At a public meeting held in Hong Kong in June 1851, a proposal that a club be formed on the military parade ground south of the waterfront - the area to be turfed - launched one of the first cricket clubs outside England. The club was to be known as The Hong Kong Cricket Club and one of its objects was "to promote the game of cricket, tennis, croquet and other athletic sports and pastimes."
The Chater Road ground (now known as Chater Gardens) served the HKCC for 124 years. The first pavilion was a matshed in the north-east corner of the ground (opposite the Furama Hotel). This was soon replaced on the same site by a more solid building. Then, diagonally opposite, an extensive structure appeared (near the old Bank of China). Finally, in 1923, the last Clubhouse was erected, opposite the Hong Kong Club in Chater Road.
The ground became a focal point of the City of Victoria and, although a private club and used primarily for cricket, was thrown open for the public to access and for the staging of important events. Apart from a short break for the Japanese Occupation, the Club thrived, adding Lawn Bowls to its main sports in 1936 and Squash in the fifties.
In 1975, the Club gave up its world-famous site in the middle of bustling Central District and moved to the greener Wongnaichung Gap. The new design allowed for a family atmosphere. To the Chater Road facilities of cricket ground, lawn bowls green and tennis courts, was added a 25 metre swimming pool, four squash courts, more tennis courts and, subsequently, a Sports Annexe which provided various activity facilities.
Food & Beverage operations have been expanded to include the Long Room for fine dining, spinners Coffee Shop, The Willow Room Chinese Restaurant, Chater Tavern (Adult Bar), Sportsman's Bar and Sports Annexe Bar.
DotCod, the Club's Central Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, opened in 2000. The Restaurant is situated in Prince's Building, very close to the original ground at Chater Road, and is open to the public.
In November 2009, an additional floor was completed to the Sports Annexe, housing the Cricket Centre for Excellence and an Indoor Sports Hall. The rooftop tennis courts have been reinstated.
The list of "other sports and pastimes" has received numerous additions, notably, representative Netball, Rugby and Hockey and social Table Tennis.
With a present-day membership of over 2300 and providing a comprehensive range of sports and social activities in a green and present environment, one of the oldest sports clubs in Hong Kong has moved confidently into the Twenty-First Century.
Last updated : 20 March 2013 09:28