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
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.
On the 12th of March 1948 the C.L. Page the then acting chairman
spoke at the general meeting where he said:
Bathurst 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 alternative
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 fittings.
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 new premises.
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 sites.
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 Ltd.)
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 replace the 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 country.
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
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 discussion.
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 trustee.
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
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
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.
A 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.
Mr. Arthur Pugh ( PWD Stores ) was elected to the chair. At some
point between 1974 and 1977 Bathurst Club became Fajara
Club, when Bathurst became Banjul.
Mr. A. E. Rumgay was elected to the chair. The Gambian
Golf 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
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 member.
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 performed.
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 life member.
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.