Many ‘city’zens have heard of Century Club but few know its vibrant history.
It was Sir M Visveswaraya, in 1917, who formed the club. History has it that the revered engineer became furious when he was not allowed inside a British club. He took the decision to overthrow their supremacy over social life by starting a club with 100 government employees.
Hence the name, ‘Century’ Club.
Located amid lush greenery, the club that aims to provide a platform for recreational activities, also promotes cultural activities besides providing the necessary infrastructure and facilities to nurture the talent of young personalities among its members and their families.
The club also holds sport events and recreational activities for families, youngsters and senior citizens on a regular basis.
It boasts of more than 5,800 elite members comprising founder members, permanent members, life time members and corporate members. Currently, the club is promoted under the dynamic leadership of its president B S Arun Kumar, vice president A J Anandan, secretary Shoba Neelakantappa, treasurer M R Krishna Murthy along with M C Members like C D Devaraj and others.
However, it does not limit its space to men alone. It strives to create an inclusive environment by organising special events for women.
"We hold ladies’ meet where we hold events ranging from gynaecology meets to beauty care, from food and delicacies to dental screening and others. The club also encourages children good at sports," said Shoba Neelakatappa, secretary of the club.
Century Club, which has emerged as one of the prestigious residential cultural associations offers some of the best facilities to its members:
■ Restaurant and Bar: There are several lounges including executive lounge, family lounge, VIP lounge, an open air restaurant and bars.
Open between 6.30 am to 11.30 pm, one can spend their entire day at this perfect getaway.
As the evening unfolds, tasting some of the finest drinks followed by a quiet dinner in the restaurant will make a perfect holiday. The swanky party halls which can accommodate over 250 members, offer sumptuous dinner options besides entertainment.
Celebrations need a perfect venue and special occasions like corporate meetings, get-together parties and rotary meetings among other functions have been held successfully in these halls.
■ Sports and recreation: To ensure mass participation in sports, the club also offers high-end sports equipment.
Tennis court, billiards room, swimming pool and other sport arenas have attracted many people to the club. The all India level Century Club Warehouse Tennis Tournament is conducted every year for both girls and boys under the age group of 16 to 18 years. The inter-club tournaments for billiards, tennis, badminton, table tennis and swimming are held exclusively for its members. Coaching classes are also held for upcoming sports personalities.
■ Library: The club has over 18,000 books which include fiction, non-fiction, children’s magazines and academic oriented books. The well maintained English and Kannada books section quench the thirst for knowledge of many members who spend hours sitting in the library’s reading room where the latest books and newspapers are also displayed.
■ Accommodation: To provide members with the best accommodation facilities, the club maintains more than 18 deluxe rooms and 2 suite rooms
■ Cultural activities: Besides sports, the club also hosts cultural activities like DJ nights, dance recitals like Dandiya nights and others.
The club celebrates Children’s day, New Year, Christmas and others. The club also celebrates Club Day on January 31 to mark the birth of the club.
■ The stars: Dwarkish, Ravichandran, Srinath, B Saroja Devi are some of the popular Kannada film stars who have chosen to be permanent members of the club. Senior sports personalities like Prakash Padukone and Anil Kumble are also associated with this club.
■ Membership: A team of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and seven executive members look after the club. One can be a member of the club with a fee of Rs 50,000 plus service taxes for permanent membership.
For temporary membership one has to pay Rs 5,000 plus service taxes. Children of members who have completed 15 years in the club, are eligible to be members of the club too.