Breathing life into Rand Club
Standing proud for over 100 years, Johannesburg’s Rand Club spans a history that has seen the transition of the city from a gold mining town to the eclectic urban landscape it is today. To survive a century, Rand Club has had to evolve multiple times to meet the needs of its members, and in a modern age, the transition is taking place again…
Historically, Rand Club was positioned as a gentlemen’s club, a space for the upper echelons of South African society where business, politics and industry mixed in a plush social setting.
Today however, the club represents a more diverse demographic and as its own website states: “Rand Club is representative of contemporary South African society and is open to everyone who shares in its ethos, regardless of gender, race or creed.”
Brian Kent McKechnie, a long time member of Rand Club and an architect dedicated to the regeneration of Johannesburg’s inner city, has been a driving force behind the rejuvenation of Rand Club including a refurbishment of the interior.
“Rand Club is working to appeal to a younger demographic of membership,” explains McKechnie of the new wave of thinking at the club. “With our coworking business centre, events such as gin tastings, and jazz evenings, we’re starting to overcome the stereotypes that have always surrounded Rand Club. We’re targeting younger residents and entrepreneurs that live within the city.”
McKechnie furthers that the longstanding members of Rand Club represent a cross-section of South African society that younger generations might not ever get the opportunity to meet, nevermind network with in a relaxed setting.
Amongst the networking opportunities, members of Rand Club are also privy to exclusive speaker sessions, wine and whisky tastings, and a host of other events that take place throughout the year. Members can enjoy a meal, work in the business centre, host meetings or just indulge during some downtime in the renowned Rand Club library.
Written by Kate Els