Croquet at Unley Park – a history

The Hyde Park Croquet Club was formed from the merger of the Hawthorn Croquet Club and the Unley Park Croquet Club on 1 October 2004.  The Hawthorn club moved from that suburb to the Unley Park facility to form the larger merged club.

Below are extracts from the book “Unley Park Sports Club – After 75 years” written by G. Arch Grosvenor. The first print was in 1983 and was updated in 1999.  The extract includes segments relevant to the Unley Park Croquet Club at the site in Northgate Street Unley Park. (Extracts are shown in bold italics) *

The Unley Park Sports Club was formed at a meeting of sportsmen and women at the Unley Town Hall on May 21, 1923.

The existing land was purchased primarily by the Hyde Park Tennis Club on the understanding that if it was not able to form both a bowling and croquet club within 6 months part of the land would be sold. Obviously the Unley Park croquet club was formed at this time as additional land facing Warwick Ave was purchased for a croquet green.

Original croquet Club officers were:

President: Mrs H.B. Crosby; Vice-President, Mrs W.A.L. Casely; Treasurer, Mrs R.O. Fox; Secretary, Mrs B. Mehrtens.

 The clubhouse was opened  on October 25, 1924.

The Unley Park Croquet Club, which used the main clubhouse in association with other clubs in its early days, has one landmark – an arbor at the western end of the greens, opened by the then President, Mrs B. Mehrtens on October 19, 1927, and (was) still in use in the Club’s Diamond Jubilee year.

It should be noted that this arbor has since been removed, a building for the club was established on the eastern side of the croquet facility in Warwick Ave in 1964 (see below), and this has in turn been removed to expand the tennis and croquet facilities early in the 21st century, around the time of the merger of the two clubs (ed 2012).

Club members have competed in competitions and pennant games at Hutt Rd, headquarters of the S.A. Croquet Association. The club has won several pennants, and for a number of years was in top division. In 1983 it had a team of players who had taken up the game in recent times, competing in Division 4. The club has now (1983) 20 members, but has had a membership of more than 30, and is still open to welcome any women or men interested in playing the game.

Open gala days attract players from a number of other clubs, and day and night play is held each week in the summer months.

Two members are gold medallists (have won the State championship): Mrs. I.A. Morgan in 1948 and Mrs. M. Giles in 1963. Mrs. Giles won a place in the State side in 1969 and 1974 for the interstate series, played in a different state each year. On both occasions S.A. won the competition.

The club built its own clubhouse in 1964, at a cost of $5,432.

In 1983 Mrs. E. Younger was Club President, and Mrs. M. Giles Secretary.

*  Permission to reproduce these extracts has not been obtained.  If any concern is expressed over these extracts, they will be removed.