The Melbourne Club
The Melbourne Club was formed for “gentlemen” in November 1838, after only 4 years of Melbourne’s European settlement.
Technically, a gentleman was a member of a family with a coat of arms, but more broadly it included those those families owned landed estates in England, Ireland and Scotland. It initally met at John Pascoe Fawkner’s hotel, but moved into a purpose built building in 1859. It was the premier social institution in terms of power and prestige. It still does not allow female membership, however there is the neighbouring female only ‘Lyceum Club’.
Derwent Yacht Club
The first¹ Tasmanian Yacht Club started in 1859 but failed by 1861. In 1874 the Derwent Sailing Boat Club was formed. It was renamed the Derwent Yacht Club in 1876.
In May 1880 a second club, unhappy with the existing one, started under the name Derwent Sailing Boat Club. It would in time absorb the rival. It was renamed the Derwent Sailing Club in 1884, the Derwent Yacht Club in 1899, then finally the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1910.
There were/are also the Derwent Model Yacht Club and the Derwent Sailing Squadron, suggesting how fractured and political the Tasmanian sailing community must have been!
1. There was a single reference to a Derwent Yacht Club in 1833.
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
The article reports the start of the “resuscitated” squadron, but doe not mention the previous squadron. Therein lies (another) tale of politics and poor sportsmanship!
In 1857 a Sydney based yacht club tore itself apart, with many resigning to form a new “Australian Yacht Squadron”. Presumably the original “Sydney Yacht Squadron” expired, because the resuscitated squadron mentioned above was actually the rebadged Australian Yacht Squadron, as can be seen from when they applied for a Royal warrant in 1862. It was granted the next year, however, His Royal Highness had insisted on a name change:
Perhaps it was a mixed victory; they got the warrant but had to change their name back to the name of original club they had left in protest!