Many settlers made the trek from their distant farms in the Highlands to revel in Nairobi during Race Week. Some came to get supplies.Others came to drown their sorrows following the latest crop failure, cattle disease, drought or flood.
The only club available in those days was frequented mainly by Government officials, authorities who most settlers were at constant loggerheads with over their land policies. As a result, the settlers decided to build their own club on the other side of town.
They called it Muthaiga Country Club. Barely had the Club opened when, in August 1914, British East Africa was thrust into war against German East Africa and the majority of Club members volunteered for active service to the dismay of their families and demise of many of their farms. As a result, due to low utilisation, the Club teetered on the brink of insolvency for many of its formative years and, had it not been for its major benefactor, Major James Archibald Morrison, may never have survived.
Between the wars, Kenya’s reputation, or more particularly that of the ‘Happy Valley’ set, grew as an exclusive playground for a privileged few who,unlike the majority of Club members who were hard-working settlers, shed their clothes, morals and inhibitions with equal alacrity in pursuit of pleasure.
The advent of WWII in 1939 again drew a dark cloud over the Club with numerous members enlisting for military service in distant theatres of war, many never to return.
Then, no sooner had WWII been won, a ‘wind of change’ occurred that would bring many changes to both Kenya and the Club.