Windhoek Club celebrates 95 glorious years
The Windhoek Club has its origins in the old United Service Club which began in 1918 shortly after the surrender of the Deutsch Suedwest Afrika territory to the union forces of South Africa. “A strong desire arose amongst those who passed muster for the army of occupation that something should be done in the way of establishing a rendezvous, wherein they could foregather and read the English papers, rest their weary limbs, or play a game of cards or billiards.” wrote the Windhuk Advertiser in 1969 in a golden jubilee edition commemorating the newspaper’s fiftieth anniversary. Over the first fifty years of the club’s existence, the Windhoek Advertiser was published as the “Official Organ of the United Service Club.” The name was subsequently changed to the Windhoek Club which is still its official name today.
After 95 years, the Windhoek Club is still going strong with weekly meetings Wednesdays at the Club House on the premises they share with the Alte Feste Lions. These weekly meetings are attended by well-known names in the Windhoek business fraternity but they tend to belong to an older generation. “We felt we need to revitalise the club starting with a membership drive. The anniversary later this month to mark our incredible history, is the first step to generate new interest in the Windhoek Club” said Tony Nel, the incumbent Club Chairman.
“With the assistance of our current club members, we compiled a list of all the illustrious individuals that have been members in the past. This showed us what a colourful memory Windhoek Club members share, and it is exactly upon this tapestry of institutions with very long histories, that we are building our new future” he said.
Taking care of all the arrangements for the anniversary is the present Windhoek Club committee comprising Tony Nel, Cobus van Wyngaarden, Richard Pfohl, Ian Gallagher, Patrick Ohle and Michael Rumsey.
Ex Namibian editor, Ms Gwen Lister has accepted the invitation to be the guest speaker for the evening. Firebrand architect Kerry McNamara, who has been a member for decades and elevated to life-member, will give a humorous account of the many hilarious as well as serious incidents that make up the club’s imposing history. For instance, the club boasts the oldest snooker table in the country, and on and around this table, many fables were spun, and many contracts were sealed.
The designated Master of Ceremonies is chartered accountant Koos du Toit. The 95th Anniversary Dinner is scheduled for 28 September at the Safari Court Hotel starting at 18:00. Members can obtain tickets at the Club House or from Pfohl’s Outfitters.