In Summary
  • The 18-hole golf club with a scenic view of Mt Elgon is the largest in the North Rift, Nyanza and Western Kenya.
  • And outside, near the swimming pool and children’s playground is a model of the tractor used by the first white settlers.

More than a century after the abolition of slave trade, a building that hosted slave merchants still stands in Trans Nzoia County.

What is today known as the Kitale Club was a stopover for the merchants.

When Kitale Town, originally known as “Quitale”, was founded in 1908 by white settlers, it was a relay station on the slave route between Uganda and Tanzania.

It was here that slave merchants would stay and enjoy refreshments as the slaves remained outside, chained to a tree.

The club was established in 1924 by British soldiers and was strictly patronised by whites.

Its pioneer members say there used to be a ring in the club’s parking lot around the large indigenous tree to which the slaves would be chained, and which still stands.

“A group of European farmers requested for about 100 hectares of land to build the club and the golf course, which was granted,” Mr John Kasyoka, the club’s manager, told the Nation last week.

GOLF COURSE

Mr A.Q. Roberts was in charge of the construction of the golf course.

It originally had nine holes, but in 1932, more land was added to the original parcel with the intention of creating 18 holes.

By 1938, four more holes had been added. However, the project was abandoned when the World War II broke out.

In 1951, the 13th the Duke of Manchester, Alexander Montagu, and two other members contributed money to complete the remaining holes.

Kenya’s war of independence in the early 1960s prompted many white settler farmers to leave the country. By early 1970s, Kitale Club’s membership had declined drastically.

But the few remaining, with help from of Kitale Sports Club, currently St Anthony Boys High School, managed to save it.

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