By Aidil Teper
As we approach closer to the Club’s 110th Anniversary, we want to highlight our amazing members who have faithfully been with us for over 15 years. For those of you who don’t know Mr. Patrick Tan, he has been a Club member since 1973! We would like to thank him for showing his continued support, enthusiasm, dedication and passion for our Club. Here’s to creating many more fun and happy memories.
How does it feel to be one of the oldest members of the Hollandse Club?
Being one of the oldest members of the Hollandse Club is a great feeling. I joined the club back in 1973 when I was working as an Accountant. I even have the original membership card until today.
Why did you join the Hollandse Club?
I have a lot of fond memories of the Club. Back then, it was commonly known as the Dutch Club. A good friend of mine was doing business with a Dutch businessman. I got to know more about the club through our casual conversation. He introduced me to this Dutchman, a club member, and convinced me to sign up the membership form. I am staying at Upper Thomson Road, which is 10 minutes away from the club and it’s very convenient for me to come here.
I enjoy being part of the environment at the Hollandse Club. Everyone here is very friendly and we say hello whenever we see each other. It’s truly a family club! When I bring my family here, they will swim in the pool and we will sit down together for a meal after that. Later on, I served as a Food and-Beverage (F&B) Committee Member of the club to share my knowledge and expertise. I had given up Accounting and went into the F&B business in 1979.
Describe to us what was the Hollandse Club like back when you first joined?
Back when I first joined the Hollandse Club, I had just gotten married and wanted my family to use the excellent facilities. I spent a lot of time at the bar, which was different back then. There were jackpot machines and a snooker table. Actually, the bar was smaller compared to now, about half the size of the current Tradewinds Bar and it was closer to the Reception.
One of my fondest memories of the bar was during the 1974 World Cup Finals between the Netherlands and West Germany. During that time, there were not many television sets in Singapore that displayed colour and the Dutch Club had the privilege of being one of the clubs that provided that. Black-and-white television sets were mainly sold in Singapore, so it was impressive to watch the World Cup Finals in colour for the first time.
Needless to say, the bar was packed to the brim because everyone wanted to be part of this experience. It was a great atmosphere to be a part of. Despite the fact that the Netherlands lost the match 2-1 to West Germany, everyone still enjoyed watching the World Cup Finals on a colour television.
Tell us about the many friends that you have made at the Hollandse Club.
I have made many friends during my time at the Hollandse Club. I know some of them even before they became members. When I first
joined, the members were mostly Dutch, but other nationalities from Europe and Australia started joining later on.
I am a very sociable person and I tend to talk to everyone in the club. Even if I didn’t know all the members’ names in the club, I would still recognise their faces. I will normally smile and wave at them. Sometimes I would bring my guests to the bar to socialise and they too would become friends with the other club members. It’s very easy for everyone to make friends here and I quite enjoy it.
How has the Hollandse Club grown over the years?
The Hollandse Club has expanded so much since the time I joined. It was much smaller back then, but now so many things have changed. The club used to have a fine-dining restaurant called Juliana’s. I used to patronise it very often when I had meetings with my business associates. Other changes include the squash courts which was added later on. I quite like the hospitality rooms that the Hollandse Club has, which is a great addition. These rooms help to cater to the large number of members who are expatriates, especially when they have family and friends coming over to visit. Of course, it brings in revenue for the club as well.
Looking back, did you ever imagine that you would become one of the oldest member of the Hollandse Club?
To be one of the oldest member in the Hollandse Club is truly an honour. I am one of those people who faithfully commit to everything that I do. I really love this club and am proud to be its member. Seeing it grow into what it has become today is all part of the changing times.