Wanganui Savage Club members will vote to fold up the club after 125 years at what will be their final annual meeting this Sunday.

Suffering from a declining and ageing membership the club has decided to finish in October.

"It is a sad affair that we are shifting out, but that's it - we can't run it," trustee Ted Duggan said.

The membership has dropped to about 20 people following a peak of 250 with 50 on the waiting list in the glory years in the middle of last century.


The Savage Club began as a gentlemen's club in London in 1857 and spread to have branches around the colonial world.

It was essentially a literary society and became an entertainment club where members would put on musical performances and sketches.

Formed in 1891, Wanganui Savage Club shifted into its current building in Drews Ave in 1933 after the Whanganui Regional Museum moved from there into its present building across the road.

Club rangatira Bill Oram recalls members of a touring Australian fiddlers' group once said the Savage Club hall had the second best acoustics they'd heard outside Carnegie Hall.

Women were first allowed to join the club in 1998 and now outnumber the men.

On Sunday the club will also vote on whether to hand over a century worth of club records, photos, badges and other memorabilia to the museum. The club will offer ownership and control of its collection which will likely remain housed at the hall.

The intention is for the Savage Club to transfer the ownership of the building to the Whanganui Musicians' Club, which has been leasing it, in October.

The trustees are encouraging all past members and relatives to attend this Sunday's meeting at 1pm with the monthly korero beginning at 2pm.