Chembur of the forties was a village with a sparse resident population in areas distinctly segregated as Hindu colony, Christian Colony, Gaothan, Quarters, Charai and pockets around paddy fields extending to Mahul in the south and Turbhe in the east.The only organized recreation facilities was in the form of the “Cosmopolitan Cricket Club”, which used to conduct cricket matches every Sunday on the greens currently housing the “Beggars Home”.
Once the ground was requisitioned for the Beggars Home, an alternate had to be found. Chembur then had a Gram Panchayat and a growing community in need of basic civic facilities. Fortunately, the generation had a number of dedicated selfless reformers who worked together to look after the needs of the community. With their initiative, Chembur soon got a maternity home, childrens’ nursery and a high school.The Gymkhana proposition was now increasing in dimensions and a provisional committee decided on the location for the playground on the 16th road. The efforts bore fruit and the consent of the Collector for use of the land on lease was obtained.A public meeting of the residents was held on the yet unguarded plot of land on 16th Road in the shade of still standing Karanja trees (Nov. / Dec. 1947) and the first Managing Committee of the Gymkhana was constituted (under the Presidentship of Mr. Jabir Ali). The Committee started its business in right earnest and Chembur Gymkhana had a constitution. The Collector of BSD was approached for the grant of lease of the land. Members were enrolled as Patrons, Life Members and ordinary members.Formalities with Office of the Collector were completed during the course of 1948. Badminton was the first activity and it began at the open private court. The Gymkhana had its first constructed asset in the shape of an A.C. shed. A humble apology for a club house with an open verandah for members gallery overlooking the cricket pitch and the open concrete badminton court.Next was a portable Table tennis table installed in the AC shed. Card games were enjoyed in the open air on the patio. To build a proper club house, donors were the main source. The Gymkhana also gracefully accepted the donation of the plot of land adjoining the north east boundary. The club house was a boon to the fitness conscious enthusiasts. Badminton court attracted members of both sexes and in all age groups.The Gymkhana also conducted a prestigious Basket Ball tourney for a few years which had the participation of well-known teams of the city.The fifties saw Chembur burst out of its seam. It was now part of Greater Bombay, administered by the Municipal Corporation. Along with growing industries in the area came townships like Shell colony, Subhash Nagar, Tilak Nagar increasing the resident population manifold.There was an influx of new members and new blood in the management of the club. Activities like billiards and Tennis attracted enthusiasts. In the decades that followed, values in general and of the urban life underwent drastic transformation. It was inevitable for survival that institutions like Gymkhanas changed their character to suit the aspirations of the new Generation.Keeping that in mind, the restructuring of the entire facilities of the Gymkhana was undertaken. The construction activity of now called Phase I commenced in 1995 and was completed around May 1998. In place was the Swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Gymnasium and health club, card room, billiards, restaurant and bar.Thereafter the construction of Phase II commenced and was fully completed in 2004 with two Badminton courts, one squash court, community hall, snacks counter, Gymnasium and health club, one restaurant, a sports bar and 17 rooms. Subsequently the Gymnasium was relocated to Phase II and the ensuing area was converted to a dining Hall.And this is where the Gymkhana stands today.