CENTENARY WEEKEND – Saturday & Sunday, 14-15 March 1992
A successful Centenary weekend was celebrated by young and old alike recently at the Tennis Club and at a dinner in the Clevedon Hall. Saturday afternoon was the day for much reminiscence, with old acquaintances swapping many a yarn of tennis prowess and exploits of yesteryear.
President David Hill summed up the Club’s History, recalling the various Club sites until the foundation for the present Club. Grounds were laid at the present site with three grass courts in 1913 in conjunction with the Croquet Club with whom they shared facilities; ⅔ belonging to the Tennis Club and ⅓ to the Croquet Club, with all costs shared accordingly. The three courts and fencing were installed for a princely sum of £20.
Recollections were made of the many baby shows, games of clock golf, darts and even an occasional game of tennis on Opening Days. Tributes were made to past Members who played a major part in the Club’s growth. Present Members can well be proud of the new Clubroom additions, floodlights and recently resurfaced courts and may we all pause to reflect on the Foundation Members who laid the base on which the present Club has been formed.
Representatives from our overwhelming number of Junior players demonstrated their abilities to the visitors and also put the ball machine into action for the spectators. Two of our Junior players, Dean and Jarred Sutherland, are currently representing Auckland in age competitions.
The afternoon culminated with Doris Hyde, the oldest past member at the time, cutting a wonderful artistic cake iced by new local member Mary Whitehouse.
The Clevedon Hall was the venue of the evening Dinner and decorated with the centennial theme with a stage setting of life-size figures dressed in tennis garb of yesterday, depicting play on court. Mock racquets, banners, bows and tennis nets adorning the walls. Present Member Lin Morgan and her Mother, Linda Lane, added the floral finishing touches. Thank you to Lorraine Halliwell, one of the Club Members, for all her time in creating and dressing the models for the stage and foyer scenes, not to mention the time “haunting” the “Op” shops for suitable clothing.
Wendy Moore, former South Auckland Tennis Executive and Heather Robson of Auckland Tennis Executive, spoke of our ties with their Associations over the years and of our fluctuation in growth, commending us on our present healthy Membership and commendable facilities. Club Patron, Neil Sutherland was Master of Ceremonies for the evening, thanking all the willing helpers who had displayed their many and varied talents in decorating, food preparations (huge thanks to Hilda Cunningham, Lyn Bell, Ann Mead and Carol Sutherland and helpers), organisation and entertainment. Hilda Cunningham was acknowledged as the future Patron of Clevedon Tennis Club.
Storey Bell, one of our older Past Members, spoke of earlier days and opened the evening’s dining after saying grace. Entertainer Merle McKenzie, in various guises produced many shrieks of tears and laughter throughout the evening and was a great talking point on the following day at the Centenary Tournament.
Players participated in four lots of Doubles Players games, their goal the many cash voucher prizes, which were generously donated by Phil Oliver from the Pub Charity Fund. Phil also donated the Raffle prizes, one of which jetted its way to Australia. The other forms of competition came from the TV set in the Club Rooms where avid cricket fans attempted a balance between watching NZ versus England (World Cup Series) and playing tennis. The many spectators for the day enjoyed perusing the History and photographs display in the Club Rooms and continuing their reminiscing.
The many months of detective work and organisation culminated in an all-round great weekend for all. May the Club go forward into the next 100 years with the camaraderie and community spirit which is the foundation for all our achievements.
The present Committee, under the leadership of David Hill, may well commend itself for their success.