A Chronology of Important Events of Les Clefs d’Or Singapore
1970s – In Singapore, the ‘little know profession’ – the concierge – can be traced back to former Singapura Forum and Goodwood Park hotel where the position was called ‘Head Hall Porter‘, a little still widely used in the United Kingdom. The Mandarin Singapore already has its own Guest Services Manager, and the title Chef Concierge was introduced only a few years ago.
1980 – The profession was re-introduced at the Orchard Hotel with Mr Zainal Abidin, as the concierge, Mr Zainal is now with TCS. ‘ The Golden Keys’ was introduced to Singapore through two Swiss trainees at the Orchard Hotel, where Mr Jerry Soh was working as Assistant Manager.
1981 – Jerry moved to The Pavilion Inter-Continental (The Regent Singapore today) as Chef Concierge. After the opening of the hotel, Jerry wrote to Monsieur Gerard Thiault, Chef Concierge of the Plaza Athenee. Paris (Secretary General of Union Internationale des Portiers des Grands Hotels (UIPGH) who referred Jerry’s application to Mr Andre Damonte (then President of the Society of Golden Keys of Great Britain & the Commonwealth), Mr Les Nicol (the Britain & the Commonwealth) responded. Several letters later, Jerry was accepted as a member of The Golden Keys of Great Britain & the Commonwealth in November 11, 1982, the first from Singapore.
Shortly thereafter, Peter Silas (The Pavilion Inter-Continental) became the next Singaporean to wear the ‘Golden Keys’. A year after the opening of The Pavilion Inter-Continental, Jerry joined Le Meridien Singapore as Chef Concierge.
1983 – In July, Michael Wilson (the Executive Concierge at the Shangri-La Hong Kong) visited Singapore. In October, Stan Willis (Head Hall Porter of The Dorchester, London and Hon. Secretary of the Godlen Keys of Great Britain) was in town to present Jackie Wu his ‘Keys’ at a dinner hosted by Manager of the Mandarin Singapore.
Later that year, Harry Chen (the Assistant Guest Services Manager of The Mandarin Singapore) received his ‘Keys’.
1984 – In January, the ‘Magic and inspiration of the little known profession’ was transferred to Jerry through Monsieur Claude Lominet, then concierge of Le Meridien Etoile, Paris, during his two weeks visit to Singapore for the opening of Le Meridien Singapore.
Later in the year when Hong Kong was given recognisation as a national chapter of Union Internationals des Portiers de Grand Hotel, the four Singaporean members (Jerry, Peter, Jackie, Harry) were reassigned to the Hong Kong section.
In December, Jerry traveled to Europe where he participated in the 32nd International Congress of UIPGH (January 1985) as an observer. The one-week Congress was an eye-opener. After the Congress, Jerry spent a month at the Le Meridien Etoile under the tutelage of Mr Claude Lominet and his team in Paris.
So inspired by his attachment in Paris, the home of Les Clefs d’Or, Jerry returned to Singapore with the idea of forming a local chapter.
Frankie Lim (Le Meridien Singapore) and Ahmad Patel (Hotel Pan Pacific, Jakarta, Indonesia) received their ‘Keys’.
1985 – In December, Jerry went to work for Sheraton Towers Singapore where he worked with Brian Wieder (Chef Concierge). Around that time, William Tan and Michael Wo (both Pan Pacific Hotel) joined the small ‘Keys’ family.
1986 – In June, Jerry put together the first draft of the statutes to apply for des Portiers des Grands Hotels. In November, Jerry joined The Oriental Singapore as Chef Concierge. In December 1986, Singapore was officially accepted as the 24th country of UIPGH at the 34th International Congress in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The Founding Committee consisted of: President Jerry Soh (The Oriental Singapore); Vice President: Peter Silas (Pavilion Inter-Continental); Secretary: William Tan (Pan Pacific Hotel); Treasurer: Harry Chen (The Mandarin Singapore); Committee Members: Brian Wieder (Sheraton Towers Singapore), Frankie Lim (Le Meridien Singapore), Jackie Wu (The Westin Stamford & Plaza), Michael Wo (Pan Pacific Hotel), William Seck (Sheraton Towers Singapore) and Ahmad Patel (Sari pan Pacific, Indonesia).
1987 – With the ‘Golden Keys’ in hand, Jerry went on to open many doors, converting Guest Services Managers, Assistant Manager, etc from hotel to hotel. He also actively lectured at SHATEC on the little known profession. The team in Singapore played host to many visiting concierges from around the world, most notably a group of 10 top concierges from London in February 1987.
Because the industry was getting very competitive with many new hotels entering the market ‘service’ became a measure of excellence. This emphasis on service highlighted the advantage of the concierge and many hotels soon created concierge positions.
1989 – Jerry Soh was appointed Area Director, Asia during UIPGH 37th International Congress in Paris, putting him in charge of membership in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
1990 – 1st Asian Concierge Seminar (25 June – 1 July 1990, Singapore), 62 participants from 10 Asian countries attended the one-week seminar at The Oriental, Singapore. Speakers included Mr Andre Namonte and Mr Tony Facciolo, OAM.
1st Manila Concierge Seminar (18-21 November 1990, Manila, the Philippines). Co-organised by Les Clefs d’Or Singapore, it featured Jerry Soh as Guest Speaker.
1993 – 41st International Congress UIPGH (4 – 10 December 1993, Singapore). 550 delegates from over 35 countries participated in the first ever Congress in Asia. A symposium was introduced, a first in UIPGH’s 41 year history. The symposium was so well received; it became a permanent feature of subsequent congresses.
1994 – First National Congress & Seminar of Les Clefs d’Or Philippines (26 November – 2 December 1994, Manila, the Philippines), Jerry Soh was a Guest Speaker.
Key News, the official newsletter of Les Clefs d’Or Singapore was published.
1995 – Workshop/Seminar: The Challenge of Change (27 – 29 July 1995, Singapore), 36 participants from eight countries attended this leadership workshop/seminar held at The Beaufort Singapore.
Concierge Society of Bangkok, Thailand. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore assisted in the formation of the Concierge Society of Bangkok. The Chairman was Khun Chaurong Siewsutha (The Oriental Bangkok) and the Vice President was Khun Sompol Yamapat (The Dusit Tharil).
24-hour Swimathon Fund Raising for Canossaville Children’s Home. The Society participated in the 24-hour Simation to raise funds for Canossaville Children’s Home organized by Holiday Inn Park View.
Seminar: Key to Hospitality (8 – 9 September, 1995, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Over 50 participants attended this first ever seminar for concierges at The Regent Kuala Lumpur. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore was co-organiser and Jerry Soh was the Guest Speaker.
Terry Fox Run. The Society participated in the Terry Fox Run 1995 to help raise funds for cancer research.
The Concierge Association of Malaysia. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore assisted in the formation of the Concierge Society of Malaysia. The Chairman is Mr Timothy Gan (The Regent Kuala Lumpur).
Indonesia Hotel Concierge (IHCA). Les Clefs d’Or Singapore assisted in the formation of the IHCA. The Chairman is Mr Hasnal Bakri (Dai-Ichi Hotel Jakarta).
1997 – Les Clefs d’Or Singapore and Hong Kong would co-sponsor and nominate Les Clefs d’Or at the 44th International Congress (Rome, Italy, January 1997). Les Clefs d’Or Singapore assisted with the drafting of its constitution and submission of application.
Opening of International Concierge Institute Singapore.
1999 – Junior Concierge Course was launched, in line, to train new concierges in the industry. It was a two-day event in Sentosa Island where Associate Members, Mr Jerry Soh and SHATEC trainers were invited to show the ropes of the different service trades.
2000 – The inaugural Concierge of the Year came to light. This competition was jointly organized by Les Clefs d’Or Singapore and SHATEC. 19 contestants from local hotels participated in this exclusive competition. Six finalists were selected and Steven Tham from Conrad Centennial Singapore won the award. The Down Syndrome Association of Singapore was the adopted charity in the Gala Night of the award. This competition will be held once every two years and the winner will also earn a trip to attend the International Concierge Congress.
2001 – The first Asian Congress – Keys to Excellence Workshop was organized in August where Singapore proudly hosted 250 concierges from Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia and as far as Canada. The congress was held over a three-day educational get-together. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore invited a reputable trainer from MDIS to conduct the lectures and several General Managers in the region to share their views on the concierge profession.
2002 – Concierge of the Year Award 2002. The 2nd Concierge of the Year Award taken place at the Conrad Centennial Singapore jointly organized by Les Clefs d’Or Singapore and SHATEC with the aims to raise funds in aid of ‘The School Pocket Money Fund’ participated by 15 contestants from all major hotels and six finalists were selected. The competition won by Serene Toh of the Four Seasons Hotel . Her prize, a fully sponsored trip to the 50th International Congress of Les Clefs d’Or – UICH in Biarritz, France in 2003.
Indonesia Hotel Concierge (IHCA) Jakarta Workshop 2002. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore assisted IHCA organized a 3 days 2 night workshop from 4-6 October, 2002 at the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel Jakarta. Keynote address by Mr. Luther Barrum from the Tourism and Foreign Cooperation of Indonesia. 80 participants from Singapore and Indonesia concierges and front office personnel on the Introduction on the Concierge Profession and Les Clefs d’Or ,UICH.
2003 – Honorary International Member – UICH. Both Mr. Mohamed Ismail Hussain – MD of Globus Executive Holidays Pte.Ltd. and Mr. Eric Teoh – MD of Golf Tours Singapore were officially accepted as an Honorary International Member of the UICH at the world congress in Biarritz, France.
Visit to Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Launch of The Society of Golden Keys, Cambodia an invitation of Raffles International. From 25-28 March, 2003 to showcase Les Clefs d’Or UICH. More than 30 guests, including Hotel general Managers, Front Office Managers and Concierges of various hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Guest of Honour is Mr. Pak Sokhom, Director, Marketing & Promotions Department of Ministry of Tourism.
15th Annual General Meeting 2003. In the midst of the SARS outbreak, Les Clefs d’Or Singapore took the challenge to celebrates her 17thBirthday and 15th AGM at Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia with families on the 18th of April, 2003 with 84 delegates.
Visit to Seoul, South Korea. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore invited to the 1 st Annual General Meeting held at the The Ritz Carlton Seoul on 20th May, 2003. More than 35 society members and associates attended this inaugural event.
2004 – 16th Annual General Meeting and election of new Executive Committee was held on 16th May at M Hotel Singapore.
Les Clefs d’Or participated in the Terry Fox Run on 19th September. A total of 40 members and their families registered for the charity run held at Sentosa Island.
2005 – Newly elected President, Gregory Tan from The Fullerton Hotel Singapore together with Honorary Secretary, Kamisah Rahim attended the 52nd International Congress in Manila, Philippinesfrom 22nd to 27th February. This was Gregory debut role as the society President in an International Congress and his presence was widely received by the International Board Members as well as other International members.
Les Clefs d’Or Singapore PR Officer: Ali Alsagoff (Four Seasons Hotel Singapore) won ‘Tourism Host of the Year: Hotel’ in 19th Tourism Awards (1st March) organized by Singapore Tourism Board. Second member to win the prestigious award after Kamisah Rahim (Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore) in the year 2000. The award was a testament and recognition for Les Clefs d’Or concierges who act as graceful and resourceful hosts to hotel guests in their daily work.
Online Key News made its debut in the revamped Les Clefs d’Or Singapore website. Moving towards the future, the EXCO made a bold decision to make the quarterly issue online as it can reach out to a wider audience, web surfers around the world.
17th Annual General Meeting was held at Sofitel Palm Resort in Johore Bahru, Malaysia on 21st & 22nd May. A two days weekend stay event.
Les Clefs d’Or Singapore joined forces with ARDE: Association of Rooms Division Executives, Association of Housekeepers, Hospitality Purchasing Association, Food & Beverage Managers Association and Chefs Association to form the Hospitality Alliance on 9th March. The aim of the Hospitality Alliance is to provide strong networking opportunities as well as exchanging valuable information. A signing ceremony was held at Conrad Centennial attended by EXCO members and Honorary members.
PR Officer, Ali Alsagoff was featured in GEMS (Go the Extra Mile for Service) campaign in October. GEMS was a nation wide campaign by the government to encourage service sectors professionals to go the distance in executing their daily task.
Article on Les Clefs d’Or Singapore was featured in November/January issue of Hospitality Asia magazine.
In order to create awareness of the Concierge profession amongst the hotel students in Singapore, Les Clefs d’Or extended assistance to SHATEC by meeting up with SHATEC students for series of interviews.
The Concierge team of Four Seasons Hotel Singapore was featured in “Moneymind” : Channel News Asia.
2006 – President Gregory Tan & PR Officer, Ali Alsagoff attended the International Congress in Washington USA from 10th to 16th January. Les Clefs d’Or Singapore proposed to UICH Board members for the successful launch of Les Clefs d’Or Korea.
Les Clefs d’Or Singapore welcomed another country to be under its umbrella. Abdul Rahman Abdullah (Assistant Front Office Manager, The Empire Hotel & Country Club) has been accepted as an Adherent Member. He will also be the Country Representative for Brunei .
Pocket Maps (personalised maps specially produced by Les Clefs d’Or Singapore) were launched. A big hit among participating hotels as well their hotel guests due to its size and exclusivity to participating members’ hotels.
Les Clefs d’Or was represented by several EXCO Members on 25th April for the “Hospitality Alliance Singapore and Singapore Workforce Development Agency Official Signing Ceremony Memorandum of Understanding ” during Food and Hotel Asia 2006. The Guest of Honour for this signing was Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry.
Les Clefs d’Or held its 18th Annual General Meeting on 7th July with the election of a new Executive Committee for the term 2006-2008. This was followed by the 20th Anniversary dinner at the Legends Fort Canning Park , and performance at Crazy Horse Paris . The Guest of Honour was Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr S. Iswaran. To commemorate the event, the organizing committee came up with a special 20th Anniversary logo: 1986 – 2006, 20 years of Service Through Friendship.
Redesigned Les Clefs d’Or Singapore website was launched. Featuring the special society 20th Anniversary logo as the intro followed by Les Clefs d’Or Singapore logo as the background for every page making it exclusive and one of its kind. The new website also features useful URL links that helps any site visitor to get know Singapore better as well as helping Concierge s in their daily work.
A talk on Concierge profession was held in Ngee Ann Polytechnic on 20th December. It was attended by President Gregory Tan, Vice President Ian Tan and Mark Lim.
2007 – President Gregory Tan was featured in WDA: Career Supplement in 8 Days magazine, January issue
President Gregory Tan , Honorary Secretary Wang Shu Yeah, EXCO member Eddy Tan and full member Doris Lim were featured in ‘Cuisine & Wine’ magazine 19th Annual General Meeting was held at Panorama Regency in Batam , Indonesia on 28th & 29th July.
Junior Concierge Training 2007 was reintroduced and held at Sofitel Palm Resort at Johore Bahru , Malaysia on 18th & 19th August. A 2 days residential course.
2008 – 20th Annual General Meeting and the election of a new Executive Committee was held on 15th May at Parkroyal at Beach Road.
2nd Networking Night was held after the Annual General Meeting at Raffles Hotel.
President Gregory Tan was invited by Stephen Fernandez, Country Representative in India, to attend the 1st Annual General Meeting and Key Presentation.
In September, the society unveiled the new logo and started a gradual process of changing all its collaterals.
In October, Les Clefs d’Or Singapore started on some training programmed for its members.
2009 – President Gregory Tan was nominated to be the new UICH Area Zone Director for Asia taking over from Christian Sussman from Hong Kong.
2010 – Ex-President of Les Clefs d’Or Switzerland Mr. Peter Wirth visited Singapore. Founding President & International Honorary Member Mr. Jerry Soh and Executive Committee members hosted dinner.
Ex-Executive Board Member of UICH Mr. Ernst Schneider visited Singapore. Executive Committee members hosted dinner at Jumbo Seafood.
22nd Annual General Meeting & 24th Anniversary Celebrations and the Election of the new Executive Committee was held at The Chamber, The Arts House at the Old Parliament.
Visit of Ex-President of Les Clefs d’Or USA Ms. Holly Stiel. Breakfast lunch was hosted by Founding President & International Honorary Member Mr. Jerry Soh, President Gregory Tan and Honorary Secretary Mohd Salleh at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.
2011 – Vice President Ian Tan & Assistant Honorary Secretary Syed Musaddiq was featured in August Man Magazine in the May edition.
2012 – 24th Annual General Meeting & 26th Anniversary Celebrations and the Election of the new Executive Committee members. Annual General Meeting was held at Raffles Hotel Singapore and Celebrations at CHIJMES. Sam Osman from ParkRoyal Beach Road was elected as the new President took over from Gregory Tan who became Immediate Past President.
Hospitality Educational Workshop was held on 2nd-3rd November at Le Grandeur Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Concierge of The Year competition was held and winner was Member Mohd Fasle from Cinrad Centennial Singapore and will represent Singapore in Andy Pongco Award held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2013. TTG Asia sponsors his congress fee and flight ticket.
2013 – 25th Annual General Meeting & 27th Anniversary Celebrations was held on 24th May 2013 at Menara Peninsula Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. The new website design for Les Clefs d’Or Singapore was unveiled by the Public Relations team at the meeting.
Concierge of The Year competition was held in partnership with TTG Asia and Ascott Centre of Excellence. Adherent Member Mohd Hifni from InterContinental Singapore came out top and will represent Singapore in Andy Pongco Award held in Mendoza, Argentina in 2014. TTG Asia sponsors his congress fee and flight ticket.
2014 – 26th Annual General Meeting & 28th Anniversary Celebrations and the new Election of the new Executive Committee members were held on 29th May 2014 at PARKROYAL On Beach Road. Newly elected President Syed Musaddiq from The Fullerton Bay Hotel was elected as the new President of Les Clefs d’Or Singapore.
President Syed Musaddiq accompanied by Public Relations Xavier Kok attended his first Board of Directors Meeting held in Mendoza, Argentina during UICH 62nd International Congress.
2015 – 27th Annual General Meeting & 29th Anniversary was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Then UICH International President Colin Toomey and Area Zone Director Edwin Saldanha were in attendance.
2016 – Concierge Upskilling Workshop was organized in partnership with E2i. The event was a success and received media exposure in Lianhe Zaobao and NTUC newsletter. President Syed Musaddiq was featured and interviewed by both medias.
28th Annual General Meeting and 30th Anniversary was held in Conrad Centennial Singapore. UICH General Secretary together with All Asian Presidents was in attendance to witness the momentous occasion where Les Cles Clefs d’Or Singapore celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
Asian President Meeting took place and hosted by Conrad Centennial Singapore. President Syed Musaddiq and Vice President Ali Alsagoff represented Singapore.
Helena Phua from International New York Times was accepted as International Honorary Member. President Syed Musaddiq and UICH General Secretary James Ridenour presented her certificate.
UICH International President Simon Thomas visited Singapore. Exco hosted dinner at Chopsuey restaurant in Dempsey.
2017 – President Syed Musaddiq proposed for Indonesia to be an independent chapter of UICH at Board of Directors meeting in Berlin, Germany. Mediterranean Zone Director Mr Adnan Oner supports the application. Decision by the board will be announce at 64th UICH International Congress in Seoul, South Korea.
Singapore was officially announced at UICH 10th Asian Congress in India to be the host for UICH 11th Asian Congress. Assistant Honorary Secretary Mohd Hafiz from Park Hotel Alexandra selected to be the Organizing Chairman for the momentous event.
29th Annual General Meeting & 31st Anniversary was held in Cambodia. The objective is to do presentation and promote the Concierge profession and Les Clefs d’Or brand to Cambodia. There were about 50 industry players in Cambodia attended the presentation that was presented by President Syed Musaddiq.
Member Prakash Raman from Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa was the winner in the national competition Singapore Tourism Award organized by Singapore Tourism Board in Best Customer Service For Hotels Category.
2018 – Member Roslee Sukar was featured in Channel News Asia in the documentary Raffles: Remaking An Icon.
Total of 17 members attended 64th UICH International Congress in Seoul, South Korea. President Syed Musaddiq presented the upcoming 11th Asian Congress held in Singapore 2019 at both Board of Directors Meeting and General Assembly. Honorary Secretary Roszel Ma’Rop attended his first Congress and accompanies President Syed Musaddiq at the Board of Directors Meeting.
Indonesia which is under Singapore chapter has been officially accepted as an independent chapter by UICH Board of Directors. In Seoul. Indonesia is now the latest country to join the UICH families
30th Annual General Meeting & 32nd Anniversary was held in August at Ramada & Days Hotel. Newly elected Executive Committee members are as follow:
President: Syed Musaddiq from InterContinental Singapore
Vice President: Roszel Ma’Rop from The Fullerton Hotel
Honorary Secretary: Mohd Hafiz from Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Asst Honorary Secretary: Herman Shah from Hard Rock Hotel RWS
Honorary Treasurer: Mazelan Mohd Ali from JW Marriott
Asst Honorary Treasurer: Mohd Ariffin from Grand Hyatt
Public Relations & Int Delegate: Mohd Fasle from Conrad Centennial
Asst Public Relations Officer: Lynn Razak from InterContinental Singapore
Ordinary Exco: Henry Neng from Ramada and Days Hotel
Ordinary Exco: Adam Teo from Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore
Ordinary Exco: Azman Mansor from Softel City Centre