It has been all quiet in the blogosphere for some time. Either there has been nothing to report or there has been nothing that could be reported.
In short, Dubbo City Croquet Club has upped hoops and moved on. The upping of hoops was not of our doing but the moving on has certainly been done under our own steam.
Members with longer memories than mine will swoop to correct me but my grasp of these matters is as follows. There are records of croquet being played in Dubbo and against neighbouring towns in the 1890’s, and of croquet being established at the Dubbo City Bowling Club in 1906 with the lawns being laid down in 1908. The impetus for this effort seems to have been altruistic in that the men bowlers wanted their women-folk to enjoy the same benefits of companionship and sport.
It was not until 1921 that the Croquet Club was formally established as a section of the Bowling Club. Mrs T. D. Palmer was the inaugural president and held that position for an unbroken thirty-three years. A clubhouse for croquet was built alongside the bowling club, facing the two courts and looking across Victoria Park to the fountain.
For almost a century this has been a venue of skilled play, strong friendships and of aesthetic appeal. Anniversaries have been observed at the usual chronological points as well as – unusually – the ninety-fifth (reported elsewhere, click on the 95th Birthday tab above).
Although we had been looking towards our centennial bash, events beyond our control and definitely beyond our influence – through no lack of our own efforts – have led to our seeking another venue. A number of possibilities were investigated by the executive, with consultation with the club’s membership, over the past year and a half. Some of these were not suitable, others were strong possibilities but financially beyond our reach, and there were some potential solutions that fell into the “you’re dreaming!” category.
In the meantime and unbeknownst to us, the Muller Park Tennis Club had reached the point of closure. MPTC is the successor of the Catholic Tennis Club which was established in 1924, and had long been a tower of strength in Dubbo’s considerable tennis community and a pillar of support for oncology services support and – more recently – for Camp Quality (https://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/5684151/muller-park-tennis-club-raises-thousands-more-for-camp-quality/) with fifty thousand dollars raised over the years.
After brief negotiations, MPTS voted to include croquet as a sport to be played and promoted at their site in Brisbane Street.
And so it came to pass.
The preparatory work of packing and sorting lead up to the final move on Monday, 10th December, thanks to the efforts of members (some were more able to be involved than others) and Michael of ‘Michael’s Moves’ (https://www.yellowpages.com.au/nsw/dubbo/michaels-moves-1000002082143-listing.html).