Having a place to socialize and relax seems to be a reoccurring theme for American service people, diplomats and media no matter what country they are in.
This was no different in Taipei. Very shortly after the ROC came to power in Taiwan, Madame Chiang Kai-shek apparently had the Friends of China Club built. This was in the early 1950s and was meant mainly for couples.
By the 1960s, there were clubs for officers, enlisted personnel and their families.
The enlisted personnel club, was on the sight now occupied by the American Club. Officially, it was the Club 63, but we used the Chinese numbers for 6 and 3 to get our taxi ride there.
|Photo by LTC R. Rayle|
This is a 1957 photo of the Friends Of China Club. Ready for another fare is a pedicab driver. By June of 1968, when we arrived, they had been outlawed in Taipei.
The word was that, in Taipei, many of the former pedicab drivers became pilots of the thousands of Datsun Bluebirds which could be found everywhere in the city.
|Photo from The Slide Guy|
This club was located directly across from the Presidential Palace. It was preceded by a place called the Lucky Bar. This car looks like a mid-50s Ford.
|Photo by Gary Roske|
Here is a picture taken directly in front of the Club 63. By the mid-1970s the name was changed to the China Seas Club.
A cheap souvenir
After we paid our initial dues in June of 1968, we were given this cigarette lighter.
Being a non-smoker, I put this lighter, which came in a small box, in my duffel bag and later in our cedar chest. There it stayed for over 40 years until being scanned for this blog.
This page came in handy many times.
This is the banner for the Taipei American Club, officially known as the American Club in China.
Located on the land once occupied by the Club 63, The American Club is very lavish and offers many amenities for those who have memberships.
It is actually quite large. One photo only doesn't convey its vastness. Notice the Grand Hotel in the background. The street address of the club is 47 BeiAn Road, Taipei.
Even the parking is organized. Membership is multinational with reciprocal agreements with clubs in other countries. This parking lot may be on the former location of the stag bar.