A History of the Manawatu County Club Inc
On 19 October 1928 a meeting was held at the home of Mrs H R (Noelle) Cooper, where it was decided to form a Women’s Club. A Committee was elected and Mrs P T (Constance) Putnam became the first President. Seventy-six members were present at the first General Meeting which was held on 29 November 1928 at the Club Rooms in Coleman Place, Palmerston North , formerly the C.M.Ross Co Ltd tearooms. Fifteen members signed the application for incorporation which was witnessed by Mr W L Fitzherbert, Solicitor. Mrs Putnam then declared the Club open. By the end of the first year there were 195 members.
The Club was originally open from 10am to 10pm six days a week. Morning tea, afternoon tea, supper, cigarettes and sweets were available. During these hours, as well as attending social functions organized by the Club Committee, members could use the rooms to meet friends for a game of Bridge, for tea or for a break from shopping. This was particularly useful for country members who were spending the day in town.
Club social functions have varied over the years but since 1932, a Birthday Party has been held every year. Bridge was played from the outset. The Club also ran private games, tournaments and parties.
For almost 52 years the Club remained in Coleman Place, even though the building had been sold, first to Milne and Choyce and then to D.I.C. In 1979 the owners required the rooms and a move was made to the Grand Hotel in November 1980. A further move was made to lease rooms at the front of the Manawatu Club in Church Street in 1985.
The Club had considered purchasing its own property several times but it was not until 1992 that this became a reality. The Salvation Army Citadel on the corner of Main and Fitzroy Streets was purchased and the Club Rooms were opened on 3 July 1992 when members celebrated the Club’s 64th birthday.