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“The early Richmond (Bingsland) settlers built a church, school, police station…then a workingmen’s club as a recreation centre”

Richmond Working Men's Club

From the Richmond community to Christchurch and beyond. Having been around since 1888, we have a deep-rooted connection to the community and a fair share of stories to tell.

Our RICHMOND CLUB history in a nutshell...


Richmond was experiencing a population growth spurt which focused attention on the lack of community facilities. Although Richmond was only a few kilometres from central Christchurch, the limited transport and communications of the time imposed a physical separation.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1888

After careful considerable discussion, 26 residents signed a letter to the colonial secretary in Wellington, applying for a provisional charter to enable them to establish a workingmen’s club at Richmond in the Linwood electoral district.

DECEMBER 18, 1888

A provisional charter was granted.

February 23, 1889

The club officially opened with 34 members – described in a newspaper report as “very fair” membership.

April 24, 1889

A Permanent charter was granted by colonial secretary W.R. Russell

December 10, 1907

The Club’s Antarctic connection began when Nimrod (Shackleton’s Ship) crew was granted the freedom of the club with a social evening organised for the crew. In March 1909 it was the turn of the Scott expedition when the crew of the Terra Nova was invited to a social at the Club.

February 22, 1909

The first of the Club’s Annual Picnic. Three trams were ordered to transport the picknickers.

Post World War 1

The club reading room was turned into a depot for relief of the sick. The club also chose to help blinded returned soldiers, with help provided to families. Contributions were also made towards Christmas trees and gifts for the children of deceased and disabled World War 1 soldiers.

The Great Depression

During this period the Club and members of, still had thought to help the less fortunate. Help was also provided to the West Coast hit by the Murchison earthquake in 1928, and Napier in 1932. The Club also sent a cooked ham to the public works camp at Arthurs Pass “to help the boys over Christmas”.


The St John Ambulance recognised Richmond’s long time contribution by making the club a life member of the association in 1960.


First women membership: A Special Meeting was called for a referendum on mixed membership. The vote was in favour, meaning women could now become members of The Richmond Club.

September 04, 2010

Most Cantabrians were home asleep when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the region at 4.35am. The Club suffered superficial damage and continued trading.

February 22, 2011

At 12.51pm a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck which caused widespread devastation with 185 lives lost. The Club was significantly damaged in the February quake, with the immediate closure of the Social Hall, old restaurant, members bar, squash courts, rifle range and library. The Avalon Lounge remained open.

September 2012

The Club was fully closed as the building was deemed unsafe. On the 30th of September a Special Meeting of members was held to discuss the future of the Club.

December 20, 2014

A temporary Club (Stage 1 of the rebuild) was opened to members.

November 24, 2020

A monumental milestone as the doors to stage 2 (the final stage of the rebuild) were finally opened to members and the community abroad.

100 years

In 1998 we were proud to celebrate the 100th year of the Richmond Club. Download our anniversary booklet to read more about our rich history and hear some good ol’ yarns.

The Model Club Member

The Model Club member is one who, wishing to have their rights respected, respects those of others, and who understands they are a member, and not the proprietor. They recognise that they are not number one, but one of a number, and is prepared to abide by the rules that have been passed for the benefit of all. They have a feeling for those who do the hard work and is ready to reward with praise those who have contributed to their comfort and enjoyment. Also, they never try to degrade the bar staff by saying “they are only a servant”, while the member is their master. They are courteous to all and, in short, a respectable member, and the more there are of them, the more the Club will flourish.

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