The Club was founded in 1935 by Sir Charles Belgrave (advisor to the Amir) and a small group of British expatriates. Originally known as the Golf Club and then the Gymkhana Club it became the British Club in the 1960s and has been located in its current premises in Mahooz for nearly 60 years.
There are currently around 1800 members and the club is family focused and has many facilities and activities to suit all ages, including tennis, squash and badminton courts, tae kwon do for children and adults, mah jong and bridge. There’s an excellent library (English Language) with a large children’s section, plus a fully equipped Health Club, which must be the best value on the island.
The club also has a coffee shop and first class restaurant with excellent value for money meals and regular special theme nights. Regular shows with local and international entertainers are also held at the club, together with dinner theatres.
Membership is available for British nationals, Gulf nationals and members of other expatriate communities too small to have available club facilities designed primarily for such communities. All applications for membership are required to be considered by the Executive Committee and are subject to the club's Constitution, as laid down by the Ministry of Social Development.
Hello Bahrain caught up with the Chairman of the British Club, Andrew Savage for a quick chat.
HelloBahrain.com: How long have you been living here?
AS: I have been resident in Bahrain for 18 years.
HelloBahrain.com: What is the first thing that you noticed special about Bahrain when you arrived?
AS: My first visit to Bahrain was in 1984, it was much less populated then and unlike other countries within the gulf, you actually saw and met the local Bahraini people working throughout the day and socially after work.
The friendliness and nature of the Bahraini people was a major factor when considering to move here in 1994.
HelloBahrain.com: How active is the British community here?
AS: The British community is still strong, even though numbers may have dropped in recent years. The various societies still have regular functions which are well attended, they are integral within the local community and benefit many local charities with fundraising events.
HelloBahrain.com: What steps are being taken by the club to foster and develop relationships between the British community and the Bahraini community?
The club has a very strong and loyal number of Bahraini members who support the club and its activities; we work together with the Ministry of Social Development to support local events and charities registered with the Ministry. We are after all, The British Club of Bahrain.
HelloBahrain.com: What do you believe has been your greatest achievements since you took over as the Chairman?
AS: The Chairman is only one of ten members of the Executive committee, and so whatever goals we achieve are as a result of the whole committee and that of our staff. As Chairman it is my responsibility to ensure we provide our members with the best of facilities that are available within our budget, we have transparency in all of our proceedings and abide by the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Major goals for this year are the completion of the new substation and power supply for the club, also the refurbishment of the swimming pool plant room and poolside. These two areas have been problematic for the last two years and we are working towards completion of both projects before the end of April for the power supply and March end, for the poolside.