A celebrity haunt that rode the 1990s boom

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 12:00am

Modelled on 18th-century gentlemen's clubs in London, the Tower Club enjoyed its heyday in the booming 1990s when it boasted more than 1,500 well-heeled members.

Chaired by honorary founding member movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw, its board of governors included tycoons Stanley Ho Hung-sun, Hari Harilela and General Chamber of Commerce chairman Christopher Cheng Wai-chee.

It claimed to be one of the finest private clubs in Hong Kong.

The club was frequented by celebrities including politician Sir Sze-yuen Chung, as well as actor Michael Wong Man-tak and his wife, model Janet Ma Sze-wai. The club also played host to many glamour events such as fashion shows, fund-raising parties and art exhibitions.

Those days membership fees were $22,000 for an individual and $34,000 for two corporate members. Monthly dues were $480. The club also rented out to members two luxury junks, the Oriental Queen I and II, which are now missing,

The Tower Club was owned and managed by Club Corporation of Asia, which later changed its name to CCA International.

Founded by German businessman Dieter Klostermann in the 1980s, Hong Kong-based CCA International was once described as the market leader in the international club industry. In December 1990, the company had 15 clubs in Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Their members also enjoyed access to more than 200 associate clubs worldwide.

Mr Klostermann, as the club chairman, said in a 1990 in-house newsletter that the company 'can be proud that we have attained a first-class business reputation and built an excellent corporate image' and described membership as 'such a valued investment'.

He made no mention, however, of whether people would have their membership fees refunded if the club closed.