The name of this Rotary Club is taken from the giant complex of hotel, office and retail outlets bearing the name "Bugis Junction", a major shopping centre in Singapore.


Bugis, Malabar, Hylam and Malay streets, which form part of the grand heritage of Singapore, have been air-conditioned and integrated into this microcosm of modern urban life.


For centuries Bugis kings ruled the peninsular of what is now South Sulawesi; the most famous was the hero warrior King Arung Palakka. Makassar in his time was a centre of trade, a main port for Bugis ships which sailed over most of Southeast Asia, trading and spreading the Bugis Diaspora, from Australia to IndoChina, including Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, even crossing the vast Indian Ocean to reach the island of Madagascar.


Our Club adopts the proud name of those adventurous and brave Bugis seafarers who established a trading community on the banks of the Rochore River. Bugis presence was well recorded by the early Portuguese visitors during the 16th century. Some 300 years before Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and claimed the island of Temasek, now known as Singapore.


The formation of this Rotary Club was the dream of two Past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Queenstown, who after receiving a mandate from the board, began signing-on prospective members. The inaugural meeting of the Provisional Club was held on 30th March 1996.


A Rotary Club extension survey was completed on 13th June 1996 and forwarded to Datuk George Ginibun at Kota Kinabalu, the incumbent Governor of Rotary International District 3310. His immediate reply appointed PP Sel. McVean as his representative. Application was made on the same day to the Registrar of Societies in Singapore, as all clubs and societies must be registered and comply with government guidelines before activities may begin.


On 2nd September 1996, District Governor M Jayasingam of Muar advised that Rotary International had recently reduced to 20, the minimum requirement of provisional members for the formation of a new club. With the support and assistance of President Stanley Wong of Rotary Club of Queenstown, an application for Charter was lodged.




It took just 16 days for Rotary International to grant the Charter dated 18th September 1996, listing 21 members. The Charter was presented to President Allan Yap by RI President Vincente Giay, at a combined District Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 22nd November 1996. This was a unique occasion; it was the first visit by an RI President to District 3300 & 3310. Government Registry approval was received a week later.




A Gala Breakfast held on 30th November 1996, at which PDG Tan Seri Dr Tay Teck Eng (the most senior PDG in Singapore), addressed the gathering as Guest of Honour and District Governor M Jayasingam formally handed over the Charter to the Club.


Bugis Junction became the first Rotary Club in Singapore to adopt a sunrise breakfast meeting. The regular meeting of the Club at Hotel Inter-Continental is appropriate, as the hotel site is at the junction of Malabar Street and Malay Street where Bugis and Chinese traders laid the very beginnings of what is now the modern metropolis of Singapore.


Bugis Junction bears a proud name, rooted in the earliest history of Singapore.