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Gawler and District Tennis Association

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Sporting
Also known as: G&DTA





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On July 31st 1933 the first Meeting was called to form the Association at Forester’s Hall (Top end of street, adjoined Dr. Deland’s surgery).

First Annual meeting of Association held on 28th August 1933.

Clubs represented: Gawler Baptist, Gawler East, Gawler South, Smithfield, St. Georges, St. Josephs, Tod Street Methodist, Willaston, and Williamstown.

First Easter Tournament conducted March 24th, 30th, 31st & April 2nd.

Lyndoch joined Association in 2nd season.

1935: Courts committee meeting to arrange building of courts at Oval at cost of 425 pounds. Fund raising was discussed. Ball at the Palais on 19th Sept, 1935 Ugly man competition. Other fees to belong to Association also bought in.

Association unable to borrow money so had to get from some other body

Dr. A. H. C. Dawes loaned money providing council guaranteed repayment.

Tennis Association adjourned due to war after AGM 1941 & reconvened at AGM of 1946.

Teams that continued after the war were St. Georges, Baptist, Tod Street, Gawler West, Willaston, Gawler East, Williamstown, & new club Wasleys.

New teams that entered or came back into the competition in 1953 were St. Josephs, Williamstown Church of Christ, Smithfield, and Mallala

1954 – 2 teams of Men & Women for 1955 Country Carnival

1956 Annual General Meeting Mr. S. L Ey outlined an idea to raise funds to attempt a group of Association courts for our benefit.

March meeting 1957 Cost of hard courts from 2500 to 3000 pounds approx. and for grass 650 pounds. Decided that we put down 10 grass courts in the site suggested along Victoria Terrace, with voluntary labour.

AGM Aug 1957 told how in the last 12 month the sum 339/17/9 for grass courts to be laid in Gawler (Essex Park)

1958 Country Carnival teams: (Men 1) - J Sladden(Capt) J Griffiths, D Barkley, M Farmer. (Men 2) – R Tucker (Capt) R Symes, Dean Clark, R Stansborough. (Women 1) – N Lawes (Capt) M Taylor, M Lawes, A Secomb. Women 2) – J McKenzie, Lawes (Capt), Mrs Wright, Mrs Bubner Emergencies: Men - K Alsop, G Campbell, L Nelson, T Noack Women – Mrs Jeffree

Special General Meeting called to finalize issuing of debentures in connection with building of clubrooms.

October 1959: Junior teams commence playing on Saturday mornings.

Official opening of Clubrooms March 26th 1960

Arbour Day July 30th 1960 12 trees & shrubs planted around clubhouse by these people : John, Ross Ey, Mrs B Ey, Jeffrey, Phillip, Michael Graetz, Glen Finch, Michael, Elizabeth Lally, Mrs I Lally, Phillip & Richard Davis.

4 new courts laid.

Hot weather: Motion lost for postponement of matches if temperature reached 100 between 11-30 & 12-30 on day of match

1962 Fortnightly dances commenced in clubrooms Aug 5th

1964 September: Brick Storage shed to be erected

AGM Aug 1965: Motion carried to extend Clubrooms. Meeting October 1965 accepted plans for extension. Association endeavour to raise 2500 by debentures, repaid over 10 years. November meeting that the Association endeavour to raise 2800 & that we accept quote of 2814 from C. A. Duldig

April 1967: Clubs be rostered on for the dances & be paid 20% of profit for the night.

1968: Junior inter-association team to visit Port Lincoln.

1972: Junior inter-association team to play Broken Hill

1973: Reintroduce Junior Boy & Girl trophy with qualification to aid committee in selection.

Committee meting 13th Nov.1973 President reported that the Federal Government was making money available to the state government for distribution through local council for sporting purposes. We approach for the purchase for new mower & watering system.

Also raised was the treatment of the Bunyip press for reporting on tennis in comparison to cricket. Individual members advised to write to editor to protest. (Still happening to this day 2008)

1974: Fund Raising committee to be formed. This was officially formed 22 Oct 1974 & all clubs to be represented.

1977: Cliff Woithe appointed Minute Secretary (a position he still holds today)

1979: Replace glass front door panels with wood due to breakages.

1981: Suggestion put forward to obtain quotes for lights on Court 1 & 2

1983: Association celebrated 50th year Anniversary Dinner on 29 July 1983.

Automatic watering system installed

1985: Junior committee to be elected

1991: Veranda shades & bar to be installed

1992: AGM date changed from August to March

1994: Gate fee introduced to help improve facilities. TV & alarm system & repairing the ceiling.

1999/2000 10 new hard courts laid replacing lawn courts costing $96,000

February 2006: Association had paid off loan of $85,000

November 2007: President reported that Association had received $44,000 from Regional partnerships. Dependant of State Government grant of $40,000. Sub committee formed.

February 2008: President reported fantastic News State Government grant of $50,000, Federal grant $44,000 & around $30,000 from our own funds can see light project proceed.

2008: Change of government who took the $44000 grant away but Association had already committed to putting light up. The Association had to find this shortfall to complete.

2010: Joined senior competition with the Barossa & light for Saturday afternoon competition.

2012: With the assistance of Tennis Australia & a regional grant the upgrade of the courts to Blue courts with new net posts & nets & also a new fence along the Victoria Terrace was completed.

Gawler and District Tennis Association; the memories of Bob Lally.

Tennis was always strong in Gawler; it was decided to form an Association, with its own courts and hall.

Gawler Council granted the Association a portion of land for a yearly rental of one pound [$2] and so we paid 20 years in advance.

All of the work was achieved by working-bees. Sid Ey and I did a lot of work obtaining the workers and Friday night we would get in his car and call on different players and tradesmen in Gawler to obtain help for the weekend.

I was working for Keith Hogben at the time and we were able to obtain material at the same price as Keith, and he then charged us one pound 50 for freight from the Port to Gawler, which saved us a huge amount of money during the entire project.

We completed the fencing of the courts with chain-mesh from Arcweld and then the ground for the courts was graded by Alex Jarmy with his grader. For the lawn grass we went to Sandy Creek where there was a large plot of good couch. We rotary hoed and bagged the grass and carted it to Gawler to Herb Heinrich who had a chaff cutter. We removed 2 blades from the 4 blade machine. Next, it was spread on the courts which had been rotary hoed. The grass was spread and rotary hoed again.

After the lawns were established, the area was subject to water rationing [the only time I can remember it being so in Gawler]. To overcome the problem so as to not lose the grass, we approached the Fire Brigade and they came to the rescue by pumping water from a large pool in the riverbed. A great help.

Later on we decided to build a 90’x30’ Clubroom. Again, the labour was mainly by tradesmen of the district. I remember the scene one Saturday morning when the tradesmen put the ceiling up and the tennis players put the insulation in. the iron roof and the gutter followed.

Thanks go to the wonderful group of people who had their employees helping us; namely George Duldig and George Weaver. Later on Jack Ahrens laid the jarrah flooring and then sanded it to become a beautiful dance floor; which was later extended to measure 60’x60’. We ran old style dances fortnightly for a long time to raise funds. These were very popular. The ladies were asked to provide a plate of supper. TV was popular then so we raffled several during the time. We also raised money by debentures from the players who invested what they could. We paid them Savings Bank interest and had a draw once a year when we drew 10% for repayment.

The veranda of the Club House was constructed on a Saturday morning. Joey Weaver was going to lay the concrete. It was raining but, not to be beaten, we borrowed tarps from local carrier Peter Roberts and we got the job done. When the CLUB House was officially opened, we invited some of the Australian players to play an exhibition game. To cater for the large crowd, we went to Adelaide Tennis Club and brought two sections of their stands to Gawler for the crowd who attended the opening.

I got a lot of enjoyment being Secretary for about 20 years. I thank all the helpers who contributed their time, money and energy. I was thankful for my wife Ivy helping to have Committee meetings at our home. I thank also Arnold Selleck and Perce Burnet for being our greenkeepers; mostly unpaid. They performed hours of work at the courts to have them at their best.

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