15 Sports and Social Clubs in Fiji | Expat’s Guide

Royal-Suva-Yacht-Club-15 Sports and Social Clubs in Fiji Expat’s Guide

Upon arriving in Fiji, get settled in your new home, familiarise yourself with the immediate surroundings, and then simply seek out your nearest social club (see table below). They are a continuous hive of activity, frequented by local businessmen, ex-pats, and the locals, with whom you can instantly network; they simply encompass the social fabric of towns and cities in Fiji, where different groups of people come together to spend a few hours, have a meal or beverage, and generalise about the day. You will be instantly welcomed into the fold, and by the end of the evening, you will…

In Fiji, social clubs have become an integral part of the community. In this article, we’ll list all the social clubs established across the two main islands of Fiji (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) and then take a deeper dive into the benefits of and why you might want to consider joining a social club if you are staying for an extended period of time. (Expat, Volunteering)

The main building block of Fiji is the communal element, where a group of people come together to experience a shared activity, and you get to indulge and share interests with many other like-minded people at the same time.

Most of the social clubs in Fiji have a fixed location where you can meet up for casual dining experiences with cheaper beverages at designated bars, live entertainment, and sports events. Not only will you always have a venue to go to for entertainment, but these clubs are a gateway to other social opportunities. Some popular sporting social clubs include facilities such as tennis, lawn bowls, table tennis, billiards, cricket, and badminton, to name just a few.

Some clubs do charge a membership fee to enable the upkeep and maintenance of the building and finance the development of the club; this can range from 50 to 200 dollars per year, the equivalent of 1-4 dollars a week. This is a small cost for the amount of benefits you will receive after becoming an official member.

Five Benefits of Joining a Social Club

There are many benefits to be gained by joining a social club in your community. These are:

  1. Making new friends and acquaintances creating lasting bonds and builds friendships that could last for years.
  2. When you become a member, you’ll have a ready-made group of friends to go and hang out with.
  3. Clubs hold activities on most days or nights of the week, offering everything you need to have a great night out with friends or family or to celebrate a special occasion.
  4. Get people socialising again in real life and encourage them to interact face-to-face rather than screen-to-screen.
  5. Community social clubs perform voluntary community service work, local tree planting, clean-up groups that tidy up the neighbourhood, parks, beaches, and more.

Sports and Social Clubs in Fiji

Rooftop Poolside Evening Social Event at Nalagi Hotel
Rooftop Poolside Evening Social Event at Nalagi Hotel | Image: Supplied
Defence Club SuvaDefense Club
Fiji Club SuvaFiji Club
Merchants Club Official Logo scaledMerchants Club
Suva Bowling Club FIjiSuva Bowling Club
Royal Suva Yacht Club Official Logo Suva FIji scaledRoyal Suva Yacht Club
No Image ThumbnailFiji Golf Club
The New Nadi Farmers ClubNadi Farmers Club
Nadi Sports and Social Club Fiji Official LogoNadi Sports & Social Club
No Image ThumbnailNadi Club
Northern Club Lautoka Fiji OFficial LogoNorthern Club
South Seas Social Club Lautoka Official LogoSouth Seas Club
No Image ThumbnailLautoka Club
No Image ThumbnailPlanters Club
No Image ThumbnailLabasa Club
Table: Sports and Social Clubs in Fiji

The Defence Club of Fiji

The Defence Club of Fiji.
The Defence Club of Fiji | Image: Supplied

The Defence Club of Fiji was established as a gentleman’s club in 1915, prior to the outbreak of World War I. Fiji, as a colony of Britain, was not excluded from the conflict in Europe. For the colonists, the winds of war ushered in another era of uncertainty and opportunity. Based on a common desire to establish a place of loyalty to the crown as well as a leisurely pastime, the Defence Club first opened its doors to members who shared similar goals and interests.

The club’s constitution was founded on strong military principles and includes an ‘Oath of Allegiance,” which all new members agree to upon acceptance of their membership in the club. By joining the club, all new members agree, under oath, to a willingness to serve the King and Country in times of need. This oath of allegiance still applies to members of the club to this day. Under its 92-year-old constitution, the club is run by a club secretary and managed by a committee made up of members and two trustees.

The first president of the Defence Club was Sir E.B. Sweet-Escott. In the following 92 years of the club’s existence, other presidents included such notable personalities as Sir Len Usher in 1950, Sir Edward Cakobau in 1967, Mr. Joe Campbell in 1973, Rod Jepsen in 1990, and Leo Smith in 1995. Throughout World War I and WW2, club membership grew, as did its strong military presence, which was evident in its membership and which was to become the hallmark of the Defence Club.

Often, visiting military personnel would present their unit plaques to the club as a mark of respect for the gentlemen of the Fiji Defence Club. These are now displayed above the main bar area. On the club’s premises, you’ll find relics of its military past. “

The Chandos Bar – the counter that served drinks and cocktails in a below-street bar in the Chandos Hotel, near Trafalgar Square in London, During World War 1, the bar became a regular meeting place for many Commonwealth troops on leave in London. It was particularly popular with the men from Fiji who served in France on attachment to the King’s Royal Rifles.

Among the bar’s regular patrons, the custom arose of carving their names or initials on the counter with bayonets. The Chandos Bar was damaged by the wartime bombing of London. Following restoration work in 1950, the downstairs bar was remodelled, and the carved counter was placed in storage.

In the same year, World War II veterans and Defence Club presidents Les Lawlor and Len Usher visited the Chandos Hotel in London and inquired about its whereabouts and if it were possible to purchase the counter. The owners of the Chandos Bar and the brewing firm Truman Hanbury offered to polish the surface and ship the counter to Fiji, where it remains on permanent loan to the Defence Club.

Memorable Events – The Defence Club’s colourful past includes memorable events like the visit of Kingsford Smith during his epic and historic flight of the Southern Cross over the South Pacific in 1928. On June 25, 1956, the Defence Club made a presentation to the 1st Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment on the occasion of the presentation of new colours to the battalion, one of many functions reflecting the Club’s strong military background.

Range of Membership Options – Today, the Defence Club is frequented by businessmen and professionals, with the exception of a few respected politicians who have come to enjoy the club’s facilities over the years. Initially a gentlemen’s club, the DC now offers a range of membership options to its patrons, including women’s membership as associate members. The various categories of membership include ordinary (full membership), country, associate, corporate, and disciplinary forces, as well as the esteemed life membership, which has been bestowed on members who have shown considerable support to the club over the years, like Mr. Joe Campbell and Mr. Bill Sorby.

Club Etiquette and Social Events – Club etiquette requires a polite dress code, with no round-neck t-shirts or flip-flops allowed in the bar area. As part of the ongoing club functions, the ordinary member’s night is held on Wednesday nights, with a weekly raffle drawn on Friday nights.

Clubs Facilities – On weekends, the club supports an open house policy where members and guests alike are invited to take advantage of the club’s facilities. Clubhouse facilities include a 15-metre full-service bar, two squash courts, three full-size snooker tables, and a pool table. The Usher Lounge, equipped with Chandos Bar, is available for hire functions and social events such as the Annual Lawyers Quiz Night and Karaoke evenings.

As well as in-house snooker events, the club hosts inter-club challenges for cricket trophies and an annual visit to and from the Royal Nuku’alofa Club in Tonga. The Defence Club boasts prestigious colonial-style premises conveniently located at 57 Gordon Street, in the heart of Fiji’s capital, Suva. One visit to DC is all that’s required to experience a piece of Fiji’s colourful past.  (Source: History of the Defence Club Suva)

Suva Bowling Club

Suva Bowling Club Bar and Restaurant adjacent to the Bowling Green on the Shoreline of Suva.
Suva Bowling Club Bar and Restaurant adjacent to the Bowling Green on the Shoreline of Suva | Image: Supplied

Located just beside the sea and only a few minutes from Central Suva and the city’s main hotels, the Suva Bowling Club is the place to hang out, whether bowling or enjoying the bar, dining, function and facilities. The Suva Bowling Club offers the perfect setting for corporate functions or events and can cater for small private functions for up to 20 people to large major events for up to 350 people. This great venue and atmosphere has the best bar and food prices with friendly service that everyone in Suva is talking about.

Royal Suva Yacht Club

Inside Royal Suva Yacht Club Bar with a View of the Sunset from the manicured Lawn
Inside Royal Suva Yacht Club Bar with a View of the Sunset from the manicured Lawn | Image: Supplied

The first Commodore of the Royal Suva Yacht Club (RSYC) was T. M. McGuire. The club was founded circa 1930 and was originally located closer to town. The current building was built circa 1940. The club houses many club facilities available for your convenience, including the bar, lounge, boatshed, bure, lawn, and ample parking facilities for members and visitors.

The club’s bar complex is exclusively for members and their guests. The lounge area offers a more relaxed atmosphere away from the bar and provides several televisions for movie lovers as well as sports enthusiasts. There is a restaurant attached to the main clubhouse that offers casual or fine dining at affordable prices. They also have a selection of bar snacks available on request.

Bure/Protest Bar is set outside on the lawn and provides a quiet, shaded area to enjoy the scenery of the club. The lawn is set with outdoor furniture where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine, sunset, or cool tropical evening outside of the bar and lounge areas. This environment is also suited for a large number of people who wish to socialise casually.

During the day, sensible casuals are permitted, and from 1800 hours onward, smart casuals (dress shoes, sandals, collared t-shirts, and shirts) are permitted. The wearing of hats by males in the bar area is forbidden. The penalty for doing so is to buy a round of drinks for every patron in the bar at the time.

The Fiji Club

Friends and Family attending an event at The FIji Club, Small daisy chained lights are across the ceiling.
VIti Event at The Fiji Club | Image: Supplied

The Fiji Club hosts many events and social occasions throughout the year. The club was established in the 1800s with the sole purpose of providing and promoting a friendly social environment for the families of Fiji.. A great place for a casual drink or meal at their restaurant. An overall good egg, you cannot go wrong with a membership at this club.

Nadi Sports & Social Club

Aerial View of Nadi Sports & Social Club
Aerial View of Nadi Sports & Social Club | Image: Supplied

Nadi Sports and Social Club, most commonly known as Nadi’s best-kept secret, is an amazing social club that is unmatched and a great place to meet up with old friends and make new ones. The club’s sporting facilities are hands down the best in the western division; they include a 25-metre swimming pool, a lawn bowling green, squash courts, tennis courts, a basketball court, a futsal court, snooker tables, a gymnasium, a bar, and a small friendly cafe. If you are an expat based in the Nadi area, this has to be one of the smartest memberships you can purchase, allowing you to start networking and becoming part of society instantly.

Northern Club

Northern Club Lautoka Fiji - Sports and Social Clubs
Northern Club Lautoka Fiji | Image: Supplied

The Northern Club is one of Fiji’s leading sports and social clubs, situated in the heart of Sugar City, Lautoka. There are not many places you can go where, the minute you arrive, you will have hundreds of new friends. But that is ‘exactly’ the case at The Northern Club.

The club’s facilities include a family restaurant, bar, and bistro, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and squash courts. with weekly events that include live bands, large-screen TV, weekly raffles, snooker, tennis, squash, swimming competitions, and much more.

Video: The Northern Club, Lautoka
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