Teutonia Club



The Teutonia Club was formally founded by seven German traders on 28 June 1856.1 It started with 21 members in a house in North Bridge Road, behind where Raffles Hotel now stands. Club membership was opened to Germans and German-speaking people.2

History
Origins
In the early 1850s, the Germans who came to Singapore formed an informal club to meet regularly to sing German songs in their leisure time. As the gathering grew in size, seven German traders established the Teutonia Club on 28 June 1856.3 There was little entertainment for the Germans at the time, hence their social activities revolved around the club.4


Relocation and expansion  
In December 1856, the Teutonia Club was relocated to Blanche House at Mount Elizabeth.5 It soon became the recreational and social hub of the European community. Bowling matches, musical activities, beer and sausages were some of the main attractions. The club organised several successful charity shows that became popular in Singapore.6


In 1861, the Germans acquired a plot of land on a hillock on Scotts Road to build a new clubhouse. By 1899, major repairs were needed for this clubhouse on Scotts Road and membership had grown to more than 100. The club then decided to build a new and bigger clubhouse after acquiring more land adjacent to its existing premises.7 When construction began in the same year, the club was temporarily housed at the nearby Tanglin Club.8

On 21 September 1900, the new clubhouse (present-day Goodwood Park Hotel) on Scotts Road was opened by James Alexander Swettenham, then acting governor of Singapore.9 It was the fourth clubhouse that the Teutonia Club called home. Built at a cost of 20,000 Straits dollars, the structure was designed by architectural firm Swan and Maclaren.10 Over 500 guests were invited to an extravagant opening ball.11 The building was fashioned after the castles of the Rhine to reflect its German heritage. Its distinctive tower, overlooking Scotts Road, was the main architectural feature. It had a top-rated restaurant, as well as amenities for concert and sports.12

Closure
When World War I broke out in 1914, the Germans were regarded as enemies and many of them were shipped out of Singapore. Teutonia Club’s building was confiscated by the British under the Custodian of Enemy Property, marking its end as a German clubhouse. The building was subsequently sold to the Manasseh brothers, who converted it into Goodwood Park Hotel in 1929.13


Establishment of a new club
In November 1935, the Germans residing in Singapore revived the earlier Teutonia Club by registering a new club called Deutsches Haus. In 1938, they built a new clubhouse at the junction of Dunearn and Adam roads to replace the previous club building. The new clubhouse was officially opened on 5 November that year.14 However, the German clubhouse was abandoned by September 1939, following the onset of World War II.15 By October 1939, it was seized by the British under the Custodian of Enemy Property, and subsequently converted into government quarters for European officers.16 The clubhouse was destroyed by fire during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942–45).17


After World War II, the German community in Singapore grew rapidly and there arose a need to form a German club. Deutsches Haus was thus re-established in 1955, and a new clubhouse was set up in a bungalow at 12 First Avenue in July 1956. 

In 2000, the club had to terminate its activities at the bungalow as the property was not approved for non-residential purposes. Two years later however, a space at 36 Watten Rise was obtained for the club. In October 2005, a new clubhouse was set up at 61A Toh Tuck Road.18



Author
Joshua Chia Yeong Jia




References
1. Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 174. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE); Goodwood Park Hotel. (1990). The Goodwood heritage. Singapore: Author, p. 18. (Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 GOO)

2. Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 174. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
3. Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE); Goodwood Park Hotel. (1990). The Goodwood heritage. Singapore: Author, pp. 16–18. (Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 GOO)
4. Walsh, B. A. (1991). Forty good men: The story of the Tanglin Club in the island of Singapore 1865–1990. Singapore: The Club, pp. 26, 56. (Call no.: RSING 367.95957 WAL); Tyers, R. K. (1993).Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 174. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
5. Goodwood Park Hotel. (1990). The Goodwood heritage. Singapore: Author, p. 18. (Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 GOO); Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908).Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
6. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore, 1819–2005. Singapore: NUS Press, p. 126. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS]); Walsh, B. A. (1991). Forty good men: The story of the Tanglin Club in the island of Singapore 1865–1990. Singapore: The Club, p. 56. (Call no.: RSING 367.95957 WAL); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
7. Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE); Goodwood Park Hotel. (1990). The Goodwood heritage. Singapore: Author, pp. 18–19. (Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 GOO)
8. Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
9. The Teutonia Club. (1900, September 22). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884—1942), p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places.Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Walsh, B. A. (1991). Forty good men: The story of the Tanglin Club in the island of Singapore 1865–1990. Singapore: The Club, p. 56. (Call no.: RSING 367.95957 WAL); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 624. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
10. Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
11. Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Walsh, B. A. (1991). Forty good men: The story of the Tanglin Club in the island of Singapore 1865–1990. Singapore: The Club, p. 56. (Call no.: RSING 367.95957 WAL); Wright, A., & Cartwright, H. A. (Eds.). (1908). Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Pub., p. 625. (Call no.: RCLOS 959.51033 TWE)
12. Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then & now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 175. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore, 1819–2005Singapore: NUS Press, p. 126. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS])
13. Uma Devi, G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); German Association – Deutsches Haus. (2017, June 29). Die historie. Retrieved 2019, March 25 from Internet Archive website: https://web.archive.org/web/20170629044527/http://german-association.org.sg/vorstellung/die-historie.html; Goodwood Park Hotel. (1990). The Goodwood heritage 1900–1980. Singapore: Author, p. 26. (Call no.: RSING 647.94595701 GOO)
14. Colony cavalcade. (1935, November 10). The Straits Times, p. 2; Deutsches Haus. (1938, June 25). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (18841942), p. 5; Singapore Germans’ club opened. (1938, November 7). The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (18841942), p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Singapore’s German club is silent and empty. (1939, September 4). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Deutsches Haus to follow predecessor. (1939, October 6). The Straits Times, p. 10; Property of Germans. (1939, December 5). The Straits Times, p. 10; Property of Germans. (1940, February 17). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. German Association – Deutsches Haus. (2017, June 29). Die historie. Retrieved 2019, March 25 from Internet Archive website: https://web.archive.org/web/20170629044527/http://german-association.org.sg/vorstellung/die-historie.html
18. ‘German House’. (1956, July 9). Singapore Standard, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Day of German Unity Special 2017/2018. Retrieved 2019, April 3 from Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce website: https://www.sgc.org.sg/fileadmin/AHK_Singapur/PUBLICATIONS/SGC_Bizmag_280917_final_viewing.pdf; German Association – Deutsches Haus. (2017, June 29). Die historie. Retrieved 2019, March 25 from Internet Archive website: https://web.archive.org/web/20170629044527/http://german-association.org.sg/vorstellung/die-historie.html


Further resources

Goodwood Park Hotel. (2000). Goodwood Park Hotel (1900–2000): 100 years of hospitality. Singapore: Author, pp. 2–10.

(Call no.: RSING 647.955957 GOO)

Sin Chew Jit Poh & Archives and Oral History Department. (1982). Singapore retrospect through postcards, 1900–1930. Singapore: Author, pp. 74–75.
(Call no.: RSING 769.4995957 SIN)



The information in this article is valid as at April 2019 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Clubs--Singapore
Organisations
Organisations>>Associations
Teutonia Club
Sports, recreation and travel