The Athenaeum Club was formed in 1889 as a second Hobart gentlemen's club, catering for urban business and professional men rather than the Tasmanian Club's landowners. Possibly called after the London club of the same name, it was first housed in the historic home Lalla Rook, then in 1904, with a membership of 140, moved to magnificent custom-built premises in Davey Street. It provided, and still provides, cultural and social activities for members: luncheons and dinners, newspapers, a billiard room and bar, and some outside sporting activity, though the early smoke concerts have given way to more modern functions such as father/son/daughter dinners. The Club has reciprocal rights with about forty other clubs in Australia and overseas. In 2004 membership was an all-time high of 434.
Robert B Bye