Last Updated: 9 October 2020
The first leaders behind the Military Club
The Military Guild – or ‘Grémio Militar’ in Portuguese, later changed to ‘Clube Militar’ – was founded on 20 April 1870. According to its first record, the new institution was to serve not only as a place for gatherings of Portuguese military personnel who were stationed in Macao but ‘most of all to establish a library of books on the military, science and other topics’. Its first president was Captain Manuel Azevedo Coutinho. His assistant was Lieutenant Henrique Augusto Dias de Carvalho and his secretary was Rafael das Dores. All three men served in Macao as well as in Timor-Leste and other Portuguese territories in Africa. Das Dores was an avid collector of newspapers and magazines published in Portuguese in Asia. He also published a dictionary of tetum, the Timor-Leste dialect. According to the club’s records, it was das Dores who proposed to create the club in the first place.
The most important dates in the Military Club’s 150-year history
20 April 1870
The ‘Military Guild’, which will later become the ‘Military Club’, is founded.
The construction of the club building is concluded.
The club holds its first conference. A lieutenant in the Portuguese navy, José Maria Teixeira Guimarães, who would go on to become the Secretary-General of the General Government of India, Macao and East Timor, talks about ‘artillery and armour’.
The ‘founding father of the Republic of China’, Dr Sun Yat-sen, is honoured at the club.
A conference on Chinese language and culture is hosted at the club by celebrated Portuguese writer Camilo Pessanha.
The government takes possession of the club building to accommodate refugees from Hong Kong as the Second World War grips the world.
The club enjoys a re-inauguration ceremony after the government gives it back to members. There is also a big renovation of the building this year.
For the first time, civilians are allowed to become members and frequent the club. The name is officially changed from ‘Guild’ to ‘Club’ and there’s a shift in its mission to a more ‘entertainment and learning’ direction.
A major reconstruction of the club’s building, both interior and exterior, begins.
The club reopens after the renovation project. The then President of Portugal, Mário Soares, is joined by Portugal’s then minister of foreign affairs José Manuel Durão Barroso and Edmund Ho, the future Chief Executive of Macao, in celebrating the reopening.
The club toasts its 150th anniversary. Expect celebratory and commemorative events later this year.