YMCA Penang THE BIRTH OF PENANG YMCA (1905 – 1957)

The YMCA in Penang was founded in 1905 by the Reverend G.F. Pykett of England; the Principal of the ACS now known as MBS (Methodist Boys School).

In 1907, St. John’s Ambulance First Aid classes were organized, and in 1910, the first Boy Scouts Troop in Penang was formed by the Penang YMCA. Both movements play important roles in the activities of the State and the Y can proudly claim to have been the moving force behind their early establishment respectively.

Unfortunately, the early YMCA became defunct because of World War II. After the war, there were two failed attempts to revive it. They were unsuccessful due to the lack of a suitable building to house the Association.

REVIVAL & SURVIVAL (1958 – 1966)


A third attempt to resuscitate the Penang Y was made at a meeting held at the Wesley Methodist Church, Penang on 22-10-1958, and 11 months later, with substantial financial assistance from the Asia Foundation, the YMCA of Penang was revived on 29-09-1959 with Mr. G.H. Goh, JMN, MBE as its first President and Mr. Geh Hun Kheng as the Honorary Secretary. The Association was officially registered in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of the Societies Ordinance 1949 on 02-05-1960.

Official opening of the Club House at 211, Macalister Road by His Excellency the first Governor of Penang, Raja Tun Uda bin Raja Muhammad, SMN, KBE, CMG was held on 16-01-1960. The Club House was leased by the owners to the YMCA.

A crisis arose in 1961 when the owners of the premises wished to sell the property. By the grace of God, coupled with the perseverance and benevolence of Mr. & Mrs. G.H. Goh, Mr. & Mrs. Tye Poh Sun, philanthropic leaders and Directors themselves, and with the cooperation of the Cantonese Methodist Church, the Penang YMCA became the owner of the property - a building sited on 20,000 square feet of land.


However, the Club House, erected for private residence, gradually became too small and unsuitable for increased social activities. For this reason, the planning of a 3-storey building was initiated in 1968. The Club House was demolished and a new building was erected.

Official opening of the YMCA New Building (now the East Wing) at 211-B, Jalan Macalister by His Excellency the Governor of Penang, Tan Sri Datuk Haji Sardon Bin Haji Jubir, PMN, DUPN, SPMJ was held on 28-6-1975.


In 15-10-1987, in response to the expanding needs of the community, the planning of a new Complex was initiated. Mr. Geh Cheng Lok, 5th President, officially launched the building fund campaign on 28-09-1991. The Building Plans were approved on 16-3-1992. The Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Complex was officiated by Bishop Denis C. Dutton, Chairman of Christian Federation of Malaysia on 9-9-1992.

The construction works officially commenced on 4-3-1993. On 2-11-1994 the Penang YMCA celebrated its 35th Anniversary cum the completion of its new 5-Storey Programme & Recreation Complex (the West Wing). The Certificate of Completion was obtained on 24-12-1994.