Sunday, April 26, 2009

District 51: Origin of Toastmasters Clubs since 1954

Toastmasters International officially started on Oct 22, 1924. When did Toastmasters Club first arrived in Southeast Asia...

Not surprising, most Toastmasters Clubs were started by expatriates from USA, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Like other Toastmasters Clubs, some of these early clubs were running for a few years and then discontinued. Others restarted while the "oldest clubs" listed below continued non-stop from day one to the present.

District 75 (Philippines) had been in existence long before District 51 was given full District status in 1996. District 51 reached her peak in geographic size when District 51 covered clubs from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Brunei. To date, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau are now in another district - District 80.

HONG KONG since 1954
According to "The Story of The Hong Kong Toastmasters Club 1954-2004" by Bernad Yue, a Scottish gentleman Adam Aitken at American International Assurance (HK) Ltd who was a Toastmaster at High Noon Hoon Toastmasters Club, New York City had helped to start the Hong Kong Toastmasters Club(Club 1364) in December 1954 with his fellow Jaycees members.

THAILAND since 1955
I attended Bangkok Toastmasters 50th anniversary celebration in Bangkok, Thailand at the invitation of Paisal Sae Lor. Bangkok Toastmasters (Club 2010) was started in December 1955.

SINGAPORE since 1967
The "oldest club" in Singapore is Toastmasters Club of Singapore (Club No. 357) was chartered in October 1967. The "second oldest club" in Singapore is the Lion City Toastmasters Club (Club No. 2086) which was formed earlier and then charted again in February 1977.

INDONESIA since 1979
It is not surprising the "earliest club" in Indonesia is in Jakarta. Jakarta Toastmasters (Club 4067) was chartered in Dec 1979.

MALAYSIA since 1978
The "oldest club" in Malaysia is the Toastmasters International Kuala Lumpur (Club 1997) was chartered on July 1978. I had the opportunity of meeting one of the "founders" of this first club, a Mr. Sheppard from New Zealand during the Division C International Speech Contest in Kuala Lumpur.

It was the "folks" from "TI KL" who helped chartered the Butterworth Toastmasters (Club 4388) in October 1980.

Members of Butterworth Toastmasters in turn helped to charter YMCA Penang (Club 5955) in August 1985.

In turn YMCA Penang was instrumental in the chartering of PDC Toastmasters (Club 7371) in April 1989.

Bayan Baru Toastmasters (Club 7764) was chartered on Feb 1996 with PDC as the sponsoring Club.

Later, Bayan Baru members helped to sponsor Bayan Baru Mandarin (Club 7050) in Jun 1988, Penang Seagate (Club 6843) in Mar 2002, Farlim (Club 811512) in Jun 2005.

And the story continues....

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