Guide to the Melbourne Beefsteak Club Records
Melbourne Beefsteak Club
Established in 1886, the Club is Australia’s oldest dining club, stemming from London’s Beefsteak Club of Regency fame. The Melbourne club meets monthly for dinner and an address by one of its members or a guest speaker. Its membership once exclusively male, is drawn from academic, professional and business circles. Monthly meetings consist of a meal of which beef (usually steak) is an indispensable feature, the reciting of the Club “ritual” by the member elected as “Master” for the evening, and the Master’s address on a light or serious topic on which members are expected to comment. Notes of the proceedings are taken by the “Recorder” and accounts are kept by the “Moneyer”. During the greater part of the Club’s history one guest only, the Master’s, was admitted to each Dinner, but in later years three were acceptable.The method of electing new members after nominations have been received is described in the records of the 706th Dinner, 29th May 1959:“…the approved nominations be then submitted to the Club at the following dinner, for ballot. No guests to be present at this dinner. The qualifications of each nominee to be briefly outlined by the nominator concerned. Members of the Club to indicate their preferences – 1, 2, 3, etc. – for those nominees whose membership they approve. In the event of a member disapproving of a nominee, he will be requested to draw a line through the name of that particular nominee. Two or more disapprovals indicated in this fashion to disqualify any nominee for election…”Many distinguished men have been among the members and guests of the Club. The records preserve their comments on a variety of subjects.A list of members appears with this listing.
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