History

The foundation members of the Christchurch club were former members of the Crockfords club.   With the prospect of continuing rent increases the Crockfords committee were single-minded in the need to purchase their own club-rooms.   At a special general meeting on 17 April 1952 a motion to proceed with the purchase of a property was lost by one vote.   The committee resigned.

 

They met on 24 April 1952 at Taylor’s Laundry and formed the Christchurch club.   A number of the Crockfords members followed the committee.

 

The following month, May 1952, the property at 319 Cambridge Terrace was purchased for £3,800, and in July 1952, having more than the requisite 50 members, became affiliated to New Zealand Contract Bridge Association.

 

In the latter half of 1968, with a vastly increased membership, the club purchased the site at 21 Nova Place, and built the first purpose-designed bridge club house in New Zealand, at cost of $41,000, and moved in on 21 August 1969.

 

319 Cambridge Terrace and Nova Place are diagonally opposite each other, on opposite side of the river and 700 metres apart.   The Maori name for the environs is Ōtākaro, ‘the place of a game.’

 

In November 1975, during extensions and alterations, fire destroyed the club-rooms.   However, bridge continued, over the fence in the Christchurch Rugby Club’s gymnasium, all of 1976 and through to April 1977 during the re-construction.

 

The club house was completely destroyed, again, during the 22nd February 2011 earthquake, but has since been rebuilt.   During this reconstruction period, from March 2011 to May 2013, bridge was played at Bowls Papanui, Condell Avenue.

 

The new club home is a modern, architecturally designed facility in centrally located Nova Place, off Barbadoes Street. It offers good playing space that can be divided into three areas. In addition, there is a teaching room, administration office, dealing room, director’s platform, well-equipped kitchen and bar. The acoustics and air conditioning are excellent. Improved car-parking in front of the building is attractively landscaped with a well-planned traffic layout, and a facility for less mobile users to be dropped off under cover of the portico at the front door. The Club moved into the new building on 1 June 2013.

 

Areas of the club-house are available to hire for special events, conferences, seminars and meetings, accommodating up to 300 people.

 

This is the largest club in New Zealand, with a 2018 membership of 770.