History of CLUB SIBERME
The club is referred to by most members as the ICE Club (International Club of Estepona)which was the name chosen when it was conceived on 3rd November 1988. At that time, the club was formed to provide a social and cultural structure in Estepona of English speaking people, but it did have it's beginnings some 18 months earlier. Two of the Club's founders were to meet in April 1987, when they both decided to attend a meeting of the Marbella Branch of an "International English Speaking Residents Association" (I.E.S.R.A.) whose head office was in Fuengirola. Both these founders joined that association and became acquainted whilst socialising at the bar after the meeting. It became apparent over the next few months that a similar association would have support in Estepona. The Fuengirola group agreed to the formation of a branch in Estepona and on 3rd November 1987, in the presence of the I.E.S.R.A. President, a branch was formed and a Committee elected. The branch was a success and soon had about 120 members who all enjoyed the activities that were organised both from Estepona and Fuengirola.
The aspirations of the "I.E.S.R.A." in the financing demanded from branches to build a clubhouse in Fuengirola, met with opposition. At the first AGM of the Estepona branch on the 3rd November 1988 and with the agreement of the members, the Committee resigned en block and the branch disbanded. A new group was immediately formed as I.C.E. and the same Committee elected. That formation meeting took place at what was the Bar/Restaurant "EL YATE" in the Estepona Port, a venue that was to be our weekly meeting place for some time. But we became "nomadic" and we then met on Thursday mornings in any bar which would regularly accommodate us, for coffee and to arrange events and to provide a social focal point for members. In 1990 the registration of the club was set in hand but it was not until 1992 that this was completed. Part of the delay was caused by the Spanish version of the name required for the registration of the club i.e."Club Internacional de Estepona" which was abbreviated to CIE. This clashed with a National Government Body, a fact not discovered until much later, and we were given the long title of "Club Sierra Bermeja Socio-Cultural de Estepona" from which the name "Siberme" was derived.
The limitations of only meeting on a Thursday with no fixed abode were obvious but even so the club was establishing a strong following for the social and cultural activities which we were able to promote. In 1992, the year of "Expo 92", we organized a total of five 55 seater coaches with overnight accommodation to the Exposition in Seville.
It was not until March of 1996, despite a number of previous attempts to find permanent accommodation, the club was able to rent, at a price fixed for three years with an option to purchase at a fixed price, its' own premises. This clubhouse was in the Estepona port. In the following year, it became evident to the management committee that it was in the clubs interest to purchase the premises. At the A.G.M. in March 1997 the members decided to back the managements decision and to raise the purchase price with loans from the members.
The measure of the success of the club and of the financial control by the management can be gauged from the fact that all the loans were repaid by December 2000.
The year 2000 also saw changes in the future conditions and regulations laid down by the Estepona Port Authority concerning our covered toldo which they had previously sanctioned but now wanted removed. This would have reduced the usable covered area in the club by half. This problem was discussed at the A.G.M. in March 2001 when the membership gave the management committee a mandate to find new premises, sell the existing club and seek loans from the members to finance the move.
By November 2001 we had finalized the sale of the port premises and concluded the purchase of the current clubhouse in Bahia Dorada, Entrada 5, Km 149 on the N340. This spacious clubhouse has two floors and was previously an operational restaurant. Our purchase included all the furniture and cooking equipment.
Of the original membership in the founding year, we still have 9 whose membership has been continuous from that notable day in November 1988. The club had, at the end of last year,640 members.
The club has a monthly magazine in which forthcoming events (see next page) and members contributions and comments are printed.
The club runs regular organized activities including art classes, bowls, bridge, computing, lottery, music nights, petanque, quiz nights, rambling, social nights, songs of praise, Spanish lessons, tertulia and whist. We arrange coach trips to many places of interest. The club has a bar and puts on evening events which have included candle lit suppers, dances, guitar and jazz concerts, parties, pantomimes, talks, murder and mystery, musical shows, theatre and wine tasting.
The club is open on Thursday morning when the committee reports on current news and forthcoming activities and the members have their opportunity of communicating their own news and views. The club is also open as a social venue on Tuesday and Sunday mornings.
This information was provided by:-
Raymond N Oldfield, Founder Member and Treasurer for most of the time between 1988 to 2004.