Celebrating 100 years November 21, a day earlier than its full century of existence, the Liguanea Club hosted a brunch at its location. The club was established November 22, 1910.
At the celebratory brunch, its management was focused on showing the practical side of the private-member club, which once was the place for Kingston’s elite business and social scene with sporting services, rooms and relaxation.
Dozens of girls from the St Andrew Parish Church Girls’ Home, were feted after a special service at the church’s Half-Way Tree building. Architect and Club President Desmond Hayle pledged its support for the refurbishing of the girls’ home. The two-year-old OAaSIS International Foundation had a chance to showcase fine art of some of its volunteers, while a one-man band played a variety of music from mostly mento, to traditional reggae.
This was just a part of The Liguanea Club’s executive evidence that the organisation will continue to contribute to national development. The club has approximately 900 members, and according to Hayle prioritises development of sporting and relaxation in Jamaica.
The OAaSIS International Foundation which exists to empower youth through exposure to arts, creativity and culture, showcased internal talents upon invitation of the club’s marketing manager Sheron Cameron Dunn. It’s boothe “Art for Hearts” promoting the upcoming expo at the Couples Swept Away Resort, Negril, intrigued it’s visitors with artwork by Howard Moo Young, Rico, Anthea McGibbon, Rico, Barrington Watson (book, Jermaine Gordon (book), Sharon Fox Mould and Art of Jamaica book by the Jamaica Guild of Artists’ Wayne Lawrence. The favourite picks were ‘Smiling Face’ and ‘Art Erotica’ by Howard Moo Young, the lifestyle print series by Ewan McAnuff, ‘Soothing Love’ by Anthea McGibbon, Rico’s ‘Rastafarian musicians’ and all three books showcased. By the day’s end there were orders including of a crafted chain and ceramic pendant from Patrick Lee, even though craft was not on offer for that expo.
Back in the mid-20th century when the Liguanea Club dominated the New Kingston area, it owned more than 100 acreage of land from Trafalgar Road to Dominica Drive. Today on its 16,5 acres of land, Club vice-president Horace Abrahams, spoke about the days New Kingston was the ‘country’ that people would go to relax.
The club leaases land to the state-owned Urban Development Company (UDC), who according to Hayle rents to businesses like the popular children’s gaming centre, Putt and Play, and the LIME Golf Academy. This, Hayle said, has contributed to diversifying the New Kingston landscape, a challenge which proved particularly difficult during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The club offers 38 guest rooms, eight tennis courts which also facilitate children, meeting rooms, bars and other facilities. The club has also hosted most of the international squash tournaments that have been held on the island in recent years.
The ground of Emancipation Park used for green space rather than business places is a welcomed enhancement according to Abrahams. This was as a result of the club members’ joining others to challenge the government of the day which had originally intended to use the land for business.