Colony Club, Port au Prince: Blan Central & great

by Rashmee

Posted on April 12, 2013



Just back from the Colony Club in the swish part of the Haitian capital and it’s hard not to feel like I’ve been time-travelling.

US occupation of Haiti
Cpt. Smedley Butler, Sgt. Ross Iams and Pvt. Samuel Gross entering Fort Riviere during the 1915 battle that

Out there it felt like September 1934, a month after the US occupation of Haiti ended.

It’s Blan Central – Stranger City in a Haiti that is firmly in charge of its own destiny, or at least free of foreign control.

The Marines’ wives established the Club back in 1924 and it continues into the 21st century as part of the original agreement they worked out with the Petionville Club.

Colony Club, Petionville, Port au Prince, Haiti,
Petionville in the Haitian capital. Home to the Colony Club

The Colony Club is a remarkable institution, kept alive by a handful of dedicated people, not least Jacqui Labrom and Tom and many others.

Established all those years ago, its one essential function might now seem to be as the expat focal point.

I would posit that it goes beyond that.

As a library, the Colony Club is an invaluable resource for those who thirst for English language books. It is impeccably well provided and boasts a generous lending policy. Haiti’s readers congregate here, sharing reviews and news with the like-minded.

It is an institution.

Jack Kerouac
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK

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