History

Guntur Club

The club was first located in a rented house in Kothapet, Guntur. Later on if was shifted to the premises of State Bank of India and was first housed in a palmyrah-roofed building. It started functioning with a charge of 4 Annas for Tennis and 50 Paise per Billiard Cue. We gather from the Minutes Book of the Club which was available from 1-5-1935, that in 1938, 100 copies of Rules books were printed. In 1939 BITCORP donated Rs.150/- for Bar construction.

In the early years, the Club was confined to European members only, and was then called the ‘English Club. Over five decades ago, in 1920, ILTD pioneered Virginia Tobacco cultivation on Indian soil and innovated the Flue Curing process in 1928. ILTD Officials and others, viz., M/s J.T. Urquhart, D.L.W. James, H. G. Hopkins, C. H. Corletter, H,F. Lockten, C M Beatfiled, W. E. Nicholson, Morris, C.W. Power, G.Cumming, A.J.Brock, E.G.Willis, Watson, Bennett, Chalmer, Cocks. J.C.Morris, Murdoch, Roberts, Smoth, Strathic, Toyne, Turner, Treasrue, J.Howston, N.E. Ezra, B.C.ragg, Bagshaw, T.L.L. Bean and a few others along with some Indian members, viz., Dr.P.H.Vithalrao, Mr.P.B.K.Murthy and Late D.N.Murthy and later Mr.K.S.SPillai contributed a lot to its development. It started with an entrance fee of Rs.40/- and ladies as usual were exempt from this fee. In a Committee Meeting dated 26-04-1941, Mr.Watson and Mr.Corlett expressed the Committee’s gratitude to M/s. Hinon & L.H.Maxwell for generous gift of a Billiard Lamp shade and Rubber mat surrounding 1949, M/s. Hinton and Ezra had donated Rs.500/- each for effecting improvements to the club.

From the term of Mr.E.G.Willis, more Indian members started joining the Club and after Independence, more Indian members were admitted. Later on M/s. G. Moult, S.C.R.Ford, M.Strevens, R.J.Pritchard, G.A.F. Rands, M.H.Bougourd, late D.Rama Rao, and M. Venkateswara Rao, A.S.Krishna C.C.Appayya, K.Venkateswarlu, V.N.Reddi and a few others took keen interest in making the Club a visiting place for enjoyment. In 1965, M/s. m. Strevens and C.M.Broadbent made some major renovation work to the building by collecting donations to the tune of about Rs.20,000. In 1967, Flood Light to Tennis Court was arranged. In 1966 Mr.M.Strevens presented a ‘Helvetia Tennis Cup’ to the Club for Tennis tournaments. Snooker Tournament is played for V’s Cup donated by the late M.Venkateswara Rao every year and a rolling Silver Cup is awarded to Winner, with a little cash prize.

During 1976 Mr.K.Venkateswarlu better known as ‘LU’ was the Hon, Secretary, The Club’s Articles of Association was redrafted and distributed to all members after receiving due assent from the Registrar of Non-trading Companies. Hyderabad Life Members started joining in 1976 and five so far are in the Club.

The fact is that the site on which the Club exists, belongs to the State Bank and the building is owned by the Club. The lease amount per annum up to 1962 was Rs.350/- which was increased to Rs.1,200/-. This was further increased to Rs.4,800/- a year in 1976 and a 5 year Lease Agreement with State Bank was entered into which expires on 31-03-1981. In 1971 when Mr.G.A.F.Rands was the President and Mr.M.H.Bougourd was the Hon. Secretary , provisional plan for a new Club house was drawn by Mr.Govinda Rao, Architect, Madras and a Brochure giving details and drawing of the New Club, was made ready.

During 1977 Cyclone, the Club suffered heavy damage and appeals were made to members for liberal donations with the help of contributions from members and M/s. Siemssen Threshie & Co. and Edward Goodwin, the Club with the greatest difficulty, is back to its original shape.

The Club since then has shifted to a sprawling to 2.75 acres property in the year 1998 and continues to be popular and we are sure that members will patronize the Club more often.