A History of an Icon

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The Chinese Recreation Club began with a few young men needing a place to play football.

It stands at the end of Jalan Pangkor. The impressive and imposing building crafted in Victorian fashion has been the site for gatherings and activities organised by Penang’s Chinese community for the past 85 years.

This is Penang’s Chinese Recreation Club (CRC), whose year of birth has generally been mistaken to be 1931. In fact, the CRC came into being four decades before that, in 1890.

Before Merdeka in 1958, it was commonplace for most clubs in British Malaya to admit only Europeans or “Whites”. So what were active locals who were interested in sports to do?


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