Under the leadership of the then District 51 (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam & Macau) in the mid-1990s, Toastmasters was gaining steady traction and growth in the region. It was under this thriving climate, that a Toastmasters Club was born in a little function room within the enclaves of Farrer Court Condominium.
In 1998, Farrer Court Toastmasters Club was officially chartered within Area S5 in Division S. Ho-Tan Whai Aun was the first Club President and Raphael Chong was the first Vice-President Education. The Club Mentor was Stanis Benjamin.
While the original intent was to bring Toastmasters right to the residents’ doorsteps, operating within a private residence posed various restrictions. Both accessibility and facilities were poor and this resulted in challenges to grow an active membership base.
To keep the Toastmasters flame alive, a new home had to be found. Amidst sourcing for various possible locations nearby, the founding members managed to rally tremendous support from Buona Vista Community Centre to bring Toastmasters to the local community. In commemoration of our new home, the old name was ditched, followed by the chartering of Buona Vista Toastmasters Club in June 1999.
Ever since then, membership grew steadily attracting members from those who live and work nearby, who, like us now, share the same passion in seeking improvement in public speaking. The symbiotic relationship with Buona Vista Community Centre was and will still play a significant role in the Club’s growth.
In 2004, District 51 had to be split and clubs within Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand formed District 80. Buona Vista Toastmasters Club was then placed under Area U1 in Division U, as we are now.
Over the years, Buona Vista Toastmasters Club had been an incubation hive for countless prolific members – many of whom blossomed to become established figures within the Toastmasters community as well as in their careers.
And this still holds true, even today.
Oh, and what happened to Farrer Court Condominum where it all started?
Farrer Court Condominium was sold en-bloc in 2007 for a hefty $1.3 billion! Today, D’Leedon Condo stands in its place.