From the President

Hello Everyone, 

I hope you have all managed to stay warm these last couple of weeks when winter has descended upon us in a rather harsh manner. But from a croquet perspective we have had a great winter season with many warm, sunny, and windless days. I will admit though a couple of weeks ago a group of us were senseless enough to go out in the strong gale and try to have a game. As one extreme gust descended upon us I saw Colleen clinging to her mallet, facing into the wind with her head down but she stayed upright and strong on her feet - good for you Colleen. I think her comment was “it’s good to get out in the fresh air”! Admittedly, when we went inside, we all decided we had had enough.

It is great to welcome back Colin. I don’t think we expected to see him back playing with us again, but thanks to the Aussie Government, his wife Marita has been asked back to help in their High Commission office. Please be aware that Colin has offered his practical playing services and knowledge of the game to coach any of you to be a better player and more aware of the intricate ways you can win a game. Colin will be away all of September back in Wellington during October and November. Please, don’t be shy in asking for his help. Take advantage of his willingness and guidance. In the meantime, have a good holiday Colin and Marita and enjoy catching up with Barry and Caroline. 

Unbeknown to me, the Council have dug a trench on either side of the original wooden board all around the edge of the lawns. I had asked Council to cut the grass short, hard up against the board, after one of our members took a nasty tumble due to tripping against it. He was very lucky to have not sustained a more serious injury than he did. I immediately wrote a letter to the WCC and also used my “Fixit” App stating that the long grass hiding the board was a “Health and Safety” problem to the public but had heard nothing, then this trench is dug? I have not been able to speak with anyone in authority but understand from our very friendly grounds man, Bernie of many years ago, that they will be removing the board, filling in the trench and where necessary creating a gentle slope down on to our lawns, i.e. outside the club house. This will enable the grounds men to cut the grass shorter along the edges. Watch this space! 

Recently I was invited by Mary  and John Stevens to join them with their Horticultural friend Chris Close for a discussion on what will be happening next in our overgrown northern garden border. We also met with Oliver from “Oliver’s Army” and discussed cutting out and clearing the area of unwanted trees and ALL weeds before new plants would be planted about the end of September. Quotes have been forwarded to Mary and the Committee for this work to be carried out. Since my meeting with these two knowledgeable horticulturists and receiving the quotes we have had our Committee meeting and a lengthy time and very good discussion was concentrated on the garden. It was unanimously decided that the old border, which is rotten in a lot of places and serves no purpose any more, be removed and a new one put in but taken back to the front edge of the shelters which will mean a lesser area of garden to maintain, stoppage of the balls going onto it and also more space for players to stand away from the playing line when having a game of croquet. We have written to the Council asking them to help us in this project, giving them options where they could help. I would like to see them take over the repositioning of the new border. Keep your fingers crossed they will come to our aid. Mary has contacted another knowledgeable person in relation to doing more cutting out and clearing of more unsuitable shrubs and trees, but this won’t happen until the middle of September. In the meantime, I think the weeding of the area before planting will still continue by Mary and her band of helpers but if any of you have some energy and the time to give to weeding an area please contact Mary Stevens and she will gratefully show you what still needs doing. The planting of new shrubs and ground cover is due to be done at the end of September and then mulch (supplied by the Council) will be laid along the strip to help repel new weeds. It has been stated by the Horticulturist that it will take two years to clear the area of all weeds and by three years it will be looking fantastic! I’m sure if as many members as possible can give a little of their time now to clear the weeds and then pull out any new ones as you see them coming through after the new planting, this could be true. Let’s be positive with this new improvement to our Croquet Club.

Plans for our 110th birthday lunch which the Committee are organizing for our Opening Day are underway. 

On behalf of your Committee, I would very much like to invite all members  to lunch at the club rooms on Saturday 16 September, starting at 12.30 pm for drinks, then lunch at 1.00 pm. 

Please reply to me if you wish to attend the lunch - - no later than 9 September 2023.

There is no need to bring a plate, this time it is the Committee doing the catering. As seating will be close, we cannot seat many more than 50 people, I ask that members who are not feeling well or have a cold please be mindful of the old Covid rules! Play for the day will commence, as usual at 9.30 am (Summertime hours). There will be morning tea in the normal manner and then the room will be cleared and rearranged for our lunch. 

Next Saturday 26 August will be our last playing day for this winter season. There will then be a three week break, when the Council will be doing further work on the lawns, before our Opening Day. Also next Saturday, Lesley has arranged a “baby shower” for our new players Anwer and Sadaf, who many of you will have met. They are expecting their first baby in September. As Anwer and Sadaf have no family here in New Zealand we thought it nice to show our kindness and support by helping them with a few nice new useful things they will need for their little newborn. Please, if you are able, bring along something suitable and join in the joy of seeing them receive our gifts. 

Unfortunately, we have received the resignations of three of our members, one of whom is Alison Cook who has now moved to her new home at Bupa but is having trouble with her balance and not able to walk without her walking stick. Alison did however donate her mallet to the club so that is a shorter one which will come in very useful for Corporate events. 

Glennis and Howard Mayer are also finding their official retirement extremely busy and are unable to get along on club days but are hopeful of renewing their membership again in a couple of years. 

Thank you all, 

Mary Egley

From the Club Captain 

Thank you to those members who attended the Players’ Meeting on a very cold Saturday morning. We discussed items relating to the summer season, including changes to the GC handicap challenge ladder and the process for finding the club Don Reyland representative.

Many thanks to Pádraig for developing a calendar which combines both club and regional events, and has a filter to select certain items. 

Coaching and GC Rules 

Great to see Colin Menzies back again, if only intermittently. Thanks Colin for your coaching, and thanks in advance to Callum who will be holding coaching sessions in the summer season.  Some members went over to Wellington Club to attend GC strategy and rules sessions. Janice reports that, as a new member, she found both courses especially helpful and noted that Janet is an excellent communicator.

 Interclub entries

If you are interested in playing in interclub and haven’t already been in touch with me please contact me by 30 August.

Summer season 

We hope that the lawns will be available to us on Saturday 9 September. This, of course, depends on the weather.

Jane Norman

Click this button to check our Calendar of upcoming events

New: downloadable amalgamated calendar

Our Calendar page of our website exists mainly to tell people what's happening at our club.

Our more competitive players, however, are interested in competitions they can enter around the region and even further afield.

Thanks to Pádraig and Jane, a downloadable Excel file containing a tournament calendar of Kelburn, WCA and CNZ events you might enter has been added to the Calendar page.  

Look for the big green button on the page. Take note of the caveat that we will attempt to keep this up to date, but ultimately it is the individual's responsibility to follow up about details of events you are interested in.

Garden help wanted

Mary Stevens would like some help with the club gardens, and particularly with the long garden bed running along the north fence between our club and Kelburn Park. There's work underway to redevelop that area and replant it in a more sustainable way before summer.

If you can help, even for an hour or two, please get in touch with Mary Stevens -

Baby shower

Just a reminder that we plan to have a little baby shower for Sadaf and Anwer's baby this coming Saturday 26 August at 11 am, in the clubhouse … baby permitting, come Saturday morning. If you wish to, a gift for baby and small contribution to a shared morning tea would be welcome.

First aid refresher

The club is planning a one hour First Aid Refresher for the week of Sept 18th.

The course will include the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

We expect to be able to confirm the time and date by the end of the week.

Numbers are limited to 20 so watch for the notice and register ASAP!

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