FORMATION

The idea of forming a club for the handicapped senior citizens was mooted by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu and passed over to St. John Ambulance to work out the nitty gritty of its formation. They contributed MR2,500 to purchase equipment and furniture required to establish the club. On August 14, 1985 St. John Ambulance called a meeting of various Welfare Associations and Service Organizations to discuss ways and means to help the Aged and Disabled. Ms. Sandra Sim was entrusted the task of preparing a working paper for this. In January 1986 she submitted a working paper for a "Proposed St. John Ambulance, Day Care Centre". A planning committee was set up to carry out the proposals of Ms. Sandra Sim and this committee held several meetings. In May 1986 Ms. Brenda Okura joined the planning committee and was appointed as the coordinator of the Centre. Initially the Centre was to cater for the institutional based Senior Citizens and later in phase 2 to cater for the able bodied Senior Citizens. Ms. Brenda Okura prepared a revised working paper to set up the Day Care Centre, the name selected for the proposed activity. In the 6th Planning Committee Meeting held on 20th May 1986, the Committee agreed to alter the name to "Senior Citizens Club" on the ground that "Day Care Centre" gives the impression that the Centre is catering for the physically handicapped only and Senior Citizens Club would sound more recreational than therapeutic. On 8th June 1986 the first eight members were registered and the first session of the Club commenced within three days. The first "Slorobics" session started on 22nd July 1986.

The new Committee, which was elected in October 1986, to look after the affairs of the Senior Citizens Club was not happy with the subservient status of the Club and friction with the officials of St. John Ambulance began to surface. A meeting was held on 8th November 1986 to clear the misunderstandings. But the desire to form an independent organization for the Senior Citizens was gaining momentum. In early 1987 it was finally decided that the Senior Citizens Club should be a registered organization having its own constitution. Hence a new constitution was drafted and submitted to the Registrar of Societies in February 1987. Approval was obtained from the Registrar of Societies on 24th December 1987 vide his letter PPM/SB:267/87 (4). The seventeen people who registered as members at that time were considered as the Founder Members.

When this organization applied to be a member of the Sabah Social Welfare Council, it was advised that the name Senior Citizens Club was not appropriate to reflect the welfare activities carried out by the organization and therefore made the necessary amendments to the constitution and obtained the approval from the Registrar of Societies to change the name to Sabah Association of Senior Citizens with effect from 4th December 1990.