On August 10, 1985, an inaugural meeting of Toastmasters was held at the Raintree Club, Kuala Lumpur to form a protem Council of Toastmasters Clubs in Malaysia, Toastmaster Jimmy Khoo of Taiping Toastmasters Club was elected as President. In 1988, official approval was given by the Registrar of Societies, but allowing membership only to clubs registered directly with the Registrar of Societies.
On October 25, 1989, Toastmaster Gerald Green DTM met Executive Director Terrence J. Mc Cann and other Toastmasters International Officers at World Headquarters in Santa Ana, California. Consulting the world map, Terrence suggested merging clubs from four nations, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, under one umbrella and gave Gerald the mandate to form the Pan South East Asia (PanSEA) Territorial Council, the largest in the world.
With the help of Toastmaster Mohammad Abdullah DTM the first Pan SEA Speakers Convention was hosted by Perdana Toastmasters Club and held at Hyatt Saujana Subang in Kuala Lumpur on 29th November – 2nd December 1990. Under the able guidance if the then Director at Large Len Jury DTM of New Zealand, assisted by Dina Santos, DTM of Philippines and Tom McKerli DTM of the Founders Club Santa Ana, California, the concept of the Territorial Council was explained and formalized. Gerald Green DTM of Penang, Malaysia was elected as Chairman, Dr Foo Say Wei DTM of Singapore as Education Lt. Governor and Dr.A Priohandojo DTM of Indonesia as Administration Lt. Governor.
The first PanSEA Territorial Council was five official status on February 15,1991, Gerald Green visited Thailand and obtained their consent to join the PanSEA Territorial Council and thus, the largest potential distirct in the world was born.
In 1993, following the growth and development of the Territorial Council, we were granted the District Provisional Status by Toastmasters International and subsequently in august 1996, we achieved full District Status as the largest district in the world.
Growth and Development
In 1998, World Headquarters of Toastmasters consented to Hong Kong joining the District. This was followed by Brunei Darussalam and Macau in year 2000, thus making complete the seven member countries in District 51. In 1999, the Mandarin Division was formed to cater for the growing Mandarin Clubs through out Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau.
From a humble beginning of 20 clubs in 1995, the District grew steadily and had almost 100 clubs by the time we attained full District Status in 1996. Since then, District 51 experienced exhilarating growth under the energizing leadership of successive District Governors.
Top of the World
In the year 1996, when we attained full District Status under the leadership of District Governor Dunstan Chan DTM, we won second position in the World Top District Award for the Year and subsequently, in the year 1999, during the term of District Governor, Datuk Dayang Adeline Leong DTM we became the top District in the World.
We have never looked back since then and successfully retained the world Top District Award for five years; a feat which has become a record that will be very challenging to match by any other District in the world in the foreseeable future. We have come a long way since the early days of 1985.