Singapore Cricket Club staff allegedly told domestic helper to leave & wait in the car park

The club gave full access to women only in 2007.

Zhangxin Zheng | November 27, 01:27 am

Singapore Cricket Club is the second oldest club in Singapore, established in 1852.

As the website suggests, becoming a member of there appears to be straightforward with no hidden rules:

‘SCC Membership is open to any applicant above the age of 21 years who may be ordinarily resident in Singapore or who may have a place of business in Singapore.’

What about the rules dictating its right to refuse entry to certain patrons?

That part is allegedly not so clear.

Helper singled out and barred from entry

A guest of SCC, Nicholas Bloodworth, has recounted an unpleasant experience via a 800-plus-word Facebook post on Nov. 26.

Bloodworth wrote that he was at SCC as a guest to watch his nephew’s rugby match four days ago, along with the rest of his family, who then planned to have dinner there.

However, the family was informed by a staff member who blatantly singled out the helper, Mary, who was then told to wait in the car park as she was not allowed to enter the club.

Here’s the snippet of the post about what happened:

After the match we adjourned to the The Victoria Room, a restaurant in the club just as fancy as its colonial title. So fancy in fact, that we were blatantly told by a member of the staff that they “Don’t allow maids here.” Good, old-timey discrimination.

Shocked and taken aback by this flagrant discrimination, we tried to clarify: “You mean in this particular area, or in the restaurant ?”

“No. They’re not allowed in the club. At all. She has to wait in the car park,” replied the middle-aged Chinese staffer.

“Well, how do you know she’s not my cousin?” quips my sister-in-law.

“I will know,” he said.

I will know.

Family stayed on

After considering the needs of his father and the children who needed to eat, the family chose to rush through the dinner and pack Mary’s share.

Mary, who took the matter in her stride and shrugged it off, went for a walk with Bloodworth’s infant niece.

But after four days of ruminating on the incident, Bloodworth felt compelled to highlight the incident on social media, primarily because the club’s policy of refusing entry to certain segments of the population was not made explicitly known to the public.

He also felt strongly against this policy which he deemed as discriminatory and uncalled for.

On the SCC website, there was only a dress code reminder to avoid slippers, open-toe footwear (for men), singlets and collarless shirts.

Screenshot from SCC website

Here’s the full post:

Online debates

Readers of this post were mostly in agreement with Bloodworth’s view that discriminating a person because of one’s appearance or job is wrong.

However, some tried to see it from the club users’ point of view and perhaps the policy was not well communicated.

Not the first case

In Bloodworth’s post, he also highlighted how this was not the first time a domestic helper was singled out at the club, even if she was being acknowledged as a guest by the employer.

Back in 2001, SCC got into a similar controversy when a Singaporean finance executive, Angie Monksfield, dined with her helper in the club.

Monksfield was having dinner with her mother, children and the helper, who was akin to being a friend, according to Monksfield.

The family dinner was interrupted by the staff at SCC and Monksfield had to face a disciplinary panel afterwards.

Monksfield was then banned from the club for life for bringing her domestic helper into the club, while her husband was barred for six months.

The incident in Singapore was picked up by the national British daily, The Telegraph.

It was previously reported that male exclusivity at SCC ceased in 2007 — after more than 155 years then — when women finally won access to the Men’s Bar & Billiards Room.

Top photo collage from Nicholas Bloodworth Facebook post

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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