Members of Ipoh’s premier social club, the Royal Ipoh Club, were pleasantly surprised when HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah accepted their invitation to dine with them. A verbal representation was made to the palace in early December 2014 and, despite some reservations, the Sultan consented through a letter sent in mid-February. It was greeted with much relief and jubilation.
The knowledge that His Royal Highness, in his capacity as the reigning monarch of Perak, was attending along with Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim was the icing on the cake. Club members were eager to play host to the royal couple who are no strangers to the club.
The last time the club had hosted an event of such significance was on March 21, 2010 when HRH Sultan Azlan Shah and Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Bainun were the guests of honour. The 5-year wait was not in vain.
Incidentally, the Royal Ipoh Club was conferred royal status by HRH Sultan Azlan Shah on the occasion of the club’s 90th Anniversary on October 5, 1985. Three decades had elapsed and, in the interim, the facility had witnessed many changes, both in looks and structure. The presence of the Sultan and his consort would, undoubtedly, strengthen the bond and the rapport the club had had with the Perak royalty.
The Patron’s Night on Sunday, March 1 was indeed a grand affair befitting its stature. The occasion was attended by some 150 guests, consisting of club members and invitees. Among the dignitaries were Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir and wife, Orang Kaya Bendahara Seri Maharaja Gen Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Hj Zainuddin (Rtd) and State Secretary Dato’ Seri Abdul Puhat bin Mat Nayan.
The highlight of the evening was the opening of the refurbished club library. It was aptly named Sultan Nazrin Shah Library, a tacit recognition of the Sultan’s penchant for reading and his pursuit of knowledge.
Before dinner was served, Club President, Roland Rama Rao led the diners in toasting to the Patron’s good health and the 120th Anniversary of the club. Roland welcomed the Sultan and renewed members’ pledge to ensure that the sanctity and reputation of the Royal Ipoh Club are maintained at the highest level.
After dinner, a mock cheque for the sum of RM12,000 was presented to the Rotary Club of Kuala Kangsar to jointly fund relief works in the state. This was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony by the Sultan to commemorate the club’s 120th Anniversary.
It was a momentous evening for club members, something which will remain etched in their memories, after having dined with their Patron who will be installed the 35th Sultan of Perak in May.