Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Club calamity

Slightly more than 10 years ago, I received a brochure in the mail inviting me to become a founding member of the Raffles Town Club (Singapore). The brochure was a good size book which detailed in rich and lustrious colours the planned club facilities and membership benefits. At that time, I already knew quite a bit about clubs, having worked on a software for a large and prestigious golf club a few years earlier. So when this offer was extended, I was tempted.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I did not have the kind of money to pay for it, so I gave up on the idea. Today, this same club is in trouble because it lost a class action suite brought by about 4900 of its members a few weeks ago. The club is now proposing to pay off the $3000 a-piece debt to these members using vouchers rather than cash. The members would have none of this. What's more, the other 15,000 members who didn't sue could be knocking on the management's door too. What a right royal mess. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not one of the 4,900, depending on your point of view.

Today, it is reported that the value of club memberships have depreciated drastically from 10 years ago. Then, one of the much coveted 5Cs that spelled success in life (at least in Singapore) was a Club membership. Today, that one C spells Calamity.

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