|The early 19th century witnessed the sprouting of many elite clubs in Fort Kochi. The Cochin Club is one of the prominent clubs. Situated opposite the St Francis Church and within a beautiful garden, the club was earlier known as English Club. At that time, the membership was restricted to the British and Indian men and reflected the life of the Britons in Kochi.
Records say that Cochin Club was a venue for large gatherings of the British and that its members were the elite of Kochi. Wednesdays and Saturdays were the club days. Many who featured in the commercial history of Kochi such as the highly placed officials of companies like Pierce Leslie and Aspinwall were members.
The club still maintains records of its old British members and photographs of them attending club parties in formal evening attire. Post Independence, the British members of the club used to observe Independence Day by hoisting the Indian flag and singing the national anthem at the club.
Though the membership has become more liberal with Indians and women being permitted to the Club, it seems to be unaltered in its structure and ambience even after a century. The club stands now as a focal point of sporting activities. The vintage flavours are still visible in the structure of the club with its high roofs and arch styled windows providing a glimpse of opulence of the past. The elegant library and sporting trophies of the past are other attractions of the club. Accommodation and catering facilities are provided here, but alcohol is not served on the club premises.