Club Pollença - the committee. | Club Pollença

In August 2012, a British prime minister and his family came on holiday to Pollensa. You might say that this caused something of a sensation, the media desperate for photos, which - by hook and by crook - they were able to take. But there was one photo opportunity that was straightforward. David and Samantha Cameron were to be on a terrace, where they could be seen enjoying a coffee. The terrace in question was unmistakable. It was the Club Pollença’s terrace.

In the heart of Pollensa, the Camerons drank their coffees next to a building where, two years previously, there had been the commemoration of a one-hundredth anniversary. The building wasn’t the original and nor was the name Club Pollença one hundred years old, but the legacy was.

Club Pollença was adopted in 1930, the 1910 origin having been the Club Ciclista Pollensin, which established itself in Ca’l Lloro on the other side of the Plaça Major.

It was around the time that the Club Pollença name formally came into being that the move to the present-day building was effected, by when the original cyclist club had developed interests way beyond mere cycling. A cultural centre has been beating in the heart of Pollensa since 1910. Were the Camerons aware of what was right next to them?

The cultural legacy had started to be created one hundred years before the Camerons’ visit. From 1912, there was a library and a lecture room. In the same year came theatrical performances, while a music and literary society was also formed. In 1914, the Argentine painter Atilio Boveri donated ‘Paisaje’, the club’s first work of art. The first exhibition was in 1920, by when the Pollensa photographer, Guillem Bestard, had captured images of the club and its members.

These two names alone - Bestard and Boveri - provide a flavour of the cultural heritage of Pollensa that the club represents. Pollensa is rightly proud of its cultural heritage in general, and the club has been at the centre of it for over a century. Hermen Anglada Camarassa, Dionis Bennàssar, Miquel Bota Totxo, Tito Cittadini, Antoni Torrandell. These are just some of the names from the past from the worlds of art, literature and music who had an association with the club. The musical connection, with the help of Bota Totxo and the British violinist Philip Newman, was to pave the way for the Pollensa Festival, one of Mallorca’s grandest and longest-established cultural events.

One might say that Newman opened the door to a broader, more international focus, and that brings me to the current day. The club attracts foreign residents as members, especially British, and there is now a Briton on the volunteer committee which runs the club, Nickie Baylis, whose association with the club has included performances by N2 Productions. Nickie’s role is to represent English-speaking members, as the president, Biel March, and the committee seek to reach out more to this community.

Club members, as Biel says, ensure that “this cultural centre is kept alive”, while they benefit in various ways, such as with discounts for many of the club’s activities and on food and drink from the bar plus free entrance to concerts. In addition, there is all that legacy, a vital spirit of Pollensa for more than one hundred years.

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