Kapiti Club History
The Birth of the Kapiti Club 7th May 1967
Two foundation members enjoying a social drink after a Rotary meeting in 1967 found themselves having to leave as closing time was announced shortly after their arrival. This triggered thoughts of a Men’s Club in the area and on Sunday, 12 February 1967 a group of nine met to consider the idea.
Following a number of meetings and an ad in the local paper to gauge support for such a venture the formation of the Kapiti Club resulted from the inaugural meeting on 7 May 1967 at Hyde’s Motor Camp. The meeting was attended by 30 people with 20 apologies. The meeting elected officers, accepted the draft rules and appointed the first President Mr N. A. Jones. The aims and objects of the club were to establish for the district Paekakariki to Waikanae a men’s club to fill the social needs and fellowship that only a club could offer by providing facilities such as a bar, billiards/snooker cards and generally present pleasant surroundings.
It appears a bold vision of a country club was the initial intent. The possibility of providing a lounge, garden lounge and swimming pool lounge were discussed along with a driving range, putting green, bowling rink, library, meeting rooms, restaurant, tennis courts and accommodation. Far sighted thinking definitely.
Progress proved to be slow and after four years of uncertain existence in 1971 half the upper floor of the current Club Vista building then known as Lombard House was leased. The meeting to consider its suitability took place on the premises using beer crates with planks on them as seats. Not exactly the surroundings in which to establish a club of their dreams but progress all the same. The Mayor of the time strongly advised against the lease being of the opinion it was quite beyond the resources of members to convert what was an empty shell into acceptable club premises.
Had not counted on the determination and tenacity of those involved.
The task of designing and fitting out the space to meet the requirements for a chartered club at that time commenced. Innumerable meetings with various authorities were held including a particularly long and intense one with the licensing authority. Finally in late December 1971 the license was received and the first beers were sold by the Kapiti Club who had a home at last.
A Special General Meeting on 13 February 1983 gave its approval for the purchase of the Lombard building and following 16 years of endeavour the Kapiti Club at last had its own permanent home. There have been many ups and downs since and what we have today is the result of the hard work of many committees and members over the years.