The 16' Club
The 16' Club is a dining club established for male members of St David's College (now St David's College, Trinity Saint David); also known as "The Sixteens", the "College Sixteen" or simply "16", it has been accused of being a secret society. Some authors agree with that definition, however others do not.
With origins in the early 19th century, it is now the only remaining dining club at the College, and the only verifiable collegiate dining club in Wales. The Club's colour is pale blue.
Foundation and Origins
The precise foundation of the club is impossible to place accurately, as so much documentation from the pre-war era has been lost, however a volume recently published by HarperCollins places the approximate foundation of the club at 1874-6.
There existed a body of students in the 1830 to 1850s who banded together in secrecy to flout the strict rules which forbade students from appearing in the town without their gown, "communicating" with local women and frequenting the local alehouses. It is this tradition which the Club has made itself known for following.
The Club Today
Today, The 16' Club is solely a dining club, though vestiges of the Club's clerical origin remain in the retention of the College Prayer and the nominal requirement that members be bachelors.
The clandestine nature of these meetings, and the reticence of its members, means that little is known about the club and this in turn fuels wild rumours.
The purpose of the College 16 is loosely defined as, "...to maintain the traditions of Saint David's College, and to provide and maintain a fraternity of gentlemen of calibre for mutual support whilst at University and in post graduate life."
Membership to the Club is by invitation only. The requirements and procedure are not known.
- The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, by Alan Axelrod, ISBN 978-0-8160-3871-8
- Secret Societies: From the Ancient and Arcane to the Modern and Clandestine, by David V. Barrett, ISBN 978-0-7137-2772-2
- The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Hidden History: The Ultimate A-Z of Ancient Mysteries, Lost Civilizations and Forgotten Wisdom, by John Michael Greer, pp886, ISBN 978-0-00-722068-7
- D T W Price, A History of Saint David's University College, Lampeter, University of Wales Press, Cardiff. Volume One, to 1898 (ISBN 0-7083-0606-3) and J.R. lloyd Thomas, "Moth or Phoenix?" (Gomer Press, 1980)
- The 16' Club Codex, independently published: 1971