In 1872 – in a breakaway move from The Christchurch Club which opened in 1856 – The Canterbury Club was founded.
Land was needed to build their clubhouse so a ballot was organized and a section on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Worchester Street was selected. Designs were soon drawn up by Fredrick Stout and Christchurch’s ‘most commodious and handsome building’ was opened.
Designed to be a gentleman’s town retreat, it catered to those members who farmed rurally. As Canterbury grew and developed into more than just a farming region, there was discontent amongst the members of The Christchurch Club. There were now bankers, accountants, lawyers and politicians that had nothing in common with the farming based club members.
In 2004 there were talks about the two rival clubs becoming one again but in the true nature of tradition, they decided to stay separate.
The Canterbury Club was damaged and closed due to the 2010/2011 earthquakes however a complete restoration has been completed and the club reopened in 2012.
For a more in depth look at the Canterbury and Christchurch Club, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/
* Image courtesy of Robert Cutts