The “Hash House” was the mildly derogatory nickname given (for its unimaginative, monotonous food) to the Royal Selangor Club Chambers in Kuala Lumpur by the British civil servants and businessmen who lived and dined there between the two World Wars, when it became something of a social centre of the times.
Situated close to and behind the present Selangor Club, its function changed after independence and it became an office for the Water Board. Sadly, the “Hash House” was demolished around 1964 to make way for a new highway, Jalen Kuching, although the buildings housing the original stables and servants’ quarters are still in existence.
The Hash House Harriers
By 1938, “G” Gispert, “Horse” Thompson, and “Torch” Bennett had all moved to Kuala Lumpur and, joined by Cecil Lee, Eric Glavin and HM Doig, they founded their own club, following the rules they had learnt elsewhere. Gispert is credited with proposing the name “Hash House Harriers” when the Registrar of Societies required the gathering to be legally registered. After 117 runs, KLHHH was forced into temporary hibernation by the arrival of the Japanese. Sadly, Gispert did not live to see his extraordinary creation revive, being killed in the fighting on Singapore Island on February 11, 1942.
It took nearly 12 months after the war for the survivors of the Kuala Lumpur HHH to reassemble. Bennett put in a claim for the lost has mugs, a tin bath and two old bags from Government funds. The post-war run number 1 was a trot around the racecourse in August 1946.
The Hash Spreads Out
Strangely, it took another 16 years for the second HHH chapter to be founded, in Singapore in 1962, followed by Kuching in 1963, Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, and Ipoh in 1964, Penang and Malacca in 1965. Perth, Western Australia was the first “overseas” chapter, formed in 1967. Even in 1974 the KLHHH had run No 1500, the HHH had only 35 chapters worldwide. Now the Hash House has over 1200 active chapters, in some 160 countries, and this despite the local absence of any central organisation.
The Mother Hash (Kuala Lumpur) held several international hash get-togethers during the early days of hashing, but he Inter-Hash era is generally agreed to have started in 1978, when the Kowloon HHH hosted the first international assemble of hashers outside Malaysia, in Hong Kong. Held every numbered year since.
Hash Scribe by Squeeka Jarvis
Last Wednesday seen us at Chloride Heights at Screamers place, and being embarrassed about all the harriers that turned up, Screamer took us bush where very few could see the Hashers and it went all down hill from there? Once back after a thorough workout the harriers got stuck into the drinks to put back the sweat we lost getting to the top of the mountain. We had all put back a little sweat when the GM (Winno) called for hush and handed out these refreshments. First the Hare (Screamer) received a drink for the most embarrassing run of the year. This next Hasher was given a drink for their 49th birthday and she knocked it all over the floor, and apparently it wasn’t the first time this week, Ned Kelly was dining out for her birthday at a classy restaurant after her 6th glass of the house best red wine that went all over the floor too. We gave her a drink and it was yelled from the back that we might give her a name change to Tipsey? Frosty went A over T on the run and we gave her a drink to help with the gravel rash over and there was a call from the GM that if anyone has an OLD walking stick Frosty might be looking for one? Fang got a drink for the best and worst joke because there was only one, and the GM announced that this Wednesdays run is from 656 Chapple St where the birthday girl Ned Kelly will be spilling a few. Come for a run and join in the fun. Cheers and Beers and Happy New Years.