In the major towns of the young colony businessmen and professionals – such as doctors, lawyers and accountants – banded together to form clubs of their own. These provided facilities for lunching, dining, talking (commonly over a drink), playing billiards or snooker and, especially in the early days, of entertaining the officers of a visiting warship or a newly arrived governor, who could be expected to provide news of the Old Country. The survivors of this array are the Wellington Club (founded 1841), and five reciprocal clubs: the Christchurch club (1856), the Dunedin or Fernhill Club (1858), the Hawke’s Bay Club (1863), the Northern Club in Auckland (1869) and the Canterbury Club (1872).
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