How to Be a Member of Club Lusitano
The Club Lusitano is the oldest private club in Hong Kong. It dates back more than 150 years. It is located on the 27th floor of a building on Ice House Street, and its grand ballroom is home to its membership. The name “Club Lusitano”, which derives its name from the ancient Iberian Roman province of Lusitania in Iberian Roman, is open to all Portuguese nationals living in Hong Kong.
In the years following the World War II, the Club Lusitano faced many challenges, including the British colonial system, which struggled to rebuild the city while facing an unstable border with China. Mao Tse Tung was the dictator of China and imposed strict economic controls. Economic refugees fled to Hong Kong. In addition, unemployment was high and shantytowns grew quickly on Kow.
The growth of Hong Kong’s Portuguese community was a major factor in 1941. When the Japanese Empire attacked Hong Kong, many Club Lusitano members became part of the Volunteer Defence Corps. For the duration of World War II, the club was home to the Portuguese-speaking members and officers of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps. Portugal’s neutrality was a great help to the club and its members. However, this hardly lasted long – the Club was subjected to Japanese secret police raids and spies were accused of being British spys.
In 1960s, fire destroyed the original building at 16 Ice House Street. Club Lusitano moved temporarily to temporary quarters in On Lan Street while the building was under construction. The construction was completed in 1967 and the new building opened to the public. Several dignitaries were invited to the official opening. Red Guard riots brokeout in Ice House Street on the same day, leading to a curfew.