On an early spring day in April of 1879, a group of gentlemen met over Van Volkenburg's butcher shop on the southeast corner of Yates and Government Streets, and founded The Union Club of British Columbia. Two of the more prominent Members of the group, Sir Frank Barnard, K.C.M.G., and Mr. H.E. Croasdaille, were persuaded to canvas among friends considered congenial as Members. The result of the canvas proving satisfactory, the meeting was called to order and by unanimous vote, Sir Matthew Baillie-Begbie, C.J., was prevailed upon to become the Club's first President.

By 1884, the Membership of 149 had outgrown the Yates and Government location. A General Meeting was held and it was resolved that the Club should build its own Clubhouse which would be worthy of its name. On March 27th, 1884, City lots 230 and 231, at the corner of Douglas Street and Courtney Street, were purchased. On May 2nd, 1885 construction was completed and the Members moved into their sparkling new Clubhouse.

By 1909 Club Members had out-grown the Douglas Street Clubhouse and began hunting for a suitable property to buy. The Committee had received word that the old Badminton Club property on Humboldt Street was about to be put on the market. On December 13th, a Special Meeting of the Members was called and $13,000 was raised to secure the option on the property. In 1910, construction began and in 1913, the first Grand Ball was staged in the new Clubhouse, under the Presidency of Mr. J. A. Mara, whose portrait hangs in the main stairwell of the Club to this day.


Past Presidents

The Past Presidents of the Union Club of British Columbia have helped to determine the economic and political course of the city, the province, and indeed the country. They have collectively molded the Club in to what it is today. Please take your time viewing the Presidential archives, as they provide a short biography of these great leaders and men of vision. Of their accomplishments we will forever remain proud.