Foreign Correspondents' Club (Hong Kong)
The Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC) in Hong Kong is a members-only club and meeting place for the media, business and diplomatic community. It is located at 2 Lower Albert Road in Central, next to the Hong Kong Fringe Club, and they both occupy the Old Dairy Farm Depot at the top of Ice House Street, one of the few remaining colonial buildings in the Central district.
The Club was founded in Chongqing in 1943 and moved to Hong Kong from Shanghai, where it was set up on 23 June or 25 June 1949. The Club has been located in several buildings since its inception in Hong Kong. It has occupied the North Block of the Old Dairy Farm Depot since 1982.
The FCC has the following membership categories:
- Associate (in this category anyone can join although there is a waiting list of several years)
The membership of the FCC (which totals around 2,400) includes foreign correspondents, reporters, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong and members of the business and diplomatic community. The majority of members (around 1,600) are in the associate membership category.
When prominent international figures from the worlds of commerce, politics or entertainment visit Hong Kong, many choose to address the FCC's speaker lunches as the best means of reaching their desired audience – both directly and through media coverage of the events. Recent speakers include the former chief executive Sir Donald Tsang, former Chief Secretary Mrs Anson Chan. In 2018, the FCC invited Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, the event precipitated the Victor Mallet visa controversy.
The heart of the FCC building is The Main Bar (on the ground floor) which maintains its reputation for colourful characters both from the media and other professions. The FCC has two restaurants on the first floor: the Main Dining Room focused primarily on western-style cuisine, and the Chinese Restaurant.
In the basement is Bert's Bar, named after the late Bert Okuley, long time FCC member and jazz pianist. Bert's features live jazz several nights each week, often with the house band under the leadership of Musical Director Allen Youngblood.
The basement also contains The Work Room where local and visiting members can use the broadband-connected facilities to prepare their articles, and a small but well-equipped Health Club with fitness equipment, a sauna and a steam room.
In popular culture
- The Club is featured in John Le Carré's 1977 novel The Honourable Schoolboy.
- The FCC has appeared several times in films:
- "Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club turns 60". AFP via Terra Daily. 22 June 2009.
- Foreign Correspondents' Club – History Archived 17 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Brief Information on Proposed Grade 1 Items. Item #68.
- F.C.C Facilities – Main Bar Archived 8 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Hong Kong as City/Imaginary in The World of Suzie Wong, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and Chinese Box", by Thomas Y. T. Luk, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
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