The Ballaarat Club was founded in 1872. In 1889, after a few years based elsewhere, it moved into the splendid clubrooms it still occupies today at 203 Dana Street. These clubrooms, unusually, were purpose-built for the Club. The Ballaarat Club was founded in the tradition of the London gentlemen’s clubs of the day and has maintained the tradition of being a club for like-minded people – now of both sexes – who enjoy pleasant social company: good food, good wine, and good conversation!
In order to maintain standards, the Committee made the decision some years ago to lease the ground floor of the building to an experienced restaurateur. This downstairs facility is now open to both Members and the general public from Tuesday to Saturday. Luncheon and dinner are available and some Club functions are held variously in the downstairs Bar and Bistro, the Main Dining Room or the Tunbridge Room.
The Ballaarat Club at 203 Dana Street in Ballarat, Victoria Upstairs, the private club facilities include a wonderful billiard table in the Pryor Room which is also our large function room, the Wine Room, and the recently re-furbished Members’ Bar, shown right. The Wine Room and the Pryor Room may be reserved by Members without charge for meetings and small functions. Such use is to be organised through the Secretary.
The Ballaarat Club holds evening functions from time to time for Members and their guests. Details are published in Club Life, our newsletter published bi-monthly and sent to all Members by e-mail. On the last Friday of most months, a special luncheon is arranged with an interesting guest speaker to spark discussion. These functions are planned to commence promptly at 12.30pm and it is possible for Members who need to get away to be finished by 2.30 pm, although the function will generally continue a little longer for those with the time.
Craig’s Royal Hotel,10 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat. The Ballaarat Club no longer offers accommodation within the Club House but special arrangements have been organised with another nearby Ballarat landmark institution, Craig’s Royal Hotel – around the corner at 10 Lydiard Street South. Facilities at Craig’s, founded in 1853, may be seen at www.craigsroyal.com.au and Members can be assured they are first rate. A special rate has been negotiated for Members and Reciprocal Members of the Ballaarat Club: 10% off the published web-rate. Rooms range from standard single rooms through five grades up to the Royal suites. The tariff includes continental breakfast and late checkout. Membership of the Ballaarat Club must be made clear when booking accommodation. The Club is within walking distance of the main Ballaarat Railway Station and is close to the business district, main shopping precinct and Her Majesty’s Theatre, itself a beautifully restored Victorian landmark. Covered parking is available one block from the Club.
The Club is now in its 143rd year and our aim has not fundamentally changed: It still seeks to offer its Members a quiet haven where good conversation may be had over a drink or a meal in pleasant and comfortable surroundings. Members in good standing of Clubs with whom we have a reciprocal arrangement are welcome to use the facilities of the Ballaarat Club upon presentation of a Letter of Introduction from their home Club.
The Restaurant....Mr. Rede The downstairs facilities are available 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and the upstairs facilities may be used whenever they open. This may be ascertained by telephone call to the Club Secretary but it may be assumed that availability will include Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5pm onwards. Food and drink may be purchased with cash or card or charged to the Member’s own Club account. Cash or cards are preferred in the Members’ Bar.
Club accounts may be used both upstairs and downstairs and at reciprocal clubs in most instances, although cash and credit cards are available in the Members’ Bar and downstairs. A statement of a Member’s Club Account will be issued on or near the first of each month except January and must be settled by the end of the month in which it is issued. This is strictly enforced.
Members are encouraged to bring guests with them to the Club to share a drink or a function but are reminded that any guest must be signed in outside the Secretary’s Office. All expenses and the dress and conduct of a Member’s Guest are the responsibility of the Member. The Bye-laws are consistent with those to be found in similar clubs elsewhere and do include restrictions on dress and the use of mobile telephones and related devices. It is understood that the number of times any particular guest enjoys the hospitality of the Club should be reasonable.
The Club is governed by its own Constitution or Rules passed by the Members and registered as part of our incorporation as a club, and by the Bye-laws passed by the Committee under those Rules. Both are available for inspection in the Secretary’s Office. New members are proposed by existing members and the applications are made available for inspection by all members for a period of time before the application goes before the Committee for decision.