Story: Men’s clubs

Wellington Club rules, 1862

The Wellington Club was established in 1841. The process for the admission of members in the rule book ensured that only respectable men, acceptable to the existing members, could join. The process allowed for unacceptable candidates to be 'blackballed' – members voted for new members using a white ball to show support and a black ball to signify opposition. A single black ball usually meant a rejection. Once elected, members had to pay a joining fee of 10 guineas (£10 10s.), which in 2011 terms was over $1,000.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Rules and regulations of the Wellington Club. Wellington: Wellington Club, 1862 (S-L 1119-4/5)

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Men’s clubs - Gentlemen’s clubs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 July 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018