The Westminster Club

1889-2013

The Westminster Club was incorporated in 1889 as a private members club.  It was New Westminster's oldest and finest business and social club for about 125 years when the premises was sold in 2013.  Finding no other historic reference to it online, and having several photos, circa 2000, on-hand, this page has been assembled for posterity for as long as the pixels last.

The club occupied the penthouse, as well as one third of the 6th floor below it, of the Westminster Building at 713 Columbia street ever since the building opened.

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Circa 2000 the membership of the club was robust and their lavish all-night gala, and many other events were well attended.  A window seat was always the best view from which to watch the Hyack Festival, and Fraserfest, fireworks over the river.  When the doors were closed in 2013 there were only 10 members left.

This photo was taken to illustrate The Westminster Club's

close proximity to the nearest Skytrain Station

 

The Westminster Building

Building Details

The elevator lobby area and stairs to the lower floor

To the right was the Guest Lounge area with the office back right.  I had been to events and meetings before at the Westminster Club but when I came in to see Yvette in the office, about some community matter. Al took my dry cleaning from me, handed me a cup of coffee, and invited me to wait in the Guest Lounge area.  It had a wonderful view of the old CP train station, Hyack Square, Westminster Quay, and the Fraser river beyond.  It was then that I decided that I liked being treated so graciously and became a member.

 

The James Strath Lounge

That's Murray Pezzim's old board table (above) which saw a lot of lunchtime conversation and other spreads. The lockers in the background held a members favourite smoke or bottle. On one occasion a gracious gentleman offered me a shooter of 100 yr. old Grand Marnier (Not enough oo's in "Smooooth" to describe it).  Such, and other, libation could routinely be ordered by members. The bathroom included an early vintage, dark brown, tall standing, electric shoe polisher, disposable shaving assets, and more.

 

The Small Side Room

The Library

This Library and the Games Room were designated smoking areas.  This was the pre I-phone era and both upstairs and downstairs had little telephone/desk nooks from which to make calls.

 

The Banquet Room outfitted for weddings

The Downstairs Games Room

The love seat saw some games too.  At one time there were a few member living units adjacent to this floor.

 

And the Gym. Adjacent to this and the Games Room was the Co-ed bathroom with sauna.

What stories do The Westminster Club's historic members, wait staff, entertainers and ghosts have to tell?  Were Mandrake the Magician, or Raymond Burr, of  historic Burr's Office Supplies, ever guests?

 

The Westminster Club was affiliated with The Terminal City Club in Vancouver as well as with many of the finest business clubs in the country. 

Other Westminster Club affiliations included the Union Club in Victoria,

The Saskatoon Club, and

The Manitoba Club in Winnipeg,

The Hamilton Club,

The Edmonton Petroleum Club,

The Calgary Petroleum Club,

The National Club in Toronto

and The Laurentian Club in Ottawa.

 

Here's the Westminster Club's web page archive on the Wayback Machine