Heart of a community
– hope of a nation
Heart of a community – hope of a nation – that’s what our young Australians mean to us at Apex. Apex Australia embodies the motivated spirit of individuals coming together to achieve extraordinary things. Apex Australia was established in 1931 and all over the country, thousands of Apex members volunteer their time, talents and efforts to support communities throughout Australia as well as the nine successful Trusts which Apex has established. Through these Trusts, Apex supports the critical work of several specialist organisations.
Some of Apex Australia’s trusts include:
> Autism Trust
> Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Trust
> Cranio Facial Surgery Trust
> Destiny Youth Trust
> Diabetes Trust
> Fine Arts Trust
> General Trust
> Melanoma Trust
> Underprivileged Children’s Trust
> Civilian Widows Trust’s
As evident, the main beneficiaries of each of our Trusts are children – Australia’s future.
One of the principle ideals we have adhered to since our inception is the principle that the success of any project depends upon community support at all levels. We have, therefore, not relied upon government funding for the success or continuation of any of our projects and relying entirely on the support of the general community. It is through this support that we are able to continue with our support of all young Australians deserving of an equal chance in life.
Members of Apex Australia work together to serve their community’s greatest needs by promoting service, friendship and community spirit. Our some 2,000 members work in their community and through the strength of our National Association of Apex Clubs, also work together to tackle larger community and/or social problems throughout Australia.
We are very proud of the fact that of all of the thousands of Charities in Australia, the former Prime Minister John Howard is Patron of only one, Apex Australia. In addition we receive support from some very distinguished Australians in our work, including international motor racing World Champions, Sir Jack Brabham OBE, Wayne Gardner AM, five time World 500cc Motorcycle Champion Michael Doohan, Radio & TV Personality Tim Ross and musician Adam Thompson.
AATFA – Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards
Youth Potential Unleashed
The Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards (AATFA) has been an annual event for Apex Australia over the past 20 years. In conjunction with secondary schools throughout Australia, Apex provides high school students with the opportunity to design, manufacture and model their own fashion garments.
Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards is a unique opportunity for students interested in the fashion or design industries to demonstrate their skill and flair through a friendly competition. The Awards are an extraordinary co-curricular activity, which offers students the opportunity and encouragement to explore their creativity in the fields of fashion, design and textiles.
To some participants the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion Awards is a boost to their confidence and self-esteem, as well as providing inspiration and the chance to grow. To others, it has been a stepping-stone into the world of fashion and design. Many past winners and finalists have progressed into the fashion industry, some to great heights, creating their own fashion labels while others have won scholarships to work in large fashion houses around the world!
The Mossie Man
– Bangladesh First Base for Mosquito Trial
By David G Piggott, Chairman – Mozeco
I would like to express a few words to APEX members concerning the mosquito trial program Mozeco, APEX Global and Apex Bangladesh are going to conduct in Bangladesh during February 2010.
It is an honour to be involved and working with such a dedicated and committed group of people as APEX Global and Apex Bangladesh, conducting such a beneficial trial and project for not just Bangladesh, but all of the Global group who have combined to attempt a world pioneering project of such importance.
I am confident that we will be successful in our work in Bangladesh in February and continue to further the positive progression of the project that certainly has the potential to take a very big step in assisting and empowering very needing people and most importantly, will be contributing to the saving of many lives.
We have with us a very experienced and committed team of professionals from companies and Universities in Australia, India and Bangladesh who are together working towards the common goal of this projects success and they have committed resources, time and effort to assist in gaining the best positive outcome possible with the Bio-trial work and when successfully funded, the main “Mosquito Reduction Project” itself.
We are attempting to do this project because it is what needs to be done and we have the ability to do it, we care and we want to assist you in making a difference!
I thank Apexians right across the Asia / Pacific for the vision and commitment you have provided and the opportunity to assist in such a worthwhile project.
2010 Bangladesh goes Global
By incoming Apex Global Chairman Hasan Ferdous Jewel
Historic 2008-09 & 2009-10 is the inaugural year of Apex Global. All the Charter Member Associations of Apex played very vital role to form Apex Global and working sincerely to serve the distressed humanity, to create bonded fellowship & friendship among the Apexians of the Apex Associations and overall development of the GLOBE. Apex Global is passing a glorious year under the leadership of inaugural Chairman Apexian. Rick Hose.
As we move into the 21st century, we must do our best, one and all, to uphold the human rights enshrined in these instruments. We must all dedicate ourselves to the ongoing process of making human rights indivisible and inalienable for all citizens of the world, replete with dignity freedom and equal justice.
New year 2010 is here, which is specially a challenging year for all Apexians of Apex Bangladesh, as Apex Global will be led me (a member of Apex Bangladesh). So, each and every Apexians of Bangladesh shall have to serve from the front line to succeed in the year ahead by implementing the ideals and mottos of Apex Global. Education and Health care services to be continued and extended.
The coming year is the year of marketing and extending Apex Clubs in other countries of Asia and Europe of the Globe and share the ideas of Apex with other international service Clubs. Special attention is needed on public awareness on change of climate and its affect to the countries of Apex Global.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 to all the Apexians of the Member Associations of Apex Global, I take this opportunity to invite our entire fellow members of the Apex Global to serve in saving the Globe, as well lives of human being.
Apex in Bangladesh from yesterday to today!
By National President – Apex Bangladesh Apexian Md. Shatil
July 19, 1961, is indelibly etched in the history of Apex in Bangladesh. It was on this day that the first Apex Club was formed in the South Asian country. The late Suleman Khan is the man credited with introducing Apex to Bangladesh. The community organisation has flourished from humble beginnings and now boasts 76 chartered Clubs and six unchartered Clubs.
History shows that during a visit to East Pakistan, Mr Khan talked about the concept of Apex with some of his close friends in Dhaka. In turn, a meeting was arranged at the Hotel Shahbag (at present BSMMU) on July 19, 1961. Apexian advocate Ahmedur Rahman Khan was the chairman. Thirty-six young men attended the meeting. A member of the Karachi Apex Club, Mr Mashi Miraza was the chief guest. By meeting’s end, the Apex Club of Dhaka had been formed, with Ahmedur Rahman Khan the President and Syed AK. Mahmudul Haque Secretary.
The Apex Club of Dhaka was sponsored by the Apex Club of Karachi under District 7, Zone 10 of Apex Australia. It was chartered in 1963 as Club No. 408 under District 7, Zone 10 of Apex Australia. The Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Tamijuddin Khan, was the chief guest at the charter certificate presentation ceremony. The determination and dedication of these founding members ensured that Apex would have a strong and certain future. Again through the inspiration of Mr Khan, the second Club in Bangladesh – the Apex Club of Chittagong – was inaugurated on January 11, 1964, under the sponsorship of the Apex Club of Dhaka. The President was Mr Khan and the Secretary A.K. Mahmmdul Hoque. Tig Thomas presented the charter certificate to the Apex Club of Chittagong in 1966. With the creation of these two Clubs, a new District – District Number 7 under Zone 10 of Apex Australia – was formed in 1966 and was officially inaugurated by Mr Thomas. Fittingly, the first District Governor of District 7 of Zone 10 was Mr Khan. Apex was now fast gaining momentum and by December 1975, Apex Clubs Sylhet, Comilla, Barisal, Narayanganj and Jahangirnagar had been formed.
Upon receiving assurance from Apex Australia that a National Association of Apex may form in Bangladesh, a committee was constituted at the 4th District Convention at Comilla. The committee was headed by S. A Shakoor with the responsibility to make a draft constitution and to place in the 10th District Convention and the first national convention to be held at Dhaka. The historic 10th District 7 (Zone 10) and first national convention was held on March 6 and 7, 1976, at the British Council Auditorium, with Chief Justice A. B. Mahmood Hossain as chief guest.
The convention was jointly hosted by the Apex Clubs of Dhaka, Narayanganj and Jahangirnagar. Representatives of the Apex Clubs of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylbet, Comilla, Barisal, Narayanganj and Jahangirnagar were present. S. A. Shakoor was elected as the first National President of the National Association of Apex Clubs of Bangladesh. Following the formation of the National Association, the new leadership group and existing members worked hard to spread the ideals of Apex across the country.
Their endeavours were successful. By February 1979, Apex Clubs in Bangladesh totalled 22. In a resolution at the 4th National Convention in February 1979, these 22 Clubs were organised into four Districts to enable more efficient operation. In September 1983, as the number of Clubs continued to increase, the existing four Districts were re-organised into seven. This change came into effect in February 1984.
The growth of Apex in Bangladesh has continued to the present day. Mr Khan’s foresight more than 40 years ago has been handsomely rewarded by those members who continue to uphold the ideals of Apex Bangladesh.
Apex branches out in the Pacific
By Lifer Pratish Nand
Six active Clubs with membership of about 60 and so many worthwhile projects – that is the story of Apex Fiji. Since its inception in 1961, Apex Fiji has worked to help local communities with projects such as the donation of cataract lenses to a local hospital, valued at $20,000; the donation of school stationery, food and clothing during natural disasters; and the donation of an ambulance to the Ba Mission Hospital.
It has also been active in promoting the awareness of Aids, heart disease, drug and substance abuse and road safety. Apex Fiji has also been the driving force behind the building of the Drasa Secondary School Library, the Navigo Community Hall and the Sigatoka Hospital Mortuary. It also provides bursaries to needy secondary school students.
Apex began its move into the Pacific in 1961, introduced to Fiji by Devendra Pathik. Mr Pathik was studying law in Hobart, Tasmania (Australia), and became a member of the Apex Club of Hobart. Inspired by what he had seen the Hobart organisation achieve, Mr Pathik decided to introduce Apex to his home country when he returned. Hence, the Apex Club of Suva was formed under District 6, Zone 5 of Australia.
The Association of Apex Clubs of Fiji became an autonomous body in 1975 and was duly registered as an incorporated organisation with the Register Generals Office in 1989. Apex Fiji now boasts six active Clubs – Suva, Lautoka, Nadi, Labasa, Central Nausori and Nasinu. Away from Apex Devendra Pathik is a High Court and Fiji Court of Appeal Judge, his devotion to Apex has been duly recognised. Today, he is Life Governor of the Association of Fiji and is commonly known as the “Father of Apex Fiji”. He has nurtured his “baby” and seen it grow to achieve so much for Fiji and its people.
Apex Fiji is grateful for the assistance given to its communities by other Apex Associations. Apex Fiji would like to specifically highlight work party assistance received through Apex Queensland (Australia) for Construction of Dravuni Kindergarten School, Kadavu in the Fiji Islands.
Fiji in Brief
by Apex Fiji National Secretary Sanjeet Sagar
Firstly I would like to thank the Almighty God for giving all of us the wonderful opportunity to share and experience the excellent Service, Fellowship and Citizenship.
Apex Fiji day by day membership is reducing because of the hardship & financial constraints of the individual members. The other hardship faced by the Association is the cyclone and flood which has put more burdens on the members. Nearly every year Fiji is hit by cyclones & flooding where a lot of damages are done.
Several activities were planned for the year but few were achieved due to the hardship of the Clubs and the Nation. Major services were provided to the poor community of Viti Levu, who suffered a huge loss during the flood, where we provided them with food, clothing, shelter and stationery. Some of the other services that were provided to the poor communities of Fiji were such as: food and clothing at the old people’s home, grass cutting, painting, organizing medical camps and blood drives etc.
Apex Fiji is also focusing on a major Service project – ‘Child Poverty’.
I would like to wish everyone good health, lots of excitement and a challenging year 2010, also wish you all a merry Christmas and prosperous new year.
Incredible Apex Incredible India
By Life Governor P. Elango
It was the collaboration of three pen friends which led to the formation of Apex India. The community organisation was introduced to South India by Samir Ghosh of Calcutta, with the support of his pen friends Jack Love of Australia and S.N.P. Shanmugam of Erode. Through their commitment, Apex began to spread its helping hand across India as a whole. The movement thrived between the years 1990 to 2000, enjoying a strong relationship among Apex International associations.
Apex India’s major community projects included a children’s community service centre, free hospitals, clinical laboratories and polio corrective surgery. It built old age homes and school buildings, offered financial aid to poor students, helped raise awareness of various programmes and provided medical aids and free medical camps. During the height of its success, Apex India boasted numerous Clubs and incredible membership growth. District and National Conventions were held regularly, which helped to foster international friendship.
Apex India received foreign aid through Club-to-Club projects such as the FTF, the bursary scheme project and shopping through the World Council of Service Clubs (WOCO). But Apex then experienced a lull. It went through a period when the activities of Apex International slowed and, due to a lack of motivation among Apex India Clubs and waning financial support to the National Association, it became difficult to coordinate the Clubs in Apex India.
The Clubs of Apex India shortened their activities within their District and Club extensions were stopped once and for all. Membership dwindled as a result and also because the age limit of Apex and other WOCO associations meant that most of the senior members were retired from the movement. Since there were no participating systems, membership-wise or Club-wise, Apex India lost control of the Apex India Clubs. However, Clubs with permanent projects and permanent buildings continued to meet regularly and all the members of Apex India are still in touch with the active Clubs, as per the motto of the organisation – service, fellowship and citizenship. And there is another light of hope shining through.
The formation of Apex Global, through the dedication of Apexian Rick Hose of Australia and Apexian C.S. Naidu of Malaysia, means Apex India is hoping to retrieve the relationship it once had with the Apex India Clubs. It has already started to persuade the existing active Clubs to join with Apex India under the banner of Apex Global. Apexian P. Elango, Past National President and Life Governor, has taken on the role of Apex India/Apex Global Coordinator. To date, three Apex India meetings have been convened to initiate the formation of Apex Global. Formal office bearers have been appointed to look after Apex India and a memorandum of understanding has been signed, to be coordinated by Apex Global.
At present, the Apex Club of Komarapalayam, Apex SSm Nagar, Apex SSM Nagar Ladies Club, Apex Club of Erode, Apex Club of Anthiyur, Apex Club of Tiruvannamalai, Apex Club of Pollachi, Apex Club of Chennai, Apex Club of Coimbatore Millineium, Apex Club of Anamalai, Apex Club of Cuddallore, Apex Club of Namakkal, Apex Cub of Sathyamangalam are joined together. This has given Apex India a strong foundation on which to grow, enhance membership strength and continue to provide beneficial community services.
Language is No Barrier to Apex
Language is no barrier to Apex and nowhere is that better illustrated than in India. The South Asian country has an estimated population of 1.17 billion, which makes it the second most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world.
There is a diverse range of languages and dialects in India. A clear indication of the diversity of language came in the pages of the 1961 Census. It showed there were 1652 different languages and dialects in India and one state, Madhya, registered a total of 377. India, which consists of 28 states and seven union territories, has two major linguistic families – Indo-Aryan and Dravidian.
Hindi is the principal language of the Indo-Aryan family and is the most widely spoken language in India, the primary tongue of about 41% of its people. It is most commonly heard in the area known as the Hindu belt which is made up of the states Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Hindi is also the official language of the Indian Union, which comprises the four states of the Hindu belt, as well as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. As well as Hindi, there are 14 other official languages in India: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi and Sanskrit. The languages of both the major linguistic families are thousands of years old.
Tamil – an ancient Dravidian language and the state language of Tamil Nadu – is spoken by at least 65 million people and is at least 2000 years old. Sanskrit, the language in which all classical literature and Indian epics have been written, is recognised as one of the oldest languages of the world. Marathi, the official language of the western state of Maharashtra, is an Indic language dating back to the 13th Century. Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. English, too, features prominently in the spoken language of India. It is the active tongue of an estimated 10 to 15 million Indians.
English has gained the status of a “subsidiary official language” and features prominently in dealings in education, government, communications, science and industry. India gained its independence in 1947 but the significance of the regional languages was demonstrated just over 10 years later when states were re-organised along linguistic boundaries. An example was the multilingual Hyderabad state, abolished when its Marathi-speaking sections were given to Mumbai, its Telugu sections were granted to Andhra Pradesh, and its Kannada sections went to Mysore. The influence language has played in the Indian landscape cannot be underestimated but it appears that all Indians seem to speak the same language when it comes to the influential and beneficial works of Apex on a local, national and international level.
The rise of Apex in Malaysia
By Lifer Sonny Thiagaragah, V
Hotel Majestic was where it all began, fitting given the majestic rise of Apex in Malaysia. Apex’s introduction to Malaysia was first touted in late March, 1957, when several Australian expatriates, members of the newly chartered Apex Club of Singapore City, met with a number of young men in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The wheels were set in motion and on Wednesday, April 3, 1957, the first Apex Club in Malaysia (then Federation of Malaya) was inaugurated at the Hotel Majestic, Kuala Lumpur, under the sponsorship of the Apex Club of Singapore City. With an attendance of 24 members, the meeting elected Dr A. Pathmanathan as the Inaugural President, Dr Peter Mayo as Secretary and Publicity Director and S. Sothi as Treasurer. Others on the board were V. Mahalingam as Social Director, Gerald Chilton as Service Director, T. Visvanathan as Fellowship, Membership and Attendance Director and Jack Clingeleffer as the Programmes Director. Don Horne took on the International Relations portfolio.
Two years on and the Apex Club of Kuala Lumpur was chartered on Saturday, November 28, 1959, with Dr Peter Mayo at the helm. The Club was designated as Club No.304 of District 5, Zone 4 of the Association of Apex Clubs of Australia. District 5 was created specifically to group together all Clubs in Singapore and Malaysia, with an elected District Governor serving as the administrative head. This worked satisfactorily until the early ’70s, with an increase in the number of Clubs spread from the north of Peninsula Malaysia to the southern tip, the workload of the sole District Governor had increased tremendously.
The then existing 11 Apex Clubs decided on a regional grouping of two districts, which was designed to ease the workload of a sole District Governor and bring about effective coordination and leadership. In 1973, Apex Clubs in Selangor/Federal Territory and Northern states were put under District 5 North and Clubs in the Eastern and Southern states, including Singapore Clubs, were grouped under District 5 South. The two District Governors then became part of the new structure, called the regional board, which in turn was headed by an elected regional president. This proved a logical decision as, by that time, Apex had expanded dramatically.
In the north, there were Clubs in Ipoh, Teluk Intan (Taiping), Butterworth, Penang, Gurun and Sungai Petani. In the south, Clubs were set up in Seremban, Kuala Pilah, Malacca, Muar, Kluang and Johor Baru. In the Klang Valley region, five Clubs were active – Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Damansara and Bandar Syed Putra – and in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Clubs were introduced to Kuantan, Maran, Kuala Trengganu and Kota Bahru. By this stage, given the dramatic growth of Apex in Malaysia, the issue of autonomy was a much-debated issue. On Sunday, August 31, 1975, at the second regional convention in Kuala Lumpur, it became a reality.
The National Association of Apex Clubs of Malaysia was born with 10 local Clubs under its umbrella. Singapore Clubs went on to become an autonomous body the following year. The first National Board consisted of four elected members with three others appointed by the National President. Those elected were A. Gnanarajah (Petaling Jaya) as National President, Seow Chye Hiap (Penang) as the National Vice-President, Mohd Ali Jinnah (Petaling Jaya) as Apex Action and Expansion Director and G. Arulananthan (Kuala Lumpur) as the National International Relations Director. Appointed members were Geoffrey Yap (Petaling Jaya) as the National Secretary/Treasurer, Clement Soosay (Kuala Lumpur) as the National Service Director and Wong Sek Keng (Malacca Central) as the National Bursary Director.
New Era for Apex Malaysia
– Installation of first female NP
By National President Apex Malaysia Lily Kaur
Life is unpredictable. When one takes a step to do something, least do they know what they are getting themselves into. That goes the same for me. A lull in my employment and sheer boredom made me look outside for something exciting to do. At that time, Apex Klang was also on the lookout to adding female members to their ‘all male’ club. Apexian T Ganesan coaxed me into attending one of the meetings and I loved it; right from the very beginning, from being inducted a member in 2002 to being a Club Secretary and then elected to be the first lady Club President in the year 2006.
With much passion and enthusiasm to serve the community and my friendly and outspoken personality I was nominated National International Relations Officer in the year 2006 and then went on to be National Vice President in 2007 serving a term of 2 years. In 2009 I was elected the first female National President in the whole of Apex’s history.
Initially I was daunted by the fact that being a female, it is going to be tough heading a dynamic association. It’s been 5 months now and I am pleased to say that I have gained the respect of the members and enjoying every minute of it.
THE KILLER TRIO IN THE PHILIPPINES
by LG VIc H. Rada
This year our beloved Philippines had been visited by no less than seventeen major weather disturbances. The last three, locally code-named Ondoy, Pepeng and Quedan had virtually joined forces and turned into a deadly super-hurricane that caused much horrifying and dreadful devastation. Ondoy did it first when it flooded almost a fourth of the entire archipelago , sparing no one along its path and leaving with more than three hundred casualties and an undetermined number of missing persons. Two fearful days after, Pepeng joined the rampage and continued to strike violently over a big portion in the northern part, seemingly continuing the disaster that Ondoy had left off. Adding more injuries to an already severely injured populace, Quedan came in and thus, had created the so called “Fujiwhara Effect” of a typhoon.
Weather authorities explained that a Fujiwhara effect is one where a supposedly outgoing typhoon (Pepeng) is being prevented making an exit from its area of responsibility by a forthcoming one (Quedan); and then there were two. Combining forces, these two typhoons were virtually “holding hands”, dancing and swaying wildly with reinforced gusty winds and heavy rainfall resulting in more floods of greater magnitude. Thus, Pepeng remained landfall for eleven days while lavishly pouring floodwaters and gusty winds at will. On the other hand Ondoy, the first “hitter” had accumulated close to 410 ml. of rainwater in just a matter of six hours. This amount of rainfall would normally equate to at least one whole month of continuous downpour. This clearly explains why the sudden and steadfast flooding that averages more than two meters in depth, with very strong current that caught tens of thousands of ill-prepared victims by surprise. The combined forces of these killer typhoons left with close to 800 casualties and billions of pesos in damaged to properties, infrastructure and crops.
Not a million words or longer write-ups no matter, can accurately describe with horrifying effect this tragedy that continually unfolded for many days. This article was written if only to showcase the distinct character of the Filipinos in times of danger and calamity. We live in an archipelago where people with multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-cultural and varied religious affiliations co-exist. And yet, Filipinos have once again display unity in diversity showing utmost compassion and wholesome cooperation in times of need. Not mindful of their own safety, so many of these so called unsung heroes have saved peoples’ lives and limbs. Feeding and sharing with others despite their own need of limited provisions and numerous other heroic deeds of people, totally strangers to one another are a clear manifestation of the quality traits of Filipinos that one can be proud of.
Having said all these, the better way still to describe the catastrophe in full text is through pictures attached here to this story. I urged you my fellow Apexians and those that may have happen to read this piece to take a closer look and hopefully add credit to the scant descriptions above-written.
Finally and collectively – from the bottom of our hearts- we express our deepest gratitude and admiration for the kindness and generosity of so many people and entities all over the globe. Fellow Apexians, we cannot put into words our million thanks to God and men.
Apex a Key Community Link in the Philippines
By Lifer Vic Rada
The birth of Apex in the Philippines draws a striking parallel to the very origins of the community organisation almost 80 years ago. Three young architects – Ewan Laird, Langham Proud and John Buchan – were the driving force behind the inception of Apex in the Victorian town of Geelong, Australia, in 1931. Likewise, several young architects, together with other businessmen and professionals from Bacolod City, were instrumental in the rise of Apex in the Philippines. Their interest in Apex was triggered by visits from Apex Australia ’s Zone 7 President Graeme Elvey and Zone 7 Extension Director Richie Trevaskis.
The Bacolod group, headed by architect Gerry Escalon, was to become the cornerstone of the first Apex Club in the Philippines.
Mr Escalon was duly elected first District Governor when Apex Philippines was made District 4 of Apex Australia ’s Zone 7. Months later, Apex Bacolod was inaugurated, with George Spraque of Zone 7 as guest of honour. In August 1971, the Apex Club of Bacolod was chartered as Club 640 of Apex Australia ’s Zone 7. In 1972, two more Clubs were chartered – Apex Los Banos as Club 673 and West Negros as Club 675. Apex Iloilo followed in 1974 and was chartered as Club 709.
Rapid was the expansion and in 1975, the Apex Clubs of Calamba and Passi ( Iloilo ) were chartered as Club 744 and 754 respectively. Apex San Pablo and Apex Calamba were chartered in 1976 and Apex Calauan followed in 1977. After seven years of Apex in the Philippines being under the control of Zone 7, Apex Australia, there came a major milestone.
The Association of Apex Clubs in the Philippines was born in 1977 and became an autonomous body. Romeo Huelgas of Apex Los Banos was the first National President. The autonomy convention was held in Los Banos and, subsequently, all Apex Philippines Clubs were re-numbered. New Clubs were organised and chartered by the now independent Apex Philippines.
In September 1979, Apex Philippines became a member of the World Council of Young Men’s Service Clubs (WOCO) during the world council convention in Christchurch, New Zealand.
At one stage, for a span of close to 20 years from the inception of its autonomy, the Association of Apex Clubs in the Philippines had a record high 30 chartered and unchartered Clubs, with almost 800 active members. Chartered and unchartered Clubs were working to improve the lot of their people in their own communities, as well as country-wide.
Their projects ranged from gaining government support in nutrition programs to seminars and symposia on drug abuse prevention to annual oratorical contests for high school students, as well as sponsorship of summer sports fests. But perhaps the greatest achievement of Apex Philippines was its major infrastructure projects. It had constructed nutrition centres in San Pablo, Iloilo and Los Banos valued at close to five million pesos (in present-day cost), built with assistance from Apex Australia through a work party, the Round Table Club of Wanchai, Hong Kong, and Kinsmen Clubs of Canada.
Other projects included the construction of the Holy Infant Nursery building in Bacolod, a school building in Batangas, assisted by Apex Australia ’s Zone 7, and another school building for Batangas City National High School. While Apex Philippines was making so many positive impacts within its country’s borders, it was also making its mark on the international stage. When compared to other associations affiliated with WOCO, Apex Philippines would have been considered only a small drop in a boundless ocean but it notably carved its name in the history of this world body.
In 1986-87, a Filipino Apexian was placed at the helm as World Council President until its organisation’s annual general membership meeting in Mombassa, Kenya. Monico Puentevella – now in his third term as Congressman of Philippines Legislature – has the distinction of being the first and only Filipino who led WOCO and ASPAC/Atsumari in the ’80s.
On a regional level, Apex Philippines – through the efforts of Apex Iloilo – hosted the Atsumari in 1984. The association also hosted past world councillors such as Van Jacobsen, Bob Chandra n, Tom Chapman, John Bennet, Joe Tabona and Eddie Jelliman. Apex Philippines also endeavoured to re-invigorate international friendship and understanding by sending delegates to the National and State Conventions of Malaysia, Singapore and Tasmania (Australia).
It also regained active status in ASPAC and is bound to continue its alliance and enduring friendship with the other members of Apex Global. Despite its best intentions, Apex Philippines has been affected by the perennial problem of membership retention, which is taking its toll on civic and service organisations across the globe.
Gone are the glory days of flourishing membership, and with that the beneficial community projects that have helped so many of the country’s people. Today, Apex Philippines has a record low of three Clubs. Actively remaining and never conceding, however, are the Apex Clubs of San Pablo with 30 members; Leganes with 15; and Passi, 18. The situation could be considered gloomy but the Clubs’ members, together with a handful of Life Members and Life Governors, strive in high spirit.
Apex in Singapore – Then & Now
Expansion of APEX outside Australia started in 1956 and Singapore was suggested as the location for the first overseas club. Peter Aldred, an Australian Apexian who visited Singapore on business in August 1956, investigated into the formation of a Club here. He met 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 with Lionel Cresson as its president, Stephen Rajaretnam the secretary and Michael Grant the treasurer. Membership of 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. In six weekends, the Club members built concrete steps to replace the wooden ones.
In 1957, a second Club was formed in Singapore and this Club was called the Apex Club of Katong. The inaugural dinner was held on 17 February 1957 and Ian Hope was elected its first president, Leow Jwee Meng it secretary and John Altink its 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, Clubs were formed in other towns in Malaysia and 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 Singapore Club, together with the Club in 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 form an Association of its own. Singapore, on the other hand, continued to be a District in Zone 4. She remained so until 1978 when she also decided to break away from the Association of Apex Clubs of Australia to form its own Association. Following its autonomy, she has become a member of the World Council of Service Clubs.
From that period the two Clubs were started in Singapore until the present day, many events have taken place. 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, for, in 1975, its charter was withdrawn.
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 momentum to form more Apex Clubs. In July 1977 the Apex Club of Radin Mas was inaugurated and chartered on 12 August 1978. A year later on 8 September 1979, the Apex Club of Cairnhill was inaugurated and chartered in 1981. However, the fifth club did not last long and was de-chartered in 1982. The Apex Club of Tanglin was de-chartered in 1990.
As it stands today, the National Association of Apex Clubs of Singapore is an Association comprising three Apex Clubs:
The Apex Club of Singapore – City
The Apex Club of Singapore – Bukit Timah
The Apex Club of Singapore – Radin Mas
Outing in the botanic gardens
by Volunteer Joan Chun – Apex Singapore
On December 5th 2009, Apex Singapore organised an outing to the Botanic Garden with the old folk from Toa Payoh. Taking on a slow walk along the garden, admiring the Christmas Trees, remembering the festive season is coming.
I have realised that I have not been to the Botanic Garden before, but chatting with the old folks I have also realised that they too have not been to the Botanic Garden since many years back. Bringing them back has brought some memories back for them.
I have made some friends with the elderly folk and took some pictures with them. After strolling with them at the garden, it was time for dinner. The dinner was nice and delicious. After dinner, we took the older folk down Orchard Road for a light sight seeing trip.
It’s has been a joyful experience, taking a slow walk along the garden and chatting with the old folks to understand them better.
The photograph above was taken outside the National Orchid Garden, Singapore.