History of the FCC
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club was founded in 1943 in Chiang Kai-shek controlled Chongqing, China, by a colourful group of international newsmen. As the struggle between the Nationalists and Mao Zedong’s Communists progressed the club moved with the action, first to Nanjing, then to Broadway Mansions in Shanghai, and finally in 1949 to Hong Kong.
The FCC had several homes before the then Hong Kong Governor Sir Murray Maclehose finally granted it the use of its present expansive premises. The first was a two storey house in Kotewall Road, followed in 1951 by a mansion at 41a Conduit Road, frequented by many of the correspondents covering the Korean War.
As the war in Vietnam got underway in 1963 and Hong Kong became an important base for media covering the conflict, the club moved again, first into rooms at the Hilton and in 1969 into the famous waterfront tower block, Sutherland House, both of which have since been demolished.
The war provided one of the most colourful chapters of the club’s history. Battle weary reporters and photographers used the FCC as a much needed haven on rest and recreation visits to the territory. Many who remember it fondly still visit frequently today. The club walls bear mute testimony to the heritage of this era – many of the world famous photographs from the war were taken by members, and a roll of honour plaque commemorates those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 1982 the FCC was granted a lease on the premises it occupies today in the old Ice House in Ice House Street, and set about converting them into a city club, acclaimed by members and guests alike for having the most character and atmosphere of any private club in the territory. This is now the meeting place for many media representatives covering breaking news in China and around the region.
Today internationally renowned veteran correspondents such as Anthony Lawrence of the BBC and Clare Hollingworth of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph are still often to be seen in the bar, while younger journalists starting out on their careers aspire to join the club at the earliest opportunity. The FCC remains as it always has been, Hong Kong’s most popular meeting place for the international media and for a host of like-minded associate members.