Hong Kong Club
The Hong Kong Club is the first Gentlemen's club
Gentlemen's club
A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

 in Hong Kong. Opened on 26 May 1846, at 1 Jackson Road overlooking the Cenotaph
The Cenotaph (Hong Kong)
The Cenotaph , constructed in 1923 and located between Statue Square and the City Hall in Central, Hong Kong, commemorates the dead in the First and Second World War that served in Hong Kong in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force...

, it is a private business and dining club in the heart of Central, Hong Kong
Central, Hong Kong
Central is the central business district of Hong Kong. It is located in Central and Western District, on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula...

. Its members were (and still are) among the most influential people in the city, including such personalities as senior government officials and the heads of the major trading firms. It was often referred to simply as "The Club". The club's first premises were situated on Queen's Road
Queen's Road
Queen's Road is the first road in Hong Kong built by the Government of Hong Kong between 1841 and 1843, spanning across Victoria City from Shek Tong Tsui to Wan Chai...

 at the junction with D'Aguilar Street
D'Aguilar Street
D'Aguilar Street is a street in Central, Hong Kong. It is an L-shaped street starting from Queen's Road Central, at Entertainment Building. It runs uphill and meets various featured streets Stanley Street, Wellington Street, Wo On Lane and Lan Kwai Fong in the area...


The 2008 club Chairman is Martin Cubbon.


The Club was an exclusive Gentlemen's club
Gentlemen's club
A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

 set up by British merchants and civil servants, to "create a greater community of feeling among these classes". At the outset, an entrance fee of $30 was payable , and monthly subscription fees of $4 were charged quarterly in advance. Facilities included guest rooms charged at $1 per night, dining rooms and bars, and a billiards room

The Club has often been described as the seat of real power in the colony: "Here the Governor and senior civil servants would sit in regular, informal sessions, usually over breakfast or lunch, with members of the commercial elite". In 1877, the club witnessed an assault by a British sergeant who was enraged by the privileges of the official and merchant classes. The lone assailant wandered into the club brandishing a sword, swinging it at the lamps and chandeliers, and menacing members saying: "You're one of them".

The Club moved into new premises in Jackson Road in 1897, and the old premises became home for the short-lived 'New Club', a residential club whose members were almost entirely master mariners.

Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

 Sir Cecil Clementi
Cecil Clementi
-Early life and education:Born in Cawnpore, India, Clementi was the son of Colonel Montagu Clementi, Judge Advocate General in India, and his wife, Isabel Collard. He attended St Paul's School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied Sanskrit and the classics. In 1895, he won the Hertford...

 (1925–30) believed the club to be too exclusive, and suggested abolishing it, and replacing it with a club whose membership would be open to all races.

In the late 1970s, the club was said to be running at a deficit. In 1978, it recorded a deficit of HK$200,000 after including investment income of HK$883,000, and members accused the Directors of poor management.

In May 1981, a group of members fighting to preserve the Victorian clubhouse built in 1897 called an Emergency General Meeting with a motion to wind up the club and distribute its assets. The motion was rejected by 451:147.


Rules of membership were strict: Membership was restricted to British merchants and civil servants, women and people of unsuitable background being banned.

Membership remained exclusive to white British subject
British subject
In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

s until membership rules were eased in the late 1970s. Some parts of the club premises were off-limits to females. One former member is quoted as saying ""there was nothing in the rules to say that Chinese couldn't join. It had simply been understood that you didn't put a Chinese up for membership". There were reportedly few Chinese members as recently as in the early 1980s. The Sex Discrimination Ordinance, which came into force in 1996, eventually forced its doors open to women.

The club reportedly had 1,218 members on its membership register in 1981. In 2007, the club has some 1,400 members, of which 70% are expatriates.


The Hong Kong Club building is currently in its third generation, in its second location. Prior to its 1980s
1980s in Hong Kong
1980s in Hong Kong marks a period when the territory was known for its wealth and trademark lifestyle. Hong Kong would be recognised internationally for its politics, entertainment and skyrocketing real estate prices.-Background:...

 redevelopment the previous Hong Kong Club Building was famous for being one of the last renaissance style
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 buildings left in Hong Kong. The first clubhouse was constructed on the corner of D'Aguilar St and Queen's Road. The cost of its construction, together with furniture, of
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

15,000 was financed through an issue of shares of ₤100 each.

On 16 February 1895, the Club was granted a 999-year lease on the current site, and a new clubhouse was completed there in 1897.
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