Apex is a community service organization that offers active Singaporeans aged between 18 and 45 an opportunity to learn more about themselves, gain new skills, make new friends and help those in need.
Our story began in March 1931 when three young architects - Ewen Laird, Langham Proud and John Buchan, looking to make a contribution to their local community of Geelong Victoria, decided to create Apex. By Christmas that year, clubs in Albury, Ballarat, Camperdown and Warrnambool had been established. The movement expanded rapidly throughout the rest of Australia.
In 1955, Apex decided to expand into Southeast Asia, and Singapore was picked as the location for the first overseas club.
In August 1956, Peter Aldred, an Australian Apexian, who was on a business trip in Singapore met up with a group of young men who agreed to form the Apex Club of Singapore (City). The inaugural meeting was held at the Elizabethan Grill of Singapore’s Raffles Hotel on 25 August 1956. Lionel Cresson was elected as the President, Stephen Rajaretnam as the Secretary and Michael Grant as the Treasurer.
Membership at the City Club grew and the opportunity for the first service job came when a flight of wooden steps leading down to the sea at the Lim Chu Kang Youth Camp was washed away during a storm. Within six weeks, the Club members managed to replace the broken wooden steps with a flight of concrete steps.
In 1957, a second Club called the Apex Club of Katong was formed. The inaugural dinner was held on 17 February 1957. Ian Hope was elected as the President, Leow Jwee Meng as Secretary and John Altink as Treasurer. The Club’s first service project was the construction of a concrete badminton court for the Joo Chiat Youth Centre, which was completed by Club members in five weekends.
On 29 March 1957, the City Club was presented its charter at the Royal Island Gold Club, while the Katong Club received its charter at the Singapore Cricket Club on 31 January 1958.
Following this, Apex started to form clubs in other parts of Malaysia. The Katong Club sponsored the formation of the Apex Club of Johor Bahru which was inaugurated on 17 September 1959 at the Johor Hotel. Katong Club also hosted the first District 5 Convention held on February 1958 at the Oei Tiong Hall of St. Joseph’s Institution.
The clubs in Singapore and Malaysia continued to be part of Zone 4 of the Association of Apex Clubs of Australia until 1975. In that year, Malaysia decided to become autonomous and to form an Association of its own. Singapore, on the other hand, continued to be a District in Zone 4 until 1978 when it decided to become autonomous too. Following this, the Apex Clubs in Singapore became a member of the World Council of Service Clubs.
In 1965, the City Club and the Katong Club merged to form the Apex Club of Singapore. It remained as the sole club until mid 1971 when another club, the Apex Club of Singapore East was formed. However, this Club did not last long, and its charter was withdrawn in 1975.
Not to be discouraged by this unpleasant experience, the Apex Club of Singapore sponsored the formation of two new Apex Clubs in Singapore. The Apex Club of Tanglin was inaugurated on 18 February 1975 and chartered on 11 March 1976, while the Apex Club of Bukit Timah was inaugurated on 23 August 1975 and chartered on 25 May 1976.
Following this, there was a momentum to form more Apex Clubs in Singapore. The Apex Club of Radin Mas was inaugurated in July 1977 and chartered on 12 August 1978. A year later, the Apex Club of Cairnhill was inaugurated on 8 September 1979 and chartered in 1981. Unfortunately, the fifth club, Apex Club of Tanglin, did not last long and its charter was withdrawn in 1982.