China Fleet Club [1933-1982]
The 'Gun Plot' website has a good history of the China Fleet Club, including this information about its construction & opening:
On 11th January 1933, the foundation stone of the China Fleet Club, as it had been renamed, was laid by Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O., then Commander-in-Chief, China Station.
The China Fleet Club stands on Government land. Then, as today, it embraces an area of 19,757 square feet. It is leased to the Trustees of the Club for 999 years; the lease was antedated to 25th June 1863, and executed on 20th June 1934. The Crown Rent for the property was, and is, $408 a year.
When the Theatre was completed and opened on 27th December 1933, it was immediately booked by the Hong Kong Amateur Dramatic Club for rehearsals and production of plays.
Tombola was a great favourite too and was played in the Theatre three evenings a week. The Club took a 10% share of the takings. Tombola has never lost its popularity and is still played in the Club regularly.
On 21st March 1934 the China Fleet Club was formally opened by Commodore Frank Elliot, R.N., Commodore Hong Kong
The China Fleet Club was knocked down in 1982 to make way for Fleet House. (Source: Tony Banham "Not the Slightest Chance" p339 #13)
Read more about the history of the China Fleet Club on the Gun Plot website.
RE: China Fleet Club (1933-1982)
RE: China Fleet Club (1933-1982)
Thanks C, lots of good information in those links.
I should have made it clearer that although the China Fleet Club building was demolished in 1982, the institution continued. It moved into temporary premises during the demolition / building work. Then when the new Fleet House opened on this spot, the Club moved back in, occupying the lower nine floors.
As you say, it finally closed in 1992 in Hong Kong, but the name continues with the China Fleet Country Club in Cornwall, England.
As Teenage Boys we used to shoot Pool here, best when the American Fleet was in, we hustled for free Beer. Good Times indeed.
Visited aboard a US Navy destroyer escort in 1975.
Clearly recall the immense amount of luxurious items for sale within the China Fleet Club.
Most memorable, however, was eating at the restaurant within the club.
I ordered fried rice and in return for what I considered to be a very minimal price (US one dollar if I remember correctly) I received a HUGE plate covered with fried rice with a horde of ingredients; many vegetable-type and various meat-types.
It was very tasty and I relished every bit of it.
There was enough food upon that plate to feed an tire family of normal people but I was young and used to consuming large amounts and that I did.
I ate every bit of the food.
I was sated. Filled to near-bursting and the last bite was as tasty as the first.
Decades have passed but that meal remains the finest fried rice I have ever eaten.
My memorable 'meal' in the
My memorable 'meal' in the China Fleet Club restaurant in 1958 was being introduced to large freshly made waffles doused in maple syrup. They've never tasted as good since!
My Memorable Meal
My favourite meal in the China Fleet Club was Curried Eggs with plenty of Mango Chutney. I was stationed in Hong Kong with the Army, 1 DWR, from 1967 to 1971. Usually on a Saturday lunch after a mornings shopping with my then first Wife and Children we would go to Club and have lunch in the upstairs restaruant and sit at our favourite table for a meal.I allways had the Curried Eggs with a San Mig starter. Brilliant.
Afterwards we would walk home to Bonhams Tower flats where we lived
China Fleet club
Two things I recall are the cinema with its daily chnage of programme --I saw more films in 1960/61 than I saw in the next 20 years back home in UK
Also the barber shop on I think the first floor
Thanks for the link to axfordsabode, I've been trying all morning to get a full pdf of the Fleet Club. Much appreciated.
Yes the Barber shop was on
Yes the Barber shop was on the first floor and even within that floor it changed locations at least once in the late 70s/early 80s. The Chinese barbers were ever so quietly professional and courteous in their white tunics and took great care in their work. I had some of my best haircuts there.