The New Club Taiping is a historical building, event venue, restaurant, bar, inn, and sports and recreational venue, all in one. Some might classify it as a holiday resort or a hotel, but it is foremost a social club, and has existed since 1892. It is a membership-based club, but some areas are open to the public. Admission fees are charged to use some facilities at the club for non-members.
- Bar & Beer Garden
- Billiard Room
- Residential Chambers (i.e. Guest Rooms)
- Conference Room
- Dart Room
- Swimming Pool & Jacuzzi
- Mahjong / Game Room
- Squash Court
- Tennis Court
History of the New Club, Taiping
The New Club was originally a social club founded in 1885. In 1890, the existing Perak Club disenfranchised some members when the British Resident Sir Hugh Low decided to limit membership to the Perak Club only to senior officers and miners. This irked members from other trades and some senior members of the Perak Club, who left and formed the New Club in 1892. The New Club’s membership was open to government officers, farmers, miners, and foreign businessmen. It quickly became a focal point of social interaction in Taiping as it accepted a wider membership. A plot of land was granted to the New Club by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Shah in perpetuity, as long as the name “New Club” is retained. A golf course and the original building of the clubhouse was designed by G.A. Lefroy (who also designed many other notable buildings in Taiping) and when completed in 1894 at a cost of $10,000 consisted of a reading room, billiard room, card room, a large dining room, five residential chambers, and a croquet pitch. The site of this building was on an elevated plain overlooking the Esplanade. Across the Esplanade was the clubhouse of the Perak Club. A friendly rivalry started between the New Club and the Perak Club members, which was often played out on the Esplanade, the field separating the New Club and Perak Club buildings. The main sporting activity of New Club members was golf.
The New Club is credited as having the first golf club in the Malay States as well as having the first golf course, and the second in Southeast Asia. The oldest golf club and golf course in Southeast Asia was the Jakarta Golf Club. The “Perak Golf Club” was the only golf club in Malaysia with direct affiliation to the The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland. The golf course was closed in 1992. Though no longer operational, plans are afoot to convert the golf club in a golf museum.
Both the Perak Club and New Club were exclusively patronised by the British until the late 1940s.
During World War II, the club temporarily ceased operations, and reopened on 20 November 1945, now under the administration of the Indian Gymkhana Club. (The Indian Gymkhana Club was a social club formed by government officers and workers of the British Raj in India in 1916).
The New Club is stop number 32 on the Taiping Heritage Trail. It is definitely one of the better places to stay in Taiping when on a holiday.
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