Singapore is currently commemorating the anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival here two hundred years ago, and the Singapore Cricket Club is celebrating the milestone with all kinds of bicentennial themed events for club members and the public alike. Here are some of the highlights, but first a bit of history…
Blast from the past
SCC began as an elite sports and lifestyle club back in 1852, and has been witness to Singapore’s progress, triumphs and setbacks across the years. The conserved property is surrounded by prominent historic and modern buildings including Raffles Hotel, the National Gallery Singapore (the former City Hall and old Supreme Court, where the Japanese surrendered to the British in 1945), and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
The Padang has housed more than three clubhouse buildings; the first was built in the 1860s, the second in 1877, and the third pavilion, which forms the core of the present Clubhouse building, in 1884. It was extended in 1907, with the north and south wings added in 1922.
Cricket was played on the Padang as early as 1837, just 18 years after Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore. Beyond that, the green space has hosted other sports such as football, soccer, rugby and hockey from the 1880s.
In 1853, there were only 28 members of the club – mostly men working in the British business community as clerks and assistants. By the 1880s, numbers had grown to almost 400; having a membership at the SCC was seen as a mark of social status. While the member list rose as high as 878 by 1914, World War I affected the sporting scene in Singapore, with cricket suffering particularly badly. Then, when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, the club remained closed for the final years of World War II before reopening in 1945.
Fast forward to 2019
SCC and the Padang currently host a variety of field games, from cricket and hockey to tennis and netball. Games played include friendlies, inter-club matches, national leagues and international tournaments including the SCC International Hockey 6s and SCC International Rugby 7s. The club also utilises another field in Dempsey to accommodate its growing sporting calendar.
In addition to playing sport, Singapore Cricket Club members enjoy dining and social experiences; the Main Lounge is great for afternoon teas and after-work drinks at the long bar, Stumps is popular for live sports screenings, and The Oval & Verandah is known for local eats and pizza. And of course, The Padang Restaurant is a wonderful spot for a fine dining treat.
A Bicentennial Bash – 11 to 26 October
11 October: Wines from the Commonwealth Gourmet Dinner
The two weeks of celebrations kick off with an evening of wine appreciation at The Padang Restaurant, including delicious food by Chef Eric Teo. Tickets: $108 for members; $128 for guests
18 October: The Peranakan Fiesta
Open to club members, this feast will showcase Peranakan dishes whipped up by Chef Raymond Khoo at The Oval & Verandah, and cooked à la minute at live food stations. You’ll also have the chance to browse night street stalls at The Courtyard and wind down with entertainment by The Peranakan Voices and band at The Main Lounge.
20 October: Family Day & Open House
Big and little kids alike will enjoy this day out at SCC Clubhouse and the Padang. Look forward to family-friendly activities including pony rides, game stalls, bouncy castles and face painting, fuel up at the food bazaar, and bring your family heirlooms, jewellery and luxury items for evaluation at the antique roadshow by HotLotz. There’ll be a Singapore Cricket Club family photo-taking session and a tour of the Clubhouse for those who are interested in the club.
22 October: Lunch and cooking with Paul Askew
Enjoy three superb courses and a cooking demonstration by UK celebrity chef Paul Askew at The Padang Restaurant at this special lunch. Tickets: $78 for members; $98 for guests.
23 October: SCC Comedy Night
Expect loads of laughs at this stand-up comedy night featuring three local comedians at The Padang Restaurant. Entry comes with a yummy buffet dinner. Tickets: $98 for members; $108 for guests.
25 October: SCC Heritage Charity Ball
Held at the InterContinental Singapore, this gala dinner will feature a four-course dinner by chef Paul Askew. Running until late, the black-tie event will feature an auction, charity raffle and live music by party band 10 Seconds. Tickets: $295 for members; $325 for guests.
26 October: Football Carnival
Kids can take part in a football clinic with the Chelsea Football Club IDC at the Padang.
Find out more and get your tickets at scc.org.sg/sccbicentennial.
The Singapore Cricket Club is at Connaught Drive.
6338 9271 | scc.org.sg
For more helpful tips head to our Living in Singapore section.
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This article first appeared in the September 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!