A brief history: the Owl Club is a Cape Town institution, founded in 1894. It has been described as a dining club, but it is more than that. The Club meets monthly, on the third Tuesday, except in January; meetings are preceded by dinner and include a talk by an invited speaker on a topic of her or his choice, a musical programme (seen by many as the highlight of the evening) and a second talk by a member (members are called Owls). Membership is by invitation and prospective Owls should have an informed interest in one of: Art, Drama, Music, Science, or Literature. There are some 200 Owls and attendance at our monthly meetings ranges from 60 to 90. Club rules allow Owls to introduce guests who should be people who show an interest in the Club.
Five books record the history, and other aspects, of the Club’s activities:
- W.E Ranby (1952) The Owl Club 1894-1950 (The Owl Club, Cape Town)
- J. Malcolm (1959) The Early History of the Owl Club, Cape Town 1894-1900 (Africana Notes and News, Cape Town)
- E. Rosenthal (1982) The Third Tuesday. A History of the Owl Club 1951-1981 (The Owl Club, Cape Town)
- J.A. Henry (ed.) (1996) The Unjealous Years. An Owl Club Anthology (The Owl Club, Cape Town)
- T. Murray (2019) The Glow of Brotherhood. The Owl Club 1994-2018 (The Owl Club, Cape Town).