Awamoa Croquet Club celebrates 90 years

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Following on from last Thursday’s edition of the Awamoa Croquet Club’s history, this feature will cover the period from 1967 onwards.

In November the club will have been in existence 90-years and a celebration is planned for the afternoon of Sunday November 16 followed by a fun day on Monday November 17.

In 1967 the Borough Council gave permission for a septic tank to be installed and two toilets were erected on the club’s present site, previously the adjacent tennis club’s facilities had been used.

During the 1970s there was a problem with children on bicycles causing damage to the lawns and vandalising the shelters. The council agreed to the erection of a five-wire fence on the southern boundary, turn-styles at either end of the grounds and suitable gates on the Awamoa Road entrance to allow access for the mowers.

An irrigation scheme was approved in 1989 at a cost of $1,900 with the Borough Council agreeing to install it at no cost to the club.

Since the 1960s players from Awamoa Croquet Club have had success in provincial and national events and recently junior member, Jasmine Rule, travelled to Egypt as part of a New Zealand Youth Team.

Annually the club enters teams in all grades of the South Canterbury inter-club and flag match competitions.

The main focus of the club for the 2000/01 season was to build up membership.

This was the year that ‘Have-a-Go’ days was introduced, which proved successful in attracting new players and became an annual event at the start of each season.

Around the same time, golf groquet was introduced and grew rapidly in popularity. Championship and handicap competitions were introduced, trophies donated and honours boards hung.

The current membership stands at forty-five with more members playing this form of the game than association croquet.

The closure of the Gardens Croquet Club resulted in amalgamation with Awamoa and on February 5, 2011, the Awamoa Gardens Croquet Club was officially formed.

As a result of this and more players taking up the game, lawns were crowded on club days and more lawns were required.

For several years discussions had taken place with the Waitaki District Council regarding the disused tennis courts on Towey Street which adjoined the club’s lawns. After much negotiation, consent was given and with the aid of many grants from charities, the Awamoa Club was able to have two new lawns prepared for use.

A building comprising of a toilet and storage shed was built and on January 2 2014 the lawns were officially opened.

With five lawns the club can now accommodate more players and are in a position to host national tournaments.

If any past members wish to be involved and would like more information please contact or Ann Weir on 4349160 or Elspeth Mitchell on 4341098.

*Correction – In last Thursday’s edition of the Oamaru Mail it was printed that the celebrations of the Awamoa Croquet Club’s 90th birthday would be held on November 22. This date is incorrect, the celebrations will be held on Sunday November 16 followed by a Fun Day on Monday November 17. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Awamoa Croquet Club will be 90 years old in November.