The Nav Bharat Club
The Nav Bharat Club was established in 1951. It was constituted to cater for the sporting and social needs of the Indian community in Hong Kong. The main sports played by members at the time were hockey and badminton. In 1961, the club progressed into squash and soon recorded a number of successes. Hockey, nevertheless, remained the main pursuit. Over the years, the club won many laurels in hockey and produced many fine players who went on to represent Hong Kong at the Olympics Games and the Asian Games. The club’s most remarkable achievement was winning a total 17 trophies out of 18 that were at stake at the senior level during the 3 year period from 1971/1972 to 1973/1974 – a feat which has not been, and unlikely to be, repeated by any other hockey team in Hong Kong. The club has also organized hockey tours to Malaysia and Singapore and played hosts to many overseas hockey teams, including the India National Team in 1958. Other activities organized by the club for the community includes children’s sports day, launch picnics, dinners, musical programs and social gatherings. The club has been patronized by persons of prominence like Mr. B. Ditta, the first president of the club; Mr. F. T. Melwani, who became the first patron of the Club’ Dr. the Hon. Dhun Ruttonjee, CBE, LLD, JP, a Legislative Councilor; and Mr. Harnam Singh Grewal, former Secretary for the Civil Service. Dr. Hari Harilela, GBS, OBE, LLD, JP the most prominent person of the Indian community, has been associated with the club for over 40 years. A former president of the club, Dr. Hari is currently the club patron.
The Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2001 with a grand party at the Golden Mile Holiday Inn. Many distinguished guests and leading sports personalities graced the occasion. Well-known Punjabi singer/artist Harbhajan Mann was flown in from India to entertain the gathering. Pictures of the party can be viewed by clicking onto Events.
For the past few years, I have been compiling a history of the club and its achievements. Many past and present members had been approached to provide articles/photos/press cuttings, etc. I wish to thank the following for their contribution of material to make this effort possible - Udham Dillon, Harnam Grewal, G.T.Gul, Rashid Gafoor, Frank Drake, Daljit Singh Tark and Kewal Singh. This is by no means the end of this exercise. Additional articles/photos etc are most welcomed. Our contact details are shown on this home page.
9 January 2008