A Brief History
Know about the significant milestones of The Club below.
Over 100 years ago a group of friends in commerce and the professions gathered together to establish their own club - The Brisbane Club. On 31st March, 1903 the Certificate of Incorporation was issued and the Club was formed with an inaugural membership of 45.
The Club's first President was Edward D Day who was also the General Manager of the Royal Bank of Queensland, the Club's first bankers. Many mergers later, it became the National Australia Bank which is still one of the Club's banks today.
The Club had two temporary homes before its establishment in Adelaide Street in 1916.
Whilst little is known of the Club's activities during the Second World War, it gave generously to various Patriotic Funds and made its facilities available for any function which would help the war effort.
After the Second World War, the Club entered more controversial times when the Adelaide Street premises were sold in 1949 to Queensland Newspapers Limited. Queensland Newspapers eventually occupied most of the premises except for the second floor which was leased back on a long-term lease to the Club.
After the sale of the Adelaide Street premises, the Club purchased a run-down property in Edward Street between Elizabeth and Charlotte Streets. Plans were drawn for redevelopment of the site but, unfortunately, did not eventuate.
Queensland Newspapers decided to move to Bowen Hills and in late 1963; the Club repurchased the property for just $210,000.
With premises again secured, the plan was for the Club to continue to occupy the second floor and part of the basement, to refurbish and let the whole of the first floor and to construct an arcade of shops along the Isles Lane frontage and part of the Queen Street frontage which could be leased to commercial business operators. A long term loan and overdraft facilities were obtained from the National Bank and the re-development was completed by early 1965.
In late January 1974, Brisbane was savaged by its worst flood since 1893. The Club rooms were high and dry but the basement which housed the Club's extensive wine cellar was completely submerged.
In March 1977, the Club was presented with its own armorial bearings design and a hand-inscribed and embellished document testifying to its providence and authenticity by the York Herald, Dr Swan. The principal elements of the coat-of-arms are the Stafford Knot, five pointed stars, the crest, shields, helmet and motto - all with relevance to the Club and the State of Queensland.
On the 31st March 1978, the Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a grand dinner with the Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowan, as the Guest of Honour.
In the early 1980's, Brisbane was in the midst of a decade of development - high rise buildings were soon to cluster the city, particularly in Queen and Adelaide Streets. Negotiations were commenced on 18th June 1984 between the Club Committee and F. A. Pidgeon & Son to obtain a redevelopment proposal compatible with the Club's interest.
An agreement was reached with the developer and the Club closed on 20th December 1985. It relocated to temporary Club rooms in the National Bank Building on the corner of Adelaide and Creek Streets.
In February 1988, the Club moved into The Brisbane Club Tower. HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH Prince Edward accepted an invitation to officially open the new Club. A fitting ceremony took place on the Ground Floor of the Club Tower on 1st March 1988.
In October 1997, Dimitriou Architects designed a major refurbishment of the Club covering all five levels. This was completed progressively with the last areas being finished on 31st January 2003. The result is the elegant and tasteful surrounds enjoyed today.
Over the years the Club has always taken a leadership role within the business community. After 95 years as an exclusively men's organisation, the members voted at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 14th December 1998 to admit women to membership of the Club.
Whether hosting Prime Ministers or Governors-General, (or indeed General Douglas MacArthur as the Club did during 1942 - 1944) or Captains of Industry, or providing fellowship to all members through special interest groups or just an excellent dining venue, The Brisbane Club will continue to be the leading business club in Queensland into the 21st century.