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Ipoh Gymkhana Club - A Brief History And A Membership Badge
A small (3.5cm diameter) badge made from a composite (Bakelite/plastic) material. This was the Members badge strung to a lapel or binoculars case on race days in 1923 for recognition at the gate to the Members Enclosure.
By Kinta`s standards, the Ipoh Race Course was founded rather late. The Gopeng Gymkhana Club was founded in the late 1880`s, the Kinta Gymkhana Club at Batu Gajah was founded in 1890, but it was only in 1903 that Eric Maxwell, the well-known lawyer, put up a notice at the Ipoh Club calling for a public meeting to discuss the formation of the Ipoh Gymkhana Club. At the meeting of about 20 people it was agreed to form the club and that $10,000 was needed to start it.
At a second meeting in March 1904, Eric Maxwell was elected the first President of the Club and the first gymkhana meeting was scheduled for July 1904. It was decided to import fifteen griffins (untried racing ponies) at $180 each for the meeting.
The first gymkhana meeting was held on 23 July 1904 on the new race course, which everybody agreed was most prettily situated and bid fair to become the most popular in the State. All of Ipoh and his neighbour were present, including a bevy of ladies. The Wayang Kassim band was in attendance. Champagne flowed freely. Although the weather was decidedly wet, it did not prevent those present from having a good time.
There were eight races for the day with the competition restricted to amateur riders, the Tambun Cup, presented by Leong Fee, the Hawa Cup (ETC Garland), the Hydraulic Cup (Messrs Osborne and Chappel), the Sungkai Cup (Federated Saw Mills Ltd), the Ulu Kinta Cup (Eric Maxwell), the Malaya Cup (Times of Malaya), Forest Lodge Cup (Chung Thye Phin) and the Kampar Cup (Eu Tong Sen). Each was worth $50. The racehorse owners had the chance to show off their winners, including Chung Thye Phin`s Blazes II, WP Hume`s Roseneath, Charles Alma Baker`s Fusee and Cheang Heang Thoy`s Fan Tan.
The Ipoh Gymkhana Club had started off brilliantly. The inaugural race meeting netted a profit of $1,100. Everybody was impressed by the race course, and before long Ipoh should become the racing centre of Perak. Above article extracted from an article by Dr Ho Tak Ming, published in the Ipoh Echo.
Today's Perak Turf Club, with headquarters at Ipoh, was formed in 1926.
To read more about Eric Maxwell, click here.
To read more about Chung Thye Phin click here.
To read more about Eu Tong Sen, click here.
To read more about Towkay Leong Fee, click here.
To read more about the Perak Turf Club, click here.