MUTHAIGA COUNTRY CLUB
- - One
Hundred Years Ago: Mombasa Law
Courts 1906 - one of many historic photographs from
'Muthaiga Volume One'.
FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE TAKE
THEIR PLACE IN THIS COLONIAL CAVALCADE
Volume One 1913 - 1963' By Stephen Mills
Published SeptEMBER 2006.]
by Errol Trzebinski
This coffee table book, with its handsome dustcover of green and sepia
monotones, will make the perfect family gift for many Christmases or
other special occasions to come.
array of photographs, maps and drawings assembled by Stephen Mills,
provides a pictorial cornucopia of events in Kenya.
unifying theme - ostensibly the history of Muthaiga Country Club -
surpasses such limitations and offers far more.
had the Club opened its doors in August 1914 when British East Africa
was thrust into war with German East Africa.
First World War saw the majority of Members volunteering for active
service and to the consternation of their families and in their
absence, for the next four years, came the demise of their farms.
peace was declared in 1919, Members of Muthaiga Country Club
established the pattern of converging from far flung parts of the
Colony on a quarterly basis.
to the dentist, doctor, bank manager and replenishing supplies were
shoehorned in during Nairobi Raceweek.
from all walks of life take their place in this cavalcade - from
senior political figures, business and professional communities and
the pioneers themselves.
- - The
'Palace Hotel Mombasa' under construction in
1908 - one of many historic photographs from 'Muthaiga Vol. 1'.
ground-breakers braved the hazards of strange new diseases affecting
crops and animals - heartbreaks which are familiar to pioneers the
Africa there was drought to contend with too.
worked hard and played hard.
needed some light relief.
often as not, Muthaiga Country Club was where they and friends met up
again, drowning their sorrows, starting new love affairs, making merry
before returning to the grindstone again for another three months.
hoping for salacious gossip, will not find any here.
Mills has deliberately avoided embarrassing any living member of
Muthaiga Country Club in keeping with Club tradition.
his book offers is a wealth of fascinating historical back ground
which can be relied upon to stimulate conversation among those who
every turn of the page, the tempo of the journey from Colony to
Kenya's Independence is captivating and embraces all races.
quotations in this book are attributed to Beryl Markham, the Atlantic
flier and professional racehorse trainer.
associations with Muthaiga Country Club go back to her love affair
with Denys Finch Hatton (a founder member).
it's a pity that a golden opportunity to set the record straight about
her literary conundrum, West With the
Night was missed.
the record, it was Beryl's third husband, Raoul Schumacher, (he never
set foot in Kenya, much less in Muthaiga Country Club), who wrote
powers of observation and skill as a ghost writer speak volumes.
then his sources, Elspeth Huxley and Karen Blixen, both successful
authors and illustrious Members in their day, provided the published
information he needed.
despite that the Club almost went bankrupt, before the First World War
ended, it is arguably one of the most famous private members'
establishments in the modern world.
rest, as they say, is history.
author is to be congratulated.
book is available to anyone:
directly from: email@example.com
Mills, Chief Executive, CRB Africa, CRB Centre, Witu Road,
Industrial Area, Nairobi 000100. Tel: +254-020 537106.