History of the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club Inc.

cossie 2003

The story of the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club Inc. began in February 1961 when a group of people decided to build their own club.

The new club operated originally from a ballroom called the "Arcadia" which was situated on the corner of Main Street and Logan Street in Upper Hutt. The premises were leased in early 1964, and used until March 6th, 1971 when the first Club building in Logan Street was opened.

In 1972 a new extension was added at the rear of the original building and the upstairs bar and pool area were added. This extension incorporated the cellar underneath housing the beer tanks and food chillers.

In 1984, the "Logan Lounge" and a new snooker room were added.

The final extension to the building began in 2002 with a new $1,500,000 lounge and offices being built. This was completely destroyed by fire on the morning of September 11th 2003.

Starting out as The Upper Hutt Workingman’s Club, the name was changed to the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club Inc. in 1969.

Looking back over the period of the Club's existence much of its success and stability is no doubt attributable to the fact that dedicated people have been in control. As at May 2006 there have been only 109 members elected to the executive in that 45-year period. As each annual committee required eight to be selected at the election, that figure speaks for itself.

At the time of the granting of our charter in 1964 the club  had a membership of 170. In August 1970 we totalled 407.  In August 1996 membership had reached 2300 and in August 2001 the total was 3701. At the end of August 2003 membership stood at 4000. In December 2005 the membership stood at 5859 and currently it is over 6600.

The original Club restaurant (1984) seated 120 people and was open seven days per week. The new restaurant currently seats 170 diners.
The old club employed 55 people. Currently it has over 80 full and part-time staff.

A monthly newsletter is sent to all members informing them of up coming activities and it includes news or reports from the various “adjuncts”  that operate within the club structure.

These adjuncts include indoor and outdoor bowls, fishing, cricket, darts, computer, seniors, social dance, travel, pool, golf, snooker,  wine club, theatre and events, Texas Holdem Poker and racing. Other regular activities include housie, trivia quizzes, table tennis, line dancing, scrabble etc.

The fire gave the Club the opportunity to construct a new purpose-built building, which eliminated all the columns, odd corners, low ceilings etc that had been created over the years by the various extensions.

The new building has a floor area of 2751 square metres and the maximum capacity of 1300 people.

During the rebuilding of the Club the members used the RSA building in King St.

After the fire representatives of both clubs met regularly to discuss amalgamation and after 12 months of talks voting to procede with a merger was held at each club's AGM in 2004.  Agreement was reached by both sets of members resulting in the Cosmopolitan Club President and the RSA President finally signing the merger document in April 2005.

This merger resulted in the club becoming the first non-casino venue to operate 30 gaming machines in New Zealand.

Ken Cunningham
Club Historian