Friday, September 8, 2017

Thames (NZ): 1908 Social at the Thames Club

Social events were popular at the Thames from the time the goldfield opened in 1867. A wide variety of venues were used by groups, these included church and masonic halls, plus specialty rooms such as the Academy of Music. The Thames Club was another group that has operated for over 100 years. This is the story of a 1908 dance card that was recently obtained from an online auction site.

BACKGROUND: The 'Thames Club' was formed following a public meeting 13 September 1904 - initially known as the Young Men's Club. In 1907 the group changed their name to 'The Thames Club' and purchased the old Lush property (then owned by Dr P Callan). In 2004 the Thames Club celebrated 100 years. The Thames Club is no longer located in the old club rooms, instead utilises space at the Thames Bowling Club.

 On 2 September 1908, the Thames Club held a social evening, entitled "At Home."  The report on the dance held 2 September 1908, was reported in the Thames Star the following day. (see right)

The President of the club was Mr William McCullough, the owner of the Thames Star Newspaper. Over hundred men and women gathered that evening, the dancing started at 8 pm and went until midnight. The dance programme was interspersed with musical items presented by club members.

The 'dance card' was an important piece of paper, as those present would fill their card for the evening with partners for the programme of dances. (see below) The dances on the 2nd September included the following: Waltz, Lancers, Polonaise, and D'Alberts.

The evening ended with the singing of Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.

Further reading on the Thames Club:
Thames Club 100 Years 1904 - 2004, E F Kingsbury & N I Mills. 2005 Thames Club.