The Brisbane Polo Club yesterday went the way of A.B. Paterson’s Geebung counterparts, falling off their ponies to become spectres of the past, when the club officially wound up after having sold its home of a quarter of a century, the notable Naldham House.
While the poetic polo club of ‘Banjo’ Paterson fame and their opponents from the city all died in their epic encounter, Brisbane’s private club in the heart of the financial district, sold out to a Singaporean developer.
The beautiful 151-year-old white colonnaded building, with silky oak panelled rooms, dates from 1864 with extensions in 1888. Known for housing nineteenth shipping companies, it was also the site of the first Russian Consulate until the toppling of the Czar in 1917.
Although the place never hosted a polo match in its life, one hopes that the new owner resists the temptation to stick a residential tower atop the old Polo Club building, and so irk the chukka ghosts that Banjo saw so clearly:
And on misty moonlit evenings, while the dingoes howl around,
You can see their shadows flitting down that phantom polo ground;
You can hear the loud collisions as the flying players meet,
And the rattle of the mallets, and the rush of ponies’ feet,
Till the terrified spectator rides like blazes to the pub –
He’s been haunted by the spectres of the Geebung Polo Club.