The Port Elizabeth St Georges Club

In 1866 a group of Port Elizabeth businessmen decided to start a social club where they could come together after work for a drink while playing snooker and billiards.  The Port Elizabeth Club was born.  The club originally started in Western Road opposite the Trinder Vlei and then moved to the present location when membership started to grow too big for the premises.  The present building was completed in 1903.  The club’s facilities were quite primitive back then compared to modern standards.  Gas and oil lamps and candles lit the rooms with accommodation rooms having iron bedsteads and straw mattresses with matting on the floor as furnishings.  Each room had a water jug and basin on a washstand while a tub of hot water could be ordered for your room if you desired a bath as there were no bathrooms.  The “privies” were in the back garden with only lantern hanging outside the door indicated its whereabouts at night.
 
St George’s Club was started in premises on Castle Hill in 1892 by the younger men in the town as they felt the PE Club catered more for the older men.  It first moved to another site in Western Road before, in 1927, moving to the beautiful building in Park Drive where it ran successfully until 1998 when it was amalgamate with the Port Elizabeth Club.  Hence the long winded name of the Port Elizabeth St Georges Club.  Since then the club has scaled down quite a lot to its present size with all the extra rooms no longer being needed by the original club.  Although the club facilities are still in the club’s hands, the rest of the building and grounds have been sold to a prominent local businessman who has renovated it.

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  1. Gaelyn

    I remember that is a fantastic looking building. Have you ever been inside?

  2. Roché Petersen

    Quote from Titanic (1997): “Rose: [whispering to Jack] Next it will be brandies in the smoking room. Col. Archibald Gracie: [to everybody] Join me in a brandy, gentlemen? Rose: [whispering to Jack] Now they will retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe.”Those were the days!

  3. Firefly

    On the one side quite sad that the club numbers have gone backwards so much that they have had to sell the building but on the other side at least it was bought by somebody who cares about it.

  4. Firefly

    Did a tour of the building before it was sold and got to visit last week for a presentation to the Rotary Club over lunch time.