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How It all Began

Looking back the memory lane is always pleasant, as long as one has a sense of proportion and a great sense of humour, especially in laughing at oneself.

Little Joe, who had all the markings of a future Rotarian, asked his father Rotarian PP Lim, 'Dad, Is it true what brother John says? Does the Four Way Test tell us about how to make babies?'

PP Lim replied thoughtfully, bringing together years of Rotary wisdom, 'Son, the Truth is that you are too young to make babies. It is however fair that you understand how they are made. Babies are born out of what a man and woman assume will lead to Good Will and Better Friendship, though most often the results are quite contrary, and they end up asking uncomfortable questions like you and your brother do. Therefore, whether there is at all a beneficial effect to making babies is quite doubtful.'

Rotary Club of Raffles City (RCRC), in retrospect was a divinely ordained name. Back in 1980 when RCRC was formed there was no Raffles city complex, which has now become a landmark. Weekly meetings were initially held in Raffles Hotel. Then RC Raffles City met in its eponymous building, and now meets opposite that building at the Marina Mandarin Hotel.

RCRC was formed on the Platinum anniversary of Rotary International and the golden anniversary of Singapore's first Rotary Club, RC Singapore. By then there were already five other Rotary Clubs in town and RCRC was the sixth.

RCRC was sponsored by RC Singapore under President Philbert Chin. It was formed under the initiative of PP Leow Jwee Meng with 32 charter members. RCRC was admitted into RI on 13 August 1980 and was registered as a society on 20 August 1980.

Childhood Years

Back in October 1990 Vincent Chen wrote the first ten years of RCRC in great fashion, and it would be a crime to redo this. Here is a very brief rewrite of the original.

Community Service

In line with the RI charter RCRC has been very active in serving the community around us. The following is a listing of the major projects in each year for the first ten years.

In 1980 RCRC donated an ambulance to the Handicaps Welfare Association and ten 'row cars' to paraplegics. In 1981 RCRC funded St. John's Ambulance Association in showing first aid films to all secondary schools. In 1982 RCRC contributed about S$44,000 to a joint fund raised money for the Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens and hosted a dinner for its 150 residents. In 1984 RCRC helped Sisters of the Good Shepherd set up the Marian Centre for young girls requiring supervision. In 1985 RCRC donated equipment to Spastic Children's Association and Hiding Place, home for de-addiction. In 1986 RCRC contributed to Haemophilia Society, and in 1987 to the Samaritans of Singapore. In 1988 RCRC assisted Sunlove Nursing Home with funds, and in 1989 assisted on projects focussed on Dyslexia.

International Service

RCRC funded typhoon victims in Philippines, earthquake victims in Mexico, eye hospitals in Malaysia and India, and participated in the First Earth Run in 1986.

RCRC linked with RC Nagoya-Meihoku, Japan as well as St Georges, Australia.

Youth Service

Two Interact clubs, Siglap Secondary in 1982 and River Valley High in 1989 were formed to introduce the Rotary concept to young people.

Vocational Service

Employment opportunities for physically handicapped, donations of computers to such individuals, career talks to students, and professional talks in community centres were amongst the major activities.


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