Background

The Lahore Gymkhana was founded as “The Lahore and Mian Mir Institute” in 1878 in the Lawrence Gardens opposite the sprawling estate of the Governor House, the imperial symbol of power and authority of the Raj. The building of the Institute comprised mainly the Lawrence and Montgomery Halls. It aimed at providing social and intellectual recreation for the residents of Lahore and the Lahore Cantonment. The Lawrence Hall, the building facing the Mall was built in 1861-62 in memory of Sir John Laird Lawrence, the first Chief Commissioner (1853-57) and Viceroy of India (1863-69), while the Montgomery Hall facing the central avenue of the Bagh-e-Jinnah was built in 1866 to commemorate Robert Montgomery, second Lt Governor of the Punjab (1859-65) from contributions made by the native Chiefs. These Halls were nrincipal centres of festivities and social life for the elite of Lahore of the Raj era.

The name of “Lahore and Mian Mir Institute” was changed to The Lahore Gymkhana on 23rd March 1906, and has thus stood since then. The premises was taken over by the Government of Punjab in 1972 and now houses the Quaid-e-Azam Library. Resultantly, the Club was moved to its present location at The Upper Mall, which was previously The Golf Club of Lahore Gymkhana spread over an area of 117 acres of land leased frcm the Punjab Government. The foundation stone of the present building was laid on 5th March 1968 by the then Chairman of Lahore Gymkhana Nawab Muzaffar Ali Qizilbash. The building was completed and occupied on 16th January 1972, the cost of which was borne by the members.

The Lahore Gymkhana cricket ground and pavilions, in the Bagh-e-Jinnah, are marvels of scenic and architectural beauty. Spread over an area of 73 Kanals of land obtained from the Punjab Government on long lease, the Lahore Gymkhana cricket ground had been the venue of all domestic and international matches played at Lahore before the construction. of Gaddafi Stadium. Even now it hosts several domestic and inter-club fixtures. Watching a cricket match on a Sunday on this historical ground can be source of immense enjoyment.