Mallala Tennis Club
|Type of organisation:|| Sporting
|Town or locality:||Mallala|
|Date established:|| 1905
|Business or purpose:||Tennis Club|
The origins of the Mallala tennis club are rather obscure, but the earliest available records from April 1905 suggest that it had already been established for some time and had accumulated a debt which it could not pay. There was a proposal that a concert be held to raise funds to 'liquidate the debt'. An amendment suggested that a levy be imposed and the club wound up! Fortunately the club survived, thanks to the proceeds of the concert held in June 1905.
It appears that the club had the 'loan' of a court from Mr East. There is also reference in 1905 to 'putting the courts in order', but further minutes refer to a single court which was probably the one next to the Institute. In June 1908, Mr Griffiths was appointed as delegate to the 'Committee of the People's Park' which occupied the area opposite the Institute and now taken up by the railway line. In April 1910, it was decided that the club be `reconstituted' and that Mr Griffiths meet the Park Committee concerning the laying down of two asphalt courts. Mr Cheney and Mr East promised to provide a turnstile for the entrance to the new court area, and Mr East would provide a 'better attachment for winding up the net.' Various negotiations and proposals ensued through 1910 and 1911 regarding the new courts and it appears that two earthen courts were eventually laid with council assistance in 1912. World War I had its effect in 1915, and there were no minutes from December of that year until January 1919 when a minute refers to a decision to approach council to have two new courts put down at the present park site, since the previous park area had presumably been lost to progress by the appearance of the railway in 1916. Children were not welcome in the club. In January 1920 it was agreed that no one under the age of 14 be allowed to be a member (but 25 years later, after World War II, it was resolved that children be given the same rights as other members). A 'pavilion' was planned and erected in 1922-23 and Mr Arthur Marshman was asked to officially open it at the beginning of the 1923 season. In that year the club joined the Adelaide Plains Association until 1933 when it entered two teams in the Lower North Association. The pavilion survived with many alterations until 1953 when it was replaced with a new clubhouse at a cost of C35. In 1979 the decision was made to demolish the clubhouse and existing courts and to lay a base large enough for four asphalt courts. John Griffiths and volunteers built a new Clubhouse from Besser brick backing it onto Wasleys Road. Although the courts have since been upgraded, the layout remains the same in this year 2009. A club competition for juniors began in 1957 with four teams competing for a club shield donated by Curnow's Garage. This competition eventually developed into a junior association in 1968 and survives to the present day as the Lower North Junior Tennis Association. This encouraging introduction to the sport has been the starting point for a large number of children over many years. Much of the credit for the founding of the junior competition must go to Mr L.O. Tucker and his son Mr Ron Tucker. Mr Ron Tucker was also club secretary for an amazing 25 years from 1952 to 1976. The club has been at the centre of the district's social and sporting life since the beginning of the twentieth century, and remains an important part of the overall sporting activities of the area.
- Mallala Museum research folder - Mallala Sport
- Life around the Light: A history of the Mallala District Council area compiled by Two Wells
- Mallala and District History Book Committee
- Community Development Board of the Council District of Mallala (Mallala. S. Aust.) 1985.
Memories of Mallala Tennis Club
Many people will remember the three day tennis tournament held immediately following Christmas with Laurie and Ron Tucker being the main organizers with assistance from other members. It was a wonderful time of fun and friendship as well as competitive tennis. People came from all around the district and from Adelaide and returned year after year. The tournament was most popular during the 1950s.