European Club of Gauhati was established in
the winter of 1894 on the banks of the Brahmaputra,
where the present judges bungalow stands
a Europeans Only meeting
place from all walks of life. It was an oasis
of exclusivity that resulted from their lack
of interaction with the local community. The
facilities then, included the games of Bridge,
Billiards, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis and Badminton.
It even had three fishing boats for the use
of its members. It was a place of fun and
only Indians that were allowed into its hallowed
precincts were the menial workers. To the
nationalists, it stood out as a glaring symbol
of imperialism and in protest they somehow
managed to raze it to the ground.
Club then shifted to a nearby building where
the facilities more or less remained the same.
In fact, a mini golf course and a shooting
range were added. Indians were ultimately
allowed to become full members with all attendant
rights and privileges, including the right
to vote, just a few months prior to Independence.
the year 1950, it had to vacate these premises,
as the Government of the day acquired the
entire land and buildings thereon, for the
construction of the High Court. The Club was
subsequently set up on two steamers, "Dilwara"
and "Cashmere" moored side by side
at Uzanbazar ghat as a temporary arrangement.
It would have continued, but for an incident
where an inebriated member, slipped from the
wooden planks connecting the two steamers,
and drowned in the murky waters below. Rattled
by this experience and not wanting any repetition,
it was decided to change venue yet again,
and this time on to terra firma.