Bangalore Club set to celebrate 150th anniversary in style

The Lawn of heritage Annex building of Bangalore Club, on Tuesday. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

The sprung wood floor of the ballroom at the Bangalore Club will come alive with a ‘Royal Ball’ and traditional dancing, as part of the 150-year celebration of the city’s oldest club. 

The club, set up in 1868 as the Bangalore United Services (BUS) Club, is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year with several events to take members back to its rich past.

Girish Punja, the president of the club, said the Royal Ball next weekend would recreate the old days in the Brigadier Hill Annexe building.

“This was a place where British officers got a chance to interact with young women. The orchestra would be on the mezzanine floor, invisible and only the music would waft down,” he added. 

Celebrations began in February with a concert by violinist L Subramanium, saxophonist Ernie Watts and others.

A commemorative book capturing the history of the club will be launched later this year. A service day will also be celebrated to honour the armed forces and for the younger generation to understand the bond the club shares with the army and the navy.

As memorabilia of the historic 150-year mark, members will receive a commemorative stamp by the Indian Postal Service, a first-day cover and a brochure on the club.

The club also plans to have a vintage car show and a ‘May Queen’ fashion show that will give a recap of how fashion and music have over the years.

During World War I, when the men were at war, women were allowed in the main building. At the time, to preserve a men-only space, the bar had been renamed ‘The Men’s Bar’.

“It was only in 2014 that in keeping with the changing times, we decided that women should also be allowed to use the bar. Last year, we decided that changing the rule but still calling it ‘The Men’s Bar’ was not right, so we have now reverted to its original name ‘The Bar’,” Punja said.

The club has a sewage treatment plant on its premises.

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