JCSC's New Clubhouse

Johor MB cutting the ribbon at soft launch
 event of JCSC's new clubhouse on Oct 5
The Johor Cultural and Sports Club (JCSC) marked another milestone in its proud history when Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin officially declared the new clubhouse open in a soft launch event on October 5. Witnessed by JCSC President Dr N. G. Baskaran, club members and VIP guests, it was a significant start of a new chapter for the historical club as the first phase of the modern clubhouse was opened.  At the rebirth of JCSC in its new location, the club remains committed to continue as a multi-cultural club with regular contribution to the community in social, sports and cultural activities.

“JCSC has a proud heritage as the first sports club in Johor Baru and the birthplace of the earliest form of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) running club,” said Baskaran, as he reiterated the club’s deep gratitude to the Johor State Government for their generosity and support.  He said when JCSC was asked to relocate its clubhouse premises, former Johor Menteri Besar Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman and State government departments presented the club with a 2-acre piece of land along Jalan Larkin to build the new clubhouse.  Earthworks started in late 2011 and despite delays due to inclement weather, construction of the clubhouse was completed by early 2013 in a design by award-winning architects, Y. Architects.

Artist's impression of the completed new JCSC clubhouse
The lower deck of the new clubhouse is built into the pond
Designed with sports facilities for squash, badminton, tennis, swimming and gymnasium at a cost of RM5.2 million, these will come into operation in stages, starting with the meeting halls, a lounge and café.  The new clubhouse will be open to members and non-members who can look forward to enjoying facilities in two restaurants, a bar and karaoke lounge, swimming pools and indoor sports activities like table tennis, billiards and darts.  There will also be boating facilities and fishing activities in a natural pond located adjacent to the clubhouse.

Wall plaque with the list of JCSC presidents since 1956
has a new home at the clubhouse
Formed in early 1920, the JCSC was formerly known as the Johore Civil Service Club with members who were mainly British from the upper echelons of the civil service with only a few Malayan senior officers among them.  The only non-civil servants allowed to join as members were British and European planters and estate managers.  JCSC was then an all-male bastion for sports and social gatherings and was the premier club in the State of Johor up to the late 1960’s.

For 81 years, club members enjoyed social gatherings at their clubhouse and various sports like cricket, hockey and rugby in the adjoining playing fields of Sri Gelam sprawled across a 4-acre lot at No. 623 Jalan Kolonel Wilson.  With a restaurant that served a Western and local menu and a bar, the clubhouse was once the preferred place to dine and entertain guests.  In 1983 this once all-male bastion was open to ladies, allowing families to dine in the restaurant and join social gatherings in the clubhouse. 

Comfortable lounge seating in the clubhouse lobby
As the member composition of the club gradually evolved with the participation of fewer civil servants, the club was renamed Johor Cultural and Sports Club in 1984. 
The club was also renowned for tennis as players including student tennis trainees could practice and play on four clay courts, two grass courts and a semi-all-weather court.  These games continued until late 1993 when the club’s use of the tennis courts was revoked and Dataran Johor was erected in its place. 

The balcony in the front lobby overlooks a natural pond
To build the new clubhouse, Baskaran and club members worked hard to raise more than RM3.5 million to meet construction costs through various fund-raising activities, membership sale and the upgrading of memberships.  Baskaran acknowledged the generosity of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister and former Johor Menteri Besar, who awarded the club with a RM1 million grant in Dec 2011.  He was pleased that the DPM is aware of JCSC’s rich history and its affiliations with almost 100 clubs worldwide including the esteemed Naval & Military Club in London.

Guests at the soft launch event enjoyed a poolside buffet meal
Now with the base structure of the new clubhouse completed, Baskaran appealed for more funds that are required for the clubhouse décor as well as to pay outstanding accounts with the contractor and consultants.  Khaled commended the club for overcoming many difficulties to reach this status in their building project and to help them fulfill their commitment to completing the clubhouse and use its facilities to build up the community he announced that the State Government will provide a grant of RM1 million with half payable this year and the balance in the following year.  
In a similar spirit of goodwill, the club bestowed honorary memberships to Khaled and the State Exco members with an assurance that a special package will be arranged for civil servants to join the club, enjoy the facilities and revive the glorious days of JCSC.

The new JCSC clubhouse is located at Jalan Larkin, adjacent to the Johor Golf & Country Club. For more info and membership enquiries, Tel: 07 – 222 4442 and Fax: 07 – 222 4445.
A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 10 October 2013

1 comment:

  1. murugan nair10/11/2013

    Peggy you have been a great supporter of JCSC a good article indeed