In 1948 the Bathurst Club was then in the premises which later became the
British Council Institute and is now the museum at Banjul.
The club had been on this location before 1937, and a squash court had been
erected there for the club which was paid for by the colonial
The rules of the club specified that the Governor was to be the President with
authority to appoint the Chairman. The day-to-day running of the club was
given over to the Committee which had the authority to accept or
reject requests for membership.
12th of March 1948 the C.L. Page the then acting chairman spoke
at the general meeting where he said:
Club has for many
years been allowed the use of the premises it occupies in
Gloucester Street, Bathurst. No lease has been entered into, nor
has any rent been paid to the government. Most members will, I
think , share the view held by Government that in recent years
these premises have proved less and less well suited to the
purposes of the club"
The Government's proposal went on to state that Government
wished to take back the club premises so as to offer them to the
British Council for use as an Institute and to make the two
tennis courts available to a new joint tennis club to be
organised by Messrs. Barnhill and B.O. Semega-Janneh.
The club's use of the premises was terminated with effect from
30th. April 1948. The club was credited with an ex gratia
payment of £850 for the two tennis courts and such additions as
the club had made to the premises.
May 1948. Bathurst Club was allocated premises known as " Mr.
Blake's quarters " on Marina parade with effect from 1st. June
on the basis of a monthly tenancy at £2 per month. Government
agreed to repair the roof and to give the club time to find
June 1948. Mr. J Pelly Murphy (Attorney General) appears to
have become chairman with a Mr. R.Flight as Hon. Secy. They
negotiated with Government and were granted an interest free
loan of £1,500, repayable over 15 years, commencing 5 years from
the date of the loan. This loan to be used for the building of
anew club to be mortgaged against the loan.
The new premises were built in Clifton Street on the site later
occupied by the house of Representatives.
The Hon. H. Madi was chairman.
January 1955. Mr. E.C. Buttery (Hon. Secretary) Bathurst Club
invited Government to make an offer for the premises of the
club, noting that an offer had already been received from the
French Consulate. After negotiations it was agreed :-
1)The price to be £6,000 excluding the tennis courts and bar
2)The club to fence off the tennis courts.
3)The club to cede possession on 30th June 1955.
4)Government to deduct the previously loaned £1,500 from the
payment and agree to make a similar provision on mortgage of the
5)Government agreed to lease land at either Cape St. Marie or
Fajara for 50 years at a nominal rent as at present paid.
On 6th April 1955 Mr. H. Madi (Trustee) confirmed the club's
agreement and on 1st. July 1955 the club occupied premises at
Fajara known as the Old B.O.A.C. Hall while looking for other
Major A. N. Robinson (C.O. The Gambian Regiment R. W.A.F.F) was elected to the chair. The Trustees were C. L. Page O. B.
E. (U.A.C.); Hon. H. Madi and R. Jensen (V.Q. Peterson
Dr. S. H. Jones (D.M.H.) was elected to the chair.
Mr. J. D. Barry ( Auditor S. Madi Ltd. ) was elected to the chair
by 13 votes to 9. There were 184 members.
The club opted to stay
in the B.O.A.C. Hall and asked for a 21 year lease. Government
agreed to a 21 year lease at an annual rent of £50. This lease
appears to have finally been signed on 27th. March 1958.
Mr. D. Niven (U.A.C.) was elected to the chair in his
absence but when he did not return to The Gambia Dr. R. D. Ford
(M.R.C.) replace him. There were 187 members. A new bar was
built in the hall and an ad hoc committee set up to explore the
possibilities of creating a golf course in Fajara to
existing course at Denton Bridge.
Miss M. M. Cooke (Confidential Secretary to H. E. The Governor)
was elected unanimously to the chair. Mr. J. P. Bray (Commissioner of Police) became the first Golf Captain. There
were 171 members. The committee allocated £ 300.00 to the golf
course. Cable and Wireless promised a donation and 4 members
Messrs. A Draper (G.O.M.B.) , V. Brennan (G.O.M.B.), J. S.
Clews (G.F.F.) and J. McPherson (P. W. D.) donated their
time. Miss M. M. Cooke, Mr. R. Gourdain (CFAO) and Mr. G.
Schultz were made life members.
Dr. J. Bringan (MOH) was elected to the chair. Miss M. M.
Cooke left The Gambia on retirement. Two snooker tables were
purchased from Gambia Minerals Ltd. Who were leaving the
Mr. P. R. Bridges (Lands Officer), later Sir Philip, Chief
Justice was elected to the chair.
Mr. E. C. Blake (GOMB) was elected to the chair. Mr. John
Clews was Social Secretary. Her Majesty The Queen visited The
Gambia and the club during the year.
Mr. J. Austin OBE (Director of Agriculture) was elected to the
Mr. S. G. Trees MVO (Admin. Officer) was elected to the chair.
Mr. R. Jensen left on retirement and was replaced as Trustee by
Dr. I. A. McGregor ( MRC ). Honorary membership was extended to
the Prime Minister , The Hon. D. K. Jawara. The club's tennis
courts by the old club in Clifton Rd. were offered to Government
in exchange for 2 courts plus a changing room elsewhere. (Clifton Road became Independence Drive, later liberation Avenue
) Mr. S. H. George (Solicitor General) became Cricket member
of the committee.
Mr. H. L. Williams (UAC) was elected to the chair. Trustee H.
Madi died and was replace by Mr. J. Madi. The cost of moving the
tennis courts was estimated to be £2,500 and was still under
Mr. Keith Williams (MRC) was elected to the chair. The new
golf course lease was said to be in the course of preparation,
with security of tenure guaranteed apart from tee number 1. This
tee was situated in what is now Fajara Hotel and which was then
in the garden of the Chief Secretary.
Mrs. M. M. Whalley was elected to the chair. £2,334 was spent on
improvements and maintenance. Dr. S. H. Jones resigned as
Mr. Keith Williams was again elected to the chair. The Clifton
Rd. tennis courts were sold to Government for £1,250 and work
commenced on a new court at Fajara.
Mr. J. Warren was elected to the chair being
later replaced by Mr. S. H. A. George. Stage constructions and
the provision of curtains improved the main hall and the tennis
court was completed.
The second court could not be built as the
site chosen did not belong to the club. A proposal to build a
swimming pool was dropped for the time being as it was
considered too ambitious.
Mr. R. Madi was elected to the chair. There were 159 members. Mr
R. O. W. Carrol (Govt. Dentist) entered the committee as
Member without Portfolio.
The second tennis court was under construction on a new site and
was scheduled for completion in June at a cost of £1,000.
Government donated £3,400 towards golf course improvement, 3
extra holes were constructed and Mr. And Mrs. A. Draper planted
700 casuarina trees. In 1971 the Gambian £ was replaced by the
Dalasi at £1.0 = D5.00.
Keith Williams again took the chair. There were 150 members.
Golf course improvements went on apace and the
18 holes were
ready by June 1972.
At 31st. March there were 11 life members:- Messrs. Blake E. C.,
Bray D. M. , Gourdain R., Jensen R., Jones Dr. S. H. O. (72
Gloucester St. Banjul) Madi. J. , Madi R., Rey L., Schultz C.,
Tenazzi J. and Whalley E. G.
Mr. D. Dobson was elected to the chair. There were 310
members. The golf course was
fully operational. A dining area
was constructed outside the bar and the children's playground
was improved. Life membership was offered to Dr. I. A. McGregor
and Mr. Hubert Berge (CFAO M. D.)
Mr. Arthur Pugh ( PWD Stores ) was elected to the chair. At some
point between 1974 and 1977 Bathurst Club became
when Bathurst became Banjul.
Mr. A. E. Rumgay was elected to the chair. The
Federation was formed with the Minister of external Affairs (The Hon. A. B. Njie later to be Vice President ) as chairman,
Mr. D. Pillage (British Caledonian Airways) and several other
club members as committee members. The principal object of The
Federation was stated to be to help improve the golf course so
as to bring it up to international standard (at no extra cost
to the club) and to arrange the GGF Pro/Am of 36 holes (1st.
day ) and 18 holes (2nd. day) . Mr. J. Madi one of the
organisers stated that in future improvements to the course
would be funded by the Ministry of Tourism and that government
had no intention of interfering with the running of the course.
The first Pro/ Am took place in
March 1977. During 1977 the
squash court floor was tiled.
Mr. M. Elliot (Pannel Fitzpatrick) was elected to the chair.
The squash court was renovated but the proposal to renovate the
back bar could not be implemented due to lack of funds. Mr.
Keith Williams became a life member.
Mr. R. K. Hobbs (Central Bank) was elected to the chair. The
club land was re-surveyed and a 21 year lease is to be issued
for the club premises and car park with a separate annual lease
over the golf course.
Mr. J. Rooke (Co-operative Dept.) was elected to the chair.
Draught beer and bar tickets were introduced. The main hall was
tiled. The perimeter wall, dubbed 'The Great Wall of China', was
erected at a cost of D25,560.00. Mr. John Clews became a life
Mr. K. Bone (MRC) was elected to the chair but resigned in
January 1981 to return to UK. Mr. S.H.A. George (Trustee)
was elected to replace him. The cost of the 'Great Wall' left
little money to spend but the financial position improved as a
result of a drive to collect fees from tourists using the club.
Mr. W. Malia (GUC Engineer) was elected to the chair. The
attempted coup of 1981 cost the
club in stock looted; most of the silver and pewter mugs in the bar and an
unknown number of bar tickets. Messrs. Rey Carrol and Ali
Jacobs, club members living next to the club were able to secure
the keys and prevent further looting. The aftermath of the coup
brought curfews restricting social life. However, by 1983
productions of The Merry Widow and a Nativity play were
Mr. M. J. A. Knight (Standard Bank) was elected to the chair.
Once again the club plot was surveyed, all related fees paid and
it was hoped the lease would soon be issued. Limited funds
restricted the amount of work done. Mr. S.H.A. George and Miss
Julia S. T. Williams became life members.
Mr. R. D. Parkin (Marine Officer) was elected to the chair.
Competition from tourist attractions in the Kairaba Avenue area
affected the finances of the club and the only work possible was
the construction of a room for stage clothes off the badminton
court. A feasibility study on the construction of a swimming
pool was prepared and approved at an Extraordinary General
Meeting when a target date was set for 1st January, 1987.
Mr. R. Crowther-Alwyn (Pannels) was elected to the chair. The
target date for the pool was not met.
Mr. P. A. Langfield (MRC Transport Director) was elected to
the chair. The tender for the swimming pool construction was
awarded to S. S. Ceesay Construction Ltd. At a price of D
600,000. Mr. Richard Wright supervised the work for the
company, Mr. Bill Mason of Wilber Smith Ltd. Supervised on
behalf of the club. Work was completed in March 1988, the
landscaping during April. Banjul Breweries contributed
D12,500 towards construction of a pool bar. Membership rose
to 251. A generator was purchased and installed. Mr. R. J. McEwan (Dir. Forestry
- Retired) became a trustee.
Mrs. N. Stone was elected to the chair by 66 votes to 37.By May
1990 the overdraft incurred to pay for the pool had been reduced
to nil and the club was D 40,000 in credit. Later that year a
gang-mower was bought for the golf course at a cost of £3,555.58
and a second-hand tractor bought from the Gambian Society for
the Blind (D6,000). The 2 snooker tables were re-covered and
cues, balls purchased. Mr. Mahesh Gopalaney of Chellarams
contributed £500.00 towards the cost. Mr. Rey Carrol became a
Mrs. E. Marr Smith was elected to the chair. Membership
continued to increase and the number of golf players doubled.
Lights were installed for No. tennis court and a new net was
supplied to court No. 2. Mr. Harry Lloyd-Evens retired after 14
years as trustee. Mr. John Clews was appointed in his place.
Mr. R. Wright (Wright Construction) who had built the pool was
elected to the chair. The so-called "back room " was converted
into a new bar, lounge and dining room opening on to a patio
near the tennis courts and pool.
Mr. J. Carlin (Atlantic Hotel) was elected to the chair.
Ms. P. Yip was elected to the chair. During her tenure the
premises were repainted inside and out at a cost of D47,000. The
tractor was overhauled and 2 new tyres fitted. The swimming pool
pump was replaced and an additional pump installed.
Mr. R. Hawes was elected to the chair. The number of members
fell. Golf course improvements were carried out.
Mr. P. Sarr was elected as chairman of the Bathurst Club.