ABOUT THE CARBINE CLUB
The Carbine Club of Hong Kong is bonded by a number of simple but very significant affections – for sport, for fellowship and for community.
The Carbine Club of Hong Kong was conceived in mid-1991 after John McNamara and Warren Wilson (then The Director of Betting at the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club) were having brunch one Sunday morning in Hong Kong. Having both recently been to The Carbine Club lunches in Melbourne, the conversation turned to the possibility of starting a Carbine Club in Hong Kong. As a result of that conversation, Warren wrote to Alan Schwab, who was then The Secretary of the Carbine Club in Melbourne. A positive response was received from Alan guiding John and Warren as to what needed to be done.
Once formal approval was obtained from The Carbine Club of Melbourne, Warren and John appointed themselves as Secretary and President respectively. They then wrote to people from all fields of sporting endeavours in Hong Kong explaining what the club was about and inviting them to join. The response was overwhelming and in no time 40 members joined.
The first Members Meeting was at the Hong Kong Club where Warren and John introduced those who had agreed to join as well as the nature and object of the club (essentially to have lunches to celebrate major sporting events at which there would be noted speakers). Each new member was presented with the Official Carbine Club tie at the lunch.
The first sporting lunch was held at the Conrad Hotel on December 13th 1991 to celebrate The Invitational Races (now known as the International Races).
The speakers were Les Carlyon and Rodney Johnson. The lunch was an overwhelming success and the Club never looked back from there.
Following the first luncheon the next key event was the first ever Rugby Sevens lunch which would be held in March 1992. This was a spectacular success and cemented the place of the club in Hong Kong’s sporting life and is widely accepted that the Carbine Club lunch is really the only ticket in town.
The other two most significant events in the Club’s history was to host the International Congress in 1996 and again in 2012.
The two key individuals in the club’s history are undoubtedly John McNamara and Warren Wilson who got the club going and guided it through those first tentative years. Since then each of the club secretaries has literally kept the club running at the expense of their own real jobs. Of course the following Presidents and their committees have also played a key part in the undoubted growth and success of the Club.
The now three Major Events coincide with the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens (April), The Cricket Sixes (October-November) and the International Races (December).
In addition we have other members-only functions, an AGM followed by a party for members and spouses and a golf day. In years when a Bledisloe Cup match was played in Hong Kong, a lunch or dinner was held to honour that occasion.
The Carbine Club draws its name and inspiration from one of racing history's greatest thoroughbred horses.
During his career on the race track, Carbine started 43 times for 33 wins, six seconds and three thirds, failing to place only once due to a badly split hoof.
Carbine was popular with racing fans, and sporting commentators of the day praised him for his gameness, versatility, stamina and weight-carrying ability, as well as for his speed.
For more background on this remarkable champion, please click on the following link Carbine