Rebuilding of Clubhouse.

ln 1920 a building sub-committee was formed to look into the feasibility of re-building the old clubhouse. When the proposal was tabled for consideration at the A.G.M. on 27 February 1921 it was estimated that it would cost $40,000 to re-build. Funds were promised subject to certain conditions. Due to lack of details the project was shelved as the club could not service the interest.

ln 1921 it was suggested that the Sports Club and the Turf Club should amalgamate since both had common membership and a common clubhouse be built in Tg. Aru. Again the idea did not take roots.

Only by 1925 was the club able to implement improvements to the clubhouse when a new roof was installed and new supports for the floor added. The old servant quarters at the back of the club were demolished and new quarters built under the club’s reading room. A ladies’ room was added to the clubhouse. Another round of improvements was made to the clubhouse in 1927 whereby the whole floor inside the club and that of the veranda were cemented. A bar was built.

By 1933 it was generally felt that the clubhouse was really too old and actual re-construction was necessary as further renovation was considered uneconomical. The old building covered a total area of about 8,000 sq ft which was considered to big for the size of the membership, which consisted only 15 resident members and 35 outstation members. Annual revenue was insufficient to support the heavy programme of repairs and maintenance that the building now required. Again a building sub-committee was appointed to look into the matter.

At the A.G.M. held on 17 February 934, the members approved the proposal to re-build the clubhouse as a single storey structure. The scheme called for the demolition of the upper floor; the ground floor would be concreted throughout; pillars would be raised to 12 feet and the roof would be of corrugated iron sheets. The building would be 60 feet by 50 feet with a wide verandah in front. The existing annex would not be altered and would serve as temporary clubhouse during the re-construction period. A tender for $1,700 with completion within 3 months was accepted. When it was completed a ‘club warming’ party was held on Saturday 10 November 1934.

Management of the Club

With the Governor as the President of the club, initially there was no Chairman for the club as such. A Chairman was appointed on an ad hoc basis to conduct meetings such as the annual general meeting. The affairs of the club was left in the hands of the Secretary who essentially was a one man show.
The first recorded A.G.M. of the club was held on 22 May l906 when the Secretary A. Walter after serving two years relinquished his position due to pressure of work. T.J.C. White took up the post as Secretary.
The A.G.M. of 24 March 1908 marked an important milestone when resolutions were passed to implement the suggestions from the Governor whereby members of the expat community in Jesselton and outstations were allowed, on payment of a small monthly subscription, to take part in all outdoor sports and games organised by the club, without having to become full members of the club which attracted a monthly subscription of $5.00. This arrangement enabled many others to participate in games but they did not enjoy the full privileges of a club membership.

Ladies were not permitted to use club facilities unless by prior approval. This question was finally resolved in an extraordinary general meeting held in August 1911 when it was decided that ladies would be allowed in the club on the lower floor of the clubhouse and only on 2 days of the week from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Ladies who used the tennis courts would have to pay a small monthly subscription of $1.00.