A Brief History of the Brisbane German Club
The Brisbane German Club was established on 27 May 1883 in the old Bowen Hotel, Stanley Street, South Brisbane by 40 stout-hearted German men to fulfil the longstanding desire to found a German Club in Brisbane. They bought an allotment in Manning Street for the purpose of erecting a Club House. On 24 May 1887, the first Club house was officially opened.
The Club soon became a popular socialising venue for both Germans and Australians. Events staged by the gymnastic team, concerts and other functions became the talk of the town. A choir, theatrical group, bowling team and library were established for the enjoyment of Club members. Until the night of 15 February 1889 when a fire razed the building to the ground.
A new allotment was purchased in Vulture Street and a new club house built with money donated by the then German Consul, Johann Christian Heussler. On 24 May 1890, the new Club house was completed. The new building became a meeting place to cultivate the German language, customs and music. Benefit concerts and collections were held for members experiencing financial difficulties.
An infestation of white ants made the building unsafe and it had to be demolished in 1932-33. The foundation stone for the third building was placed on 17 June 1933 and after 15 months of hard labour, the current Club building in Vulture Street was officially opened.
More Undergroups have been established in the club since then, such as Skat, Fishing (now defunct), Soccer, Ladies, Carnival, Darts and Dance groups. Boat trips to Bishop Island and bus trips were held for the members and their friends. Also regular weekly dances on Friday and Saturday Nights were established. The Club Building was extended in 1955 to cope with the festivities held there each week.
In recent years, the kitchen and bar have had extensive renovations to cope with the sheer numbers of visitors to the Club. A beer garden was also established.
Today, the Club offers over 70 different German Beers to members and visitors alike. We also hold the original annual Oktoberfest at the Club. The Club is managed by a board of nine directors who are elected each year by the Club members at the AGM. Membership is open to everyone over 18 years of age. Visitors are encouraged to apply for Social Membership which grants them access to the Club. It currently costs $5.00 and is valid until 31 December 2025. Full financial membership costs $44.00 annually and entitles you to join Undergroups, participate in the yearly Anniversary Dinner and Christmas Party, receive the bi-monthly Newsletter, 10% discount on drinks at the bar and voting rights.
The first Clubhouse in Manning St. in 1887