loh.
  • In 1992-1993 during the Presidency of K.R.Ramaswami, the first Outward Bound School for Youth Leadership Training Camp (IOLTC ’93) was held for incoming Interact leaders.
  • In the year 1993-1994, under President Albert T Y Goh, the Club was awarded honors at District and International level winning its first RI Presidential Citation for balanced club and the District best bulletin award.
  • President P Gunasilan held the fort (1994-1995) and raised funds through a joint project with Malacca Theatre Group, where a play was performed to an audience called, “No Sex Please, We’re British.”
  • The club continued to achieve awards and during the Presidency of Durshan K. Khanna (1995-1996) rose to even greater heights adding to the RI Presidential Citation and a second record winning of the best bulletin award, best district club service award, best district membership growth awards and missing out on the best youth service and attendance awards by the narrowest of margins.
  • On 8th August 1995, the Interact Club of Pay Fong High School was established. All five Interact Clubs sponsored by our Club have always performed well and competition for the coveted TYT Governor of Melaka Best Interact Club of the Year Trophy was most intense.
  • In 1994, in recognition of RI initiatives, the Club amended its constitution and bye-laws to allow, subject to establish application procedures for membership to be expanded to include all suitably qualified professionals and business persons irrespective of race, colour, creed, or gender.
  • Past Presidents of the club have served at District level in various capacities enhancing the prestige and efficiency of the Rotary District machinery and such service has been duly recognised by various District Governors.
  • The Club jointly hosted two District Assemblies in 1989 and 1996 and a Joint District Conference for District 3300 and 3310 in 1993.
  • Rotary extension was very much in the heart and mind of the Club and on 1st April 1961, it sponsored the Rotary Club of Tampin (now in District 3300). November 1984 saw the Rotary Club of Kota Melaka successfully sponsored leading to its charter in March 1985. Recently, three additional clubs were formed in Malacca namely, Rotary Club of A’ Famosa Malacca , Rotary Club of Kota Laksamana and Rotary Club of Tasik Utama.
  • Rotary Anns and Friends of Rotary at the expatriates club lent a hand by organising a Charity Dinner and some RM19,000 .00 was raised for the Cerebral Palsy children at the Salvation Army, Melaka during the Presidency of Diva Karan. An AIDS Awareness Forum & Exhibition was held conducted by Y Bhg. Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir,
    President of the Malaysian AIDS Council. It was also the year where the Club won the District Award for Highest Membership Growth and also won District Award for the Best Attendance.
  • In November 2001, the Club hosted the 5th District 3310 Conference. In the same year, the Machap Umboo Matching Grant Project was initiated by President Tiong Kian Boon.
  • In the year 2002, the Machap Umboo Orang Asli Matching Grant Project #19525 together with Australian Rotary Clubs finally took off under the good office of President Dr. Mohamad Suhaimi. The Project Book Chase was the donation of 20,000 volumes of Tertiary Level Books donated to the Melaka State Library valued at RM500,000.
  • The following Year 2003, the Club received the Presidential Citation Award and the District Governor Special Award for setting up the Rotary Village Corp. Wheelchairs were presented to the old folks at Dewan Hang Tuah and monetary donations to BISTARI on behalf of the Autistic children and to Livio Learning Centre to upgrade their school’s equipment during the Presidency of Rotarian V. Sivaraman.
  • In 2004, Infineon Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd donated a dozen computers for several deserve organisations.
  • In 2005, President Dr. Nor Izham Aziz initiated the Tebong Orang Asli Water Management Matching Grant Project #56176 which was successfully carried out. Rotary Clubs that matched with Rotary Club of Malacca were Rotary Club of Nastola and Rotary Club of Sysma, both from Finland, through the liaison Rotarian of PP Seppo Kangassalo, Rotary Club of Leicester De Montfort from England through the sister of PP John Gifford. The Presidential Citation Award was awarded to President Dr. Nor Izham Aziz and The Rotary Club of Malacca.
  • The 75th Anniversary Charity Dinner under the current President Rotarian Robin Chan Yin Mok was organised in Aid of AIDS Orphans and Educational Subsidies in September 2005. A PHF Medallion was presented to the Late PP Tan Eng Wah’s spouse, Annie Tan. The Rotary Club of Malacca hosted 15 Short Term Youth Exchangees from India sponsored by Gujarat D3060, Hyderabad D3050 and Madhya Pradesh D3010.
  • In 2006-2007, PP V. Sivaraman was again the President of The Rotary Club of Malacca. At his Installation Dinner, His Excellency, The Governor of Melaka, received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. The Club donated RM3,000 each to the Rotary Clubs of Kota Tinggi, Batu Pahat and Kluang for the flood victims. As for the flood victims in Melaka, Rtn Datuk Georg Schlumpf donated RM2,000. Sister Club, Rotary Club of Queenstown donated S$1,000 and expenses from Kempas Devon Estate contributed RM2,300.
  • PP A. Kalimuthu took over the helm again in 2008 – 2009. On 4th June 2009, the club witnessed the signing of the Sisterhood Agreement with the Rotary Club of Hundred Islands D3790, Philippines. The Malacca Rotary Educational Charity Trust donated school uniforms and shoes to three ethnic schools comprising of one Malay, Chinese and Tamil, worth RM8,580, to 90 poor needy students, at Japerun Machap Umboo, Melaka. Ms Kokilavani A/P Amirtha Kumar pursuing a 6 semester, Diploma in Executive Secretaryship at Stamford College Malacca, was given a study loan of RM15,600 sponsored jointly by Rotary Club of Benalla, Australia and The Rotary Club of Malacca. Interact Club of Kolej Yayasan Saad was officially chartered by Rotary International on 11th July 2008, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Malacca.
  • In 2009-2010, President Murphy Chan took office. Donation of furniture worth RM5,000 to the PediatricWard, General Hospital Melaka, comprising of 3 units of mobile TV and Video cabinets, 2 sets of settee for mothers to breast feed babies and 30 lazy chairs for parents/visitors when visiting patients. The Club donated medical equipment to assist Cerebral Palsy children at the Pusat Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti Seri Pengasih Durian Tunggal. The equipment consist of one standing frame, one parallel bar, ten gymnic balls and one wheel chair. The Club raised cash of RM1000 at a fellowship dinner at King & I Restaurant plus an anonymous Rotarian and his sons donated another RM4,000, making a total of RM5,000, equivalent to PHP67,717 was channeled to sister club, Rotary Club of Hundred Islands for the Typhoon Ketsana Flood Victims in the Philippines. Another RM6,000 equivalent to PHP83102.49 was donated by an anonymous Rotarian and his son to the Rotary Club of Hundred Islands for the flood victims in the Philippines. By passing the hat round at one of the weekly meetings, RM900 cash was raised and an anonymous Rotarian and his family donated another RM22,000 making a total of RM22,900 equivalent to USD 6723.03. This amount was sent to The Rotary Foundation Donor Advised Fund for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Secretary PP Charles Chiam and spouse Venetia attended the “Celebrate 80 Years of Rotary” at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, Singapore. Guest of Honour was Past Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul. A Study Loan of RM12,120 was approved to Ms Melissa Lim to do a 2 ½ year Executive Secretaryship Course at Stamford College Malacca. This is a joint project between Rotary Club of Benalla, Australia and The Rotary Club of Malacca. President Murphy Chan received the Presidential Citation Award.
  • President Jaya Kumar year of office (2010 – 2011) started off with the Fund raising Dinner & Dance, Performance by the Hale St Mary Concert Jazz Band at the Bunga Raya Ballroom, Renaissance Melaka Hotel. Organising Chairman Rtn Ian Goh and his Committee raised RM65,000 and proceeds were given to The Rotary Foundation to eradicate Polio, to AgapeCare for them to purchase a passenger van, to Sri RamaKrishnan Ashram and to the Jasin Orphanage for installing of furniture. On 8th September 2010, the 80th Anniversary Celebrations was held in Renaissance Melaka Hotel, and amongst the dignitaries were our sister club members from the Rotary Club of Queenstown, Singapore, the Rotary Club of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, and the Rotary Club of Hundred Islands, Philippines.
  • Rtn Cliff Choo Chee Chuan was the President 2011-2012. Interactors Syahin Niyaz Bin Samini and Muhammad Firdaus bin Mohd Nadari attended the International RYLA in Segamat, Johor. End Polio Now Campaign contribution by R C Malacca was RM16,311 or US$5,160 to The Rotary Foundation, Polio Plus Fund. 9 (Nine) Hospital Beds under Matching Grant were donated to the Cardiac Ward in General Hospital Melaka. R C Malacca members hosted the GSE Team D7390 from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Donation of Used Clothes to Orang Asli Village Bukit Putus.
  • Under the Presidency of PP A. Kalimuthu in 2012 -13, Rtn Dr. Robert Lampard from R C Calgary, Canada, spoke on the topic of the “Legendary Rotarian JAMES WHEELER DAVIDSON at the Masonic Lodge in Melaka. R C Malacca donated RM1000/- towards the Manila Flood Victims via D 3310. Sisterhood Agreement signed with R C Chiayi Ali-Shan, Taiwan. Present at the signing ceremony in Chiayi were PP Charles Chiam and Venetia and PP Ron Png and Mary. 2 Interactors from Interact Club of Kolej Yayasan Saad attended the RYLA 2013 at Kota Tinggi, Johor. R C Malacca participated with R C Queenstown (sister club) in a major project with R C Bogor D 3410, Indonesia, where 75 patients received cataract operations. R C Malacca chipped in S$2,000/ or RM5,289/-towards 4 patients. Donated 12 units of cupboards worth RM3,600/- to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sacret Heart , Melaka. PP Charles H Y Chiam received the Major Donor Level 1 Award. Donation of 99 sets of School Uniform, bags worth RM9,900/- to poor primary school students at Sek Ren Keb ( T ) Paya Rumput, Sek Keb Limbongan and Sek Ren Keb ( C ) Notre Dame.
  • In the year 2013 -14 Ian May was the President. Signature Project of R C Malacca – Donation of School Uniforms, bags, shoes etc worth RM10,000/- and donation of vitamins from Kotra Industries worth RM6,500/- to 3 ethnic schools namely, SJK ( C ) Shih Yen, SJK ( T ) Ladang Jasin Lalang and SK Chenderah.
  • 2014 – 15 President Kalimuthu was the President. PP Charles Chiam and spouse Venetia participated in the Rotary Friendship Exchange by visiting RI D 1200, England, U.K.. They were also hosted by Rtn Datuk Georg Schlumpf and spouse Ingrid in Switzerland. 7 Rotarian couples from D 1200 visited Melaka in November 2014. President Kalimuthu provided homestay to Rtn Guy Parkinson and Gill. PP Charles Chiam provided homestay to PDG Brian Murray & Marion. Rtn Sarita Gill was inducted into R C Malacca on 10 December 2014. In May 2015, PP Charles Chiam received “The Outstanding Rotarian District Award 2014 – 15 and R C Malacca won the Bronze Award for Project with Best Public Relations Content at the Rotary International District Conference in Kuching, Sarawak.
  • 2015 – 16 President Kalimuthu’s term continued after re-election. Induction of Ir. Kumar Shanmugam. 85th Anniversary Dinner organised by PP Ron Png and his team. Theme: 007. A very successful event. Signature Project – Donation of School Uniforms etcworth RM10,000/- to poor needy primary students in Sek Keb Othman Shawal, Kuala Sungai Baru, Sek Keb ( C ) Paya Mengkuang and Sek Keb ( T ) Ladang Sungai Baru. Vitamins were also given courtesy of Kotra Industries. Rotarian Ken Yeo Weng Keong was inducted on 02 January 2016. Rotarian Graham Brown joined R C Malacca on 13 January 2016. He was formerly from R C Beijing, China. PP Charles Chiam and Venetia, PP Diva Karan and Charlyn, PP A C Vohrah and Chee Lan, PP Robin Chan and Lily attended the 25th District Conference in Chiangmai, Thailand. Rtn Dr. Sam Goundar, formerly from R C Suva East and R C Lautoka joined R C Malacca. Fatemeh Saber and Murugentharan Ganesan were inducted as Rotarians in R C Malacca.
  • 2016 -17 – President Kalimuthu re-elected. Presented cheque of RM500/- to Livio Learning Centre. Mr. Teemu Laakkonen from the Embassy of Finland gave a talk on “CLEANTECH”. A Deepavali Fellowship Dinner was organized by PP Diva Karan at Ocean Palm Poolside, Klebang Besar. Donation of RM500/- to SPCA Melaka for their Charity Dinner. Spouse Venetia Chiam spoke on her trip to Ta’Xia, Hakka Village, China. At the 85th Installation Dinner, Renewal of Sisterhood Agreement between R C Kuching Central and R C Malacca for 3 years. Ms Karen Lai, Teacher Advisor of Interact Club of Kolej Yayasan Saad received the Best Interact Club Project Silver Award “Avoidable Blindness Project”. A Fund Raising Dinner was organized by PP Diva Karan in April 2017 raising RM29,638. This money will be channeled to purchase of School Uniforms worth RM10,000/- to poor needy primary school students namely, Sek Keb Klebang Besar, Sek Jen Keb ( C ) Lih Jen, and Sek Jen Keb ( T ) Bukit Lintang, Donation to The Rotary Foundation End Polio Fund of RM1,750/-, Donation of 17 pieces of Ukulele to poor students in Ta’Xia, Hakka Village, China woth RM 1270. This project was initiated by our sister club R C Queenstown. RM2,500/- has been allocated to SPCA Melaka for Pet Food, etc.
  • First Lady Rotarian Sarita Gill will be the President of R C Malacca come 1st July 2017.

Prepared by PP Charles H. Y. Chiam, BKT, PJK, PHF
Dated: 30th June 2017

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