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How it Began

It all began one balmy evening on the 26th of December (Boxing Day) in 1896…

A few enterprising gentlemen of the area were inspired to form an exclusive club with the intention of providing all male residents of that suburb with a host of recreational and sporting facilities. Mr. F. J. Lucas Fernando of Havelock Town most generously lent his “Ardgowan” house in the heart of Bambalapitiya to these resourceful gentlemen, in order to hold their inaugural meeting. Not surprisingly, the ‘Bambalapitiya Recreational Club’ was born…

5 years later in 1901, the BRC moved to its present location at Havelock Park. Cricket being the most popular form of sport and recreation at the time, the BRC hosted its first match against the Clairmont Cricket Club. The BRC scored 37 runs, and successfully dismissed their opponents for a mere 28 runs, thus setting the stage for an impressive track record in cricketing achievements.

On the 31st May 1915, the Club changed it's name to 'Burgher Recreation Club' and it's colours were changed to Black, Red, and Champagne from the earlier Black, Red, and Gold perhaps depicting it's name B.R.C. 

The game of croquet, also very popular at the time, was introduced the same year, and served as both a recreational pastime, as well as a competitive sport. 1921 saw the introduction of the Proprietary Members Scheme. These funds were used towards the erection of the pavilion, which was opened by the Mayor of Colombo in 1922, as well as furnishing and equipment for the clubhouse. In 1942, the BRC served as a naval base. 4 years later, the Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a dance at the Colombo Town Hall. In 1956, its Diamond Jubilee was also commemorated with a dance at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, whilst its centenary celebrations were held in a grand way.

Throughout the years, the BRC has been one of the pioneers in introducing many firsts to the country, such as the BRC Ladies’ Hockey Section, the Burgher Education Fund, the Students Section in Hockey and Cricket, the annual Seven-a-Side Ladies Hockey Tournament, as well as breeding many excellent sportsmen and personalities, namely Major General B. Russell Heyn, Commander of the Army and Dr. V. R. Schokman, member of the Senate under the Soulbury Constitution. Whilst consciously maintaining its old-world charm and simple traditions, the Club has evolved with the times and each generation of BRCers to become an integral part of their routine, complementing their lifestyle and providing them with excellent sporting and recreational facilities and so began the memorable journey of a way of life that was also known as "See you at the Club...!"