The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee attended a function organized to mark the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the Delhi Gymkhana Club on 3rd July 2013. He also released a specially designed Commemorative Postage Stamp and Centenary Souvenir on the occasion.Established initially as the Imperial Delhi Gymkhana Club on July 3, 1913, the Gymkhana Club’s buildings were conceptualized by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also planned the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Construction of the Gymkhana Club and Rashtrapati Bhavan was completed one year apart, and both structures embody the style of architecture for which Lutyens is well known.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said the Delhi Gymkhana Club has been a unique witness to history. The alcoves were venue of many meetings between those who played a pivotal role in the unification of India and transfer of power from the British to Indians. He said the Club served as an important meeting place for officials like Shri V.P. Menon who supported Sardar Patel and worked hard to convince Indian Maharajas to join the Indian union. Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin held a private meeting at the Club, which led to the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. General K.M. Cariappa, the senior most Indian officer, hosted a farewell party, for colleagues who had opted for Pakistan at the time of the partition. In his speech, he said \”Comrades-in-arms, during all our life in the various services we have lived together, worked together played together in the various battlefields on which our magnificent Armed Forces have fought with the highest degree of the fellowship and comradeship. May this spirit continue even after we are separated”.