HISTORY OF THE SARAWAK CLUB
The Sarawak Club is situated atop one of the highest points in the heart of Kuching City along Jalan Taman Budaya (formerly known as Golf Links Road). It is situated right next to the Reservoir Park and the Museum Garden public facilities that form part of the green lung of the city. This site has been the home of The Sarawak Club since 1927.
The Club was first established in 1876 and is reputedly one of the oldest private membership clubs in the whole of Malaysia. It was set up to cater for the entertainment and recreational needs of the officers of the white Rajahs that ruled the state from 1841 to 1941.
The Sarawak Club was an exclusive domain of officers of the Brooke Regime and subsequently the British colonial masters until the 1950’s. Today, The Sarawak Club has a membership of more than 3,000 members which come from a cross section of Kuching City’s business, professional and civil service community.
The Sarawak Club represents the site of the coronation of the third white Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Vyner Brooke. It received the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, is the home of the first ever golf course in East Malaysia (established in the 1920s), and is up to this day the training ground of many squash and swimming State-level and national-level athletes. Indeed, The Sarawak Club was used by the Sarawak State Government to host the squash and tennis competitions for the Third SUKMA Games in 1990.
The Club has also had its share of tragedy, none fresher in memory than the fire in the early morning of 27 July 2006, where almost all of The Sarawak Club building was razed to the ground and destroyed most of the Club’s historical records, artifacts, memorabilia and trophies.
The Club was fully rebuilt within a year, thanks to the remarkable support from all Members. The centrepiece of The Sarawak Club, the Mainhall, was the site of the coronation of Rajah Charles Vyner Brooke and was part of the original clubhouse built on this site. Therefore, the Mainhall was treated as a heritage site and was restored almost entirely with the same material. In particular, Sarawak’s world-renowned and valuable belian timber continued to be used for its roofing truss, shingles and flooring. Red brick was also used for construction of the Main Hall walls.
Entry to The Sarawak Club membership is by invitation and introduction of existing members only.