Drysdale Croquet Club

As collated and written by Verna McLennan and Roger Colvin

The Inaugural meeting of the Drysdale Croquet Club was held on Tuesday 18th April 1950 with 15 ladies present. A number of those present were members of the Portarlington Croquet Club and were experienced players and administrators. It was anticipated that the Croquet Club would form with the assistance of the Drysdale Bowling Club.
The foundation committee was elected, consisting of:
President: Mrs R. (Laura) Whitcombe
Vice Presidents: Mrs E (Essie) Rodgers and Mrs Eunice Whitcombe
Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Olwyn Peel
Treasurer: Mrs Ella Lennox

Annual subscription was set at 10 shillings ($1) and all members would form the General Committee.
The Bowling Club was thanked for its preparation of the Croquet court.
At the July 1950 meeting 1 set of croquet balls and 1 set of hoops and 2 sets of clips were ordered.
In September 1950 the Official Opening Day of the new Club was set for 14th October and Mrs Unwin Taylor, President of the Portarlington Croquet Club was asked to run the first hoop.

It is believed that Croquet was first played in Geelong in 1906. 44 years later this wonderful game found its way Drysdale.
The first Croquet court was prepared by the Bowling Club to the north of their one playing surface on land donated by Messrs. R. Whitcombe, A. Judd and C. Holliday.
The Club house was a 9 by 9 feet open shed with a dirt floor. For the first 5 years members used the public toilets 100 yards away until, in 1955, a toilet was purchased for £2/10.0 ($5) and placed in long grass somewhat closers to the court. Players were warned to beware of snakes and red-back spiders when using this facility.
Water was carted from an outside tap and washing up done in a tin dish. As funds became available an extension was added, windows and a door were installed. After 12 years concrete flooring, an indoor tap and sink, second-hand carpet and even curtains were added to the delight of all.
The adjoining Bowling Club was eager to expand and a Croquet court was prepared to the west of the existing one. Over the intervening years a brick Clubhouse and second court have been added.

In November 1950 the Constitution was adopted and it was agreed to pay £1 /10/- ($3) per week to the Bowling Club until the end of the season.
In December 1950 a gift of second-hand ball and hoops was received from the Heidelberg Croquet Club.
A New Year tournament was arranged for 30th December and Mrs Anne Capon was elected Social Secretary.

In February 1951 Mrs Capon’s husband, Vin, made and donated a set of hoops. In July 1951 the club was sufficiently financial to donated £30.0.0 ($60) to the Bowling Club to assist with maintenance of greens and use of facilities. At this time Mr Bob Whitcombe and Sons donated timber to the club for use in building a club room.
The first Annual General Meeting was held on the 12th September 1951. Elections resulted in the following:
President: Mrs Laura Whitcombe
Vice Presidents: Mrs Essie Rodgers and Mrs Eunice Whitcombe
Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Treasurer: Mrs Byrne
Social Secretary: Mrs Anne Capon
Committee to consist of all club members.

Following the AGM a General meeting was held. Mr Stan Hutchinson was to be asked if a room could be purchased from him. Portarlington Croquet Club members were asked to teach members how to play one afternoon each month.
Official Opening Day for 1951 to be 6th October.
Mr Vin Capon, husband of member Mrs Capon, made wire baskets to hold croquet balls and other equipment.
At the meeting on 28th September 1951 a decision was made to join the Geelong Croquet Association. Delegates to GCA to be Mrs Essie Rodgers and Mrs Laura Whitcombe.

In the early stages several ladies joined the Croquet Club because the Bowling Club was a Men’s only group. As soon as Lady Bowlers were allowed these members went immediately to that game. At various times throughout the years new names appear in the minutes. Whilst not always designated as new members it does appear that almost all of those mentioned did indeed go on to join and play.

At the 3rd November 1951 meeting a fee of 2/- per member was struck to cover Affiliation fees to the Geelong Croquet Association. It was decided at this meeting to make an offer of £15/-/- to the Hutchinson Brothers for the purchase of a building. A proposal for a dual shelter to be erected between the bowling green and croquet court with shared costs was supported.

During 1952 several meetings were held and in February a credit bank balance of £81 /-/- ($162) was reported. Several trophies were donated and, throughout winter, card afternoons were introduced on a monthly basis. Although not specifically mentioned it is assumed that the game of Croquet was not played during the winter months.
In June1952 Mrs Merle Parish was elected Treasurer as the incumbent, Mrs Byrne, was leaving the district. £20/-/- ($40) was paid to the Bowling Club.

The second AGM 1952, saw a credit bank balance of £23/12/11 ($47.30) Elections resulted as follows:
President: Mrs Laura Whitcombe
Vice Presidents: Mrs Essie Rodgers and Mrs Clare Malcolm
Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Treasurer: Mrs Byrne
Social Secretary: Mrs Alma Taylor
Letters of thanks were sent to Mr Bob Whitcombe and Mr Vin Capon for their help in building a club room for croquet members. Member Mrs Parish loaned a kerosene stove.

Towards the end of 1952 several activities helped to put the Club on solid footing. Power was added to the club room, a centre shelter between the bowling green and croquet court was to be paid for by the Croquet Club. 60 feet of plastic hosing was purchased, the first Pennant team (‘C’ Grade) was entered in the GCA 1952-1953 season and a Selection Committee consisting of Mrs Laura Whitcombe and Mrs Edith Drake was appointed.


1953 saw Mrs Laura Whitcombe thanked for her donation to put water to the end of the croquet garden. £40/-/- ($80) was paid to the Bowling Club towards Greenkeeper’s fees and £20/-/- towards the cost of the centre shelter.

Again a Pennant team was entered in the GCA1953-1954 season with Mrs Essie Rodgers elected Captain and the Selection team of Mrs Laura Whitcombe and Mrs Wilma McLean.


April saw a credit balance £96/2/5 ($192.25) of which £50/-/- was paid to the Bowling Club. Monthly card afternoons were held throughout the winter months as a fund raising activity.

The AGM in 1954 saw little change in the Executive positions and again a team was entered in the forthcoming Pennant season. Membership fee of 10/6 (Half a Guinea) ($1.05) and a playing fee of 1/6d. ($0.15c) were struck.


A lavatory was purchased for £2/10/- ($5). Mr Charlie Holliday rebuilt this facility putting iron on the roof and oiling the structure. The surrounding long grass did nothing for the confidence of the users as it was snake season!

In March 1955 the bank balance was £102/2/10 ($204.27) £50 was donated to the Bowling Club and £15 was the cost of re-building the lavatory.

The AGM was held in August with a credit bank balance of £66/2/8 ($132.26). Election of Office Bearers; Selection Committee of Mrs Essie Rodgers, Mrs Wilma McLean, and Mrs Joyce Williams. The year was rounded out with a discussion on enlarging the Clubhouse.


Now on good financial footing 1956 saw several interesting developments. The first recorded Club Championship winner was Mrs Wilma McLean. Extension of the Clubhouse was discussed with the existing building to become a kitchen and a tender from Mr Hec Peel of £48/15/- ($97.10) for materials and £28/10/- ($57) for labour was accepted.
Consideration of name badges for all members took place. Again £50 was donated to the Bowling Club. The October bank balance was £112/4/7 ($224.45) and Mr Peel was paid £92/15/- ($185.10) for his work.


Further improvements occurred throughout 1957.
Mr Les Taylor and his son, Alan, painted the Clubhouse whilst Mr Vin Capon made a flagpole. A price of £97/-/- ($194) was submitted to provide windows and close in the front of the Clubhouse building. In order for this to go ahead the following members promised loans of £10 ($20) each: Mesdames Alama Taylor, Joyce Williams, Laura Whitcombe, Claire Malcolm, Edith Drake.

After lengthy discussion about the Clubhouse floor, it was decided to leave this project until more money was available. Front of the building to be painted. Credit Bank Balance in September was £82/13/9 ($165.38).


Again 1958 saw further innovations. It is interesting to note that in November of this year the Bowling Club asked for permission to use the Croquet Court for Sunday Bowls if needed. The court must have been indeed magnificent!

A concrete floor for the Clubhouse was finally installed.
£50 was again paid to the Bowling Club.
Mrs Joyce Williams was listed as Club Champion for 1957-1958.
6 books on the rules of croquet were purchased.
The Bank Balance in September was £47/5/1 in credit. ($94.51)
Mrs Essie Rodgers was the Club Handicapper and Mrs Wilma McLean, Pennant team Captain.


The year began with great excitement as the Pennant team won the Premiership for the 1958-1959 season. The team consisted of Mrs Wilma McLean as Captain, Alma Taylor, Edith Drake, Lil Taylor and Mrs Claire Malcolm as Emergency.

Following the AGM in August which showed a credit Bank Balance of £64/10/- ($129) the Building Fund loans each of £10 from 5 members were repaid.
Permission was again granted to the Bowling Club for the use of the croquet court on Sundays.


At the AGM a credit Bank Balance of £40/16/1 ($81.61) was reported. Although approval to purchase floor matting was given, it was subsequently decided to leave this until a later date. A cupboard was purchased for the Clubhouse and £50/-/- was donated to the Bowling Club. All in all it could be said to have been a most satisfactory first decade.

It was decided to obtain a price to bring water from the outside tap to the Clubhouse and a sink was installed. The Bowling Club again received £50/-/- and in October a Bank Balance of £38/10/4 was reported. Whilst the reason is not specified the sum of £2/3/0 was donated to Portarlington Croquet Club.
A Pennant team was entered for the forthcoming season and Saturday green fees were set at 2/- for attendees and 1/- for non-attendees in an effort to encourage more participation.

Doubles Day and Stall 23rd March.
18th May – Bank Balance £82/3/- in credit.
Request from Portarlington Croquet Club for use of courts once a fortnight for Pennant matches – ‘A Grade’.
Rental of 10/- ($1) per use.
Donation of £50 to Bowling Club.
AGM held on 3rd August – Bank £32/0/4.
Election of Office Bearers:
President: Mrs Alma Taylor
Vice Presidents: Mrs Laura Whitcombe and Miss Elizabeth Hutchinson
Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Treasurer: Mrs Lil Taylor
Social Secretary: Miss Elizabeth Hutchinson

3rd August:
Pennant team in GCA.
1 ½ dozen cups to be purchased.
Green fees on Saturdays: 2/- attendees, 1/- non-attendees.

23rd March – Credit Bank Balance of £49/8/- ($98.80)
Doubles Day Tournament and Stall 5/- entry

AGM 16th August:
Bank Balance £33/13/6 ($67.35)
Captain of the Pennant team was presented with the Pennant flag 1962-1963 season and each member with money – wow!
Election of Office Bearers:
President: Mrs Alma Taylor
Vice Presidents: Mrs Laura Whitcombe and Mrs Wilma McLean
Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant (in absentia)

16th August
Pennant team again entered in GCA.


31st March:
Delegates to GCA reported on proposed Constitution for the GCA.
Doubles Day Tournament to be held on 3rd April.

AGM held on 7th August.
Bank Balance £34/3/6 credit.
The Captain of Pennant team was congratulated on winning “C” Grade Pennant in the 1963-1965 season.

Election of Office Bearers:
President: Mrs Alma Taylor
Vice Presidents: Mrs Laura Whitcombe and Mrs Lil Taylor
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Edith Drake
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant

Mrs Blake was thanked as Retiring Secretary after 14 years.
Pennant team: Mrs Alma Taylor as Captain, Mrs Edith Blake, Mrs Lottie Bryant, Mrs Lil Taylor, Mrs Wilma McLean.
Donation of £25 to Bowling Club.
Green fees 2/- for all social days.


6th August – AGM
Credit Bank Balance of £33/14/10
Election of Office Bearers:
President: Mrs Laura Whitcombe
Vice Presidents: Mrs Alma Taylor and Mrs Wilma McLean
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Claire Malcolm
Social Secretary: Miss Elizabeth Hutchinson

No Pennant team again this season due to lack of numbers.
Competition croquet to be held each Saturday – 2/- (20c) a game.


AGM held on 19TH August.
Bank Balance $87.31 (Decimal currency)

President: Mrs Grace Fischer
Vice Presidents: Mrs Laura Whitcombe, Mrs Audrey Miller
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Claire Malcolm
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant

No Pennant team in 1966-1967.

19th August:
Donation of $40 to Bowling Club.
Annual Fee $2; Saturday Green fee 20c
Mrs Wilma McLean and Mrs Alma Taylor to give new members croquet lessons, 10am – noon each Wednesday beginning on 21st September.
Note: AND WILMA’S STILL DOING IT IN 2010 – 46 years later!

30th September:
Credit Bank Balance of $47.96
Honour Board to be brought up to date.
Mrs Audrey Miller donated curtains for Clubhouse.

18th February:
Bank Balance $87.10
Picnic Day and Tournament on 18th March – 35c entry fee.

11th August: AGM
$40 donated to Bowling Club
President: Mrs Audrey Miller
Vice Presidents: Mrs Alma Taylor, Mrs Lil Taylor
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant

11th August:
Bank Balance $109.59
Annual Fee $2. Green fees Saturday and Wednesdays 20c
Request to hold meeting with Bowling Club re: present and future croquet court.

29th September:
Bank Balance $106.39
Donation $40 to Bowling Club
Quote for $35 received to paint Clubhouse.


30th March:
Bank Balance $53.73
Doubles Tournament April 19th to start at 9am – 50c entry

26th July – AGM:
Bank Balance $114.10
President: Mrs Miller
Vice Presidents: Mrs Alma Taylor, Mrs Edith Drake (aka Mrs Austin Drake)
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant
Social Secretary: Mrs Lil Taylor

26th July:
Donation of $70 paid to Bowling Club
“B” Grade Pennant team to be entered in 1968-1969 season.
Annual Fees: Full Members $4.50, Social $2, Green Fees 20c.


8th March:
Bank Balance $112.59
Doubles Day Tournament on 18th March, entry 50c

23rd May:
Congratulations to Mrs McLean and Mrs Lil Taylor on winning the Association “B” Grade Doubles Championship.
Bowling Club offered a room to be built on to the new Bowling Clubhouse – to be partitioned off from the main building and Croquet members would require use of Bowling Club facilities and conveniences.
Croquet Clubhouse to be valued for removal and sold to the best offer.
Bowling Club to be asked to relocated Croquet court to new site at no expense to the Croquet Club.

8th August – AGM:
Bank Balance $181.64
President: Mrs Audrey Miller
Vice Presidents: Mrs Anne Capon and Mrs Alma Taylor
Secretary: Mrs Wilma McLean
Treasurer: Mrs Lottie Bryant
Social Secretary: Mrs Lil Taylor
Press Correspondent: Mrs Alma Taylor
Donation of $100 to Bowling Club.
Annual Fees: Full $4.50; Social $2; 20c weekly whether playing or not.
The ACL Club (Australian Cement Limited Club) wanted to use our lawns until their own are ready.

At some point in the immediate past the Clubhouse was removed in one fell swoop to the northern boundary of the present Bowling green to allow for expansion of the bowling area – no services were connected and the building was in a barely usable condition. In June 1970 a letter was to be sent to the Bowling Club stating our requirements regarding the promised new court and our Clubhouse for the coming season. At a later meeting in June, the Secretary was instructed to write to the Bowling Club requesting the Clubhouse be repaired to a usable condition including a wooden floor and restoration of electricity if not too expensive.

“B” and “C” Grade Pennant teams were to be entered in the GCA competition of 1970-1971 is one is held.

Congratulations were extended to Mrs Wilma McLean for representing our club and winning GCA B Grade Championship. She went on to represent the GCA in the Regional Championships.

Mrs McLean was also congratulated for being part of the winning GCA team against Ballarat in the Engleby Cup competition.

A decision was made to purchase a new weather-proof door and as many cement sheets as necessary to repair the Clubhouse.

After this busy year the Bank Balance was $298.97

After perusing the old Minute Books it seems that there were some very lean years in term of membership through the early and mid-sixties and so the second decade ended.


Our third decade commenced due to the unfailing commitment of a few long serving members. During this year there was plenty of playing activity but no major structural addition or alteration required. With a Credit Bank Balance of $342.96 the club was again able to pay $100 to the Bowling Club.


Mrs Alma Taylor was elected as Junior Vice President of the GCA.
“B” Grade Pennant team to be entered in the GCA Competition for 1972-1973.
Bank Balance at AGM of $428.13.
Motion passed to meet with Bowling Club members to discuss the future of our proposed new court.
Bowling Club was paid $100.


Drysdale Croquet Club’s “B” Grade team won the Pennant in the GCA 1972-1973 season.
Little major activity to report.
Credit Bank Balance $458.90
$100 paid to Bowling Club.


Mrs Edna Peel won the Belcher Cup and won the “C” Grade Regional Championship. Notice was given of a 2 year term for Presidents.
Executive members were instructed to meet with delegates from the Bowling Club re: the new court.
Foundation member, Mrs Claire Malcolm, passed away.
Mrs Laura Whitcombe was made a Life Member of the Drysdale CC.
Bank Balance at the end of the year was $331.15. $125 paid to the Bowling Club.


In our 25th year of operation Mrs Wilma McLean was elected President of Drysdale CC and also elected a Junior Vice President of the Geelong Croquet Association.
$150 was paid to the Bowling Club.
Investigations were made regarding the patching up of balls.
Subscriptions were raised to $5 for Full Membership and $3 for Social Membership.


A meeting was held with Shire Councillor, Bill Jones, about the lack of croquet courts for our Club. He suggested making a request to Council that they install one for us. A later letter from Council stated that this request would be placed on the 1976 Estimates list.
A donation of $150 was given to the Bowling Club towards maintenance of the courts (greens) for the forthcoming season.
Mrs H Reid won the Golf Croquet for 1975-1976.


1977 appears to have been a fairly quiet year. From the reading of records it seems that only three meetings were held.
Saturday playing fees were increased from 20c to 30c and the Annual Subscription remained at $5.
Again $150 was paid to the Bowling Club.
Mrs Edna Peel won both the GCA B Grade Championship and the B Grade Regional Championship.


Concern was expressed that the Club would not be able to maintain the new Croquet court and approaches were made to Council about the leasing of same.
$100 paid to the Bowling Club.


This was a very busy year with meeting between Croquet and Bowling Clubs and the Shire regarding the future arrangements for maintenance of the courts. These resulted in a decision to pay the Bowling Club $200 for season 1979-1980. Later discussion agreed that $200 per year maintenance be paid to Bowling Club.
A Lease Agreement was drawn up with the Shire Council as Owner of the land and Drysdale Bowling Club for a period of 21 years at a nominal annual rental of $20 and this was approved by the Secretary of the Shire Council.
Annual Fees were increased to $9 and 40c for Saturday play. A Social Members Fee of $5 was also struck.
On Saturday 22nd September 1979 the new court was officially opened to the great joy of all concerned.
The end of the year saw a Bank Balance of $256, and enquiries were made concerning the reduction of insurance charges for the “Clubhouse” which was now being referred to in inverted commas, perhaps giving some clue as to its habitability.
$150 paid to the Bowling Club.


Although the previous year ended with a motion that meetings be held every two months there were only four meeting held during 1980 which is fairly much on a par with many of the previous years.
Inquiries from other Clubs caused Drysdale CC to consider winter play on its courts. It was moved that a fee of $5 per club apply and a fee of 50c per player apply.
A decision was made to invite other Clubs for Social playing during the 1980-1981 season.
$200 paid to the Bowling Club.

The end of the third decade.


A set of second-hand balls was purchased for $100. Mrs McLean donated $20 towards the cost of these.
For the first time 3 teams, 2 “A” Grade and 1 “B” Grade, were to be entered in the Pennant season for 1981-1982.
Mrs E Peel donated a set of clips and Mr Ron Robinson repaired and painted some of the seats and shelters.
Annual Subscriptions were raised to $10.


The year commenced with a request to the Shire Council for a new Clubhouse approximate size to be 30 feet by 12 feet.
At the Annual General Meeting held in July the Bank Balance was $625.95. The Treasurer placed $400 of this money into a fixed Deposit account with 14% interest! $200 paid to the Bowling Club.
Pennant teams moved from ‘Grades’ to ‘Divisions’ and the Club entered one in each of Divisions 1,2, and 3 for the forthcoming season.
In August a letter was sent to Council to say that we would dispense with toilets but would continue with our request for a new Clubhouse.
The death occurred of another of our very early members, Mrs Anne Capon.
News of a temporary building to use as a Clubhouse was received – an ATCO hut for a cost of $557.51.
A twilight social game was suggested to finish the year inviting other clubs to attend.
Contact was made with the Council Finance Department to discuss aspects of the new Clubhouse. If results are satisfactory Mr Neil Trezise MP will be contacted for further information.


This year commenced with a Bank Balance of $369.28. Meetings were held with Councillors to discuss the promised ATCO hut and also a new Clubhouse. The Club accepted the offer of a temporary ATCO hut to use as a Clubhouse.
Annual Fees were raised to $12.
The death of Foundation Member and first President of the Club, Mrs Laura Whitcombe in May 1983 was recorded in the Minutes.
A motion recording “the time and effort President Mrs Wilma McLean put into tutoring seven new players during the 1982-1983 season” was recorded. This certainly augers well for the viability of the membership into the future.
Enquiries were made as to the cost of connecting electricity to the ATCO building when installed. The Bowling Club was to be approached re the removal of the existing Croquet Clubhouse, to be used as a shelter at the croquet court, at no cost to the Croquet Club.

A motion was passed encouraging Mrs Wilma McLean to stand for the Treasurer’s position in the GCA.
The Secretary was asked to put a report in to the Victorian Croquet Magazine from the Drysdale Croquet Club and to write to the publishers of Melway, Melbourne Street Directory, to have the Drysdale Croquet Club listed along with other Croquet Clubs in the Directory.
Fences around the croquet court came under scrutiny with various suggestions being made.
A decision was made to demolish the existing building using the timber to erect a mower shed and sell off any remaining materials.
An instruction from the GCA stated that players must play in the Championship to be eligible to play Pennant.
At the October 1983 meeting a very healthy Bank Balance of $1043.61 was reported. However accounts totalling $762.51 made short work of that. The Council was paid $557, the fence was moved and repaired for $165, and a refrigerator costing $40 was purchased.
Each member was asked to donate $5 toward the cost of new balls.
Insurance of the Clubhouse contents for $1000 was acquired for a $53.50 premium per year.


Annual fees were raised to $15 per year and it was agreed to increase the annual donation to the Bowling Club to $250 per year.
A letter was submitted to the Shire Council asking for a second court.
By Special Resolution at the AGM 1984, all Office Bearers were to remain for a two-year term. This year also saw the formalization of an “Executive Committee comprising of those in office to make vital decisions”.
Approaches were made to Council Officers regarding the drawing up of a Constitution.
Sadly, the Portarlington Croquet Club closed down and a cheque of $571.33 from their funds was donated to our Club. This will be invested in our Club account for the time being and a letter of appreciation was sent to the Portarlington members.
During the 70’s and 80’s much spirited correspondence and equally spirited meetings were held in the Croquet Club, Bowling Club and Councillors and Officers of the Rural City of Bellarine. These endeavours were undertaken to achieve a decent Clubhouse and playing surface conditions. Whilst some of these discussions became quite heated, it is happily reposted that fisticuffs never eventuated.


This year commenced with a Bank Balance of $1157.37. It was agreed to invest a further $800 into a long-term deposit, which will now stand at $1200 @ 12%pa.
A roster system for kitchen duties was introduced.
Victorian Country Week competition was held in the GCA region.
Mrs L Bryant was in charge of the catering and Mrs McLean in charge of the court preparation.
A Drysdale team took part in the 150th Victorian Birthday Celebrations event and achieved third placing.

Congratulations were also extended to the Division 4 players during the handicap event with Jean King being the runner-up.
In March of 1985 Mrs W McLean was officially appointed as Club Coach.
All members were congratulated on a very successful season both financially and games wise, and thanks to their “willingness to enter into competition play and help with fund-raising efforts” held during the season.
Outgoing Secretary, Mrs Ethel Harrold, was thanked for her input in this position for 10 years as also was outgoing Treasurer Mrs E Peel thanked for her past 10 years in that position.
Owing to the good financial position of the Club it was decided to donate $300 to the Bowling Club this year.
Appreciation of the Bowling Club’s assistance this year and in the past was expressed by the President.
It was resolved to enter 3 teams of Division 4 and 2 teams of each Divisions 1 and 2 in the Pennant series in 1985-1986.
Mrs Wilma McLean and Mrs Edna Peel were winners of the Combined Divisions 1 & 2 Pennant series in 1984-1985.
At a meeting with the Bowling Club is was decided we could have the fourth Thursday of each month for our club days using the bowling green, if we could change with Eastern Park. It is hoped we can return to our original first Thursday next year.


GCA was allotted a day for the ACC Championships.
The Treasurer reported a healthy Bank Balance of $923.19, of which $500 was transferred to the term deposit account for 1 year @ 15%pa.
In March we were again pleased to be the recipients of 2 sets of balls, 2 sets of clips, 1 of hoops and peg, 2 Bisque Boards and 4 lace cloths donated to us from the Bareena Croquet Club.
We regret their closing and thank them for their equipment.
The National Bank has donated $50 for trophies for our Doubles Day.
It is hoped we will field 2 First Division and 1 Second Division and 2 Third.
Division teams in next year’s Pennant season “A” Grade Pennant was won by W. McLean and E. Peel in the prior season, 1985-1986.
“C” Grade was the runner-up.
Membership at the AGM in May – 15 Full Members, 1 Junior, 1 Social.
Doreen Harris was the winner of “C” Grade handicap and Jean King was the runner-up. Congratulations to all players.
Annual subscriptions to be raised from next year to $20 and a playing fee of 50c.
In October of this year the Club became Incorporated.
November saw a cheque for $12,915.51 given to the Club as a share of the closure of the Bareena Club profits on its closure. At the time it was suggested that a Perpetual Trophy be purchased in memory of the Bareena Club. It was further suggested that all GCA clubs give $500 or an agreed amount each to fund this trophy.
A bus was hired to take players and spectators to the Intercity Competition in Ballarat.


Subsequent to the previous meeting decision a donation of $250 was given to the Bareena Perpetual Trophy Fund.
Mr Ashton Charlesworth was appointed to the position of Public Officer to meet Incorporation criteria.
Entry forms for Croquet players to enter the Australian Masters’ Games in Tasmania were received.
In March 1987 the possibility of the affiliation of both the Croquet Club and the Bowling Club into one Club was raised. A meeting was requested between both Clubs to discuss this proposal.
The AGM in May showed a Credit Bank Balance of $764.25, a Term Deposit of $2160.43 and an At Call Deposit of $13,670.05. $370 was paid to the Bowling Club.
“C” Grade Pennant in 1986-1987 was won by Doreen Harris and Anne Neimann; Association Championships won by Mrs Wilma McLean in Division1. Edna Peel Division 2 and Doreen Harris Division 4.
These winners played off in the Regionals at Charlton but were unplaced.
Discussions concerning amalgamation with the Bowling Club continued throughout the year.
It was agreed to purchase Veterans Badges and present them to members with 25 years plus membership. These are available from VCA. The Secretary was instructed to send for 4 Veterans Badges.


Bareena Gift trophies were won in all divisions by our members. Division 1: Wilma McLean; Division 2: Edna Peel; Division 3: Alma Short, and Division 4: Mr Phil Ellis.
The GCA to purchase a Commemorative Shield for the Bareena Gift Competition.
GCA Division 1 Champion was Mrs Wilma McLean.
At the AGM no decision was made about Annual subscriptions and green fees as the possibility of amalgamation with the Bowling Club was looming large.
Mrs Wilma McLean was nominated to the position of Treasurer of the GCA.
A VCA Croquet Newsletter is to be printed at a cost of $4 per annum with the first copy being free.
At a Special General Meeting on 24th September 1988 Amalgamation with the Bowling Club was approved and some interesting points from this meeting were:

  1. The Croquet section was to have its own bank account to be used for domestic accounts etc. and a donation made to the amalgamated club at the end of the season. The Bareena Gift money to be retained in a separate account and spent only on croquet.
  2. SEC (Power) accounts to be paid by the Incorporated body.
  3. Names of third and possibly fourth greens are to be known as Croquet courts.
  4. Financial Statement to be sent to Croquet Executive Treasurer after each ordinary meeting.
  5. Two delegates of the Croquet Club to attend Incorporated club meetings.
  6. New section of the old Bowling Club room may be moved to Croquet Greens and bricked for use by Croquet players.


In February a letter was received from the Bellarine Shire Council requesting that the Clubhouse be vacated within a month. An appointment was made for the Shire manager to meet with a delegation of 3 to discuss this matter.
On 29th July 1989 representatives from the Men’s Bowling Club section, Ladies’ Bowls and Croquet, each operating independently under the overall umbrella of the Incorporated body. Subscription to be $50 per year plus any Affiliation fees – eg. Croquet Affiliation Fees $6.50 therefore equalling a total of $56.50.
Plans are progressing on the new Pavilion.
$12,000 was transferred from the Bareena Gift account to the General account leaving a credit balance of $4594.38 in the Bareena Gift account. The General account shows a credit balance of $10,358.83. Accounts passed for payment at this time were Cement slab $4023, Bricks $2164, Timber $288.31 and Taxation Department $753.


A healthy year financially and another account for bricks totalling $554.40.
In April a progress report on the new Clubhouse was received; the final cost being estimated at between $17,000 and $18,000.
The AGM in May showed a credit Bank Balance of $4850.08.
$18,024.59 was transferred from Bareena Gift account which now stands at NIL.
Account now closed.
Expenditure of $17,516.91 included $16,372.08 on the construction of the new Clubhouse. We also have $3171 in the Term Deposit account.
Mrs Clare Bird and Mr Ashton Charlesworth were nominated to positions on the Incorporated body management committee.
Mrs Wilma Mc Lean was again nominated for the position of Treasurer of the GCA.
A Special Social Day was held on 27th October to celebrate the opening of the new Clubhouse. Ex-Bareena players were invited to attend as this was constructed with funds from the disbanded Bareena Croquet Club.

Thus ends 40 years of Croquet history in Drysdale


Sadly the Club lost another of its long-standing members on the death of Dot Connor (21 years).
Presentation Night of the Drysdale Bowling and Croquet Club was held in April and it was agreed that consideration show be given to including the presentation of Croquet Club trophies at the 1992 Presentation Night.
The necessity of a second court and the means of acquiring this became a topic of discussion.
Member Clare Bird passed the Referees Examination.
The year ended on a high when the Incorporated body appointed a Committee to investigate the site for a second croquet court.
We had 3 representatives to play in the Intercity matches against Ballarat: W. McLean as Captain of Division 1, Graham Bath, Captain and Alma Short in Division 3.


It was decided to pay Term Deposit funds of $3986.30 to the Incorporated body on maturity accompanied by a letter stating that “the Croquet Section requires a meeting with the Executive re: establishment of a new lawn”.
Subsequently a motion was passed “recommending to the Incorporated body that we immediately commence construction of another croquet green”. Detailed plans were discussed and a proposed timetable for each stage prepared with the objective of commencing croquet on the new court during the 1993-1994 season.
The need for more members was expressed and a Promotion plan to offer Golf Croquet as a new Club activity to obtain new members was proposed.
October saw the death of Bonnie Bath a loyal and valued member.
In November Foundation and Life Member Alma Taylor passed away.
Bareena Gift, Division 3 winner was G Bath who also won Division 3 at the Victorian Regional Championships.


In March Lex Mortimer undertook to level and sow the new croquet court within 2 months.
W. McLean was elected President of the GCA for the 199201993 season.
Nominated to GCA positions at the AGM were C. Bird as Vice President and G Bath as Public Officer.
The Incorporated body reported the money outstanding on the Bowls Clubhouse was $46,000 and the new Implement shed cost approximately $8,000.
Lex Mortimer and a paid Greenkeeper will look after the courts.


W. McLean and G. Bath were congratulated on winning Divisions 1 and 2 and M. Byrne Division 4 in the GCA Championships.
It is proposed to cultivate, level, and sow the new croquet court this Autumn.
A recommendations was sent to Drysdale Bowling and Croquet Club that Wilma Bath (formally McLean, nee Malcolm) and Lottie Bryant to be conferred with Life Membership of the Club. This was subsequently approved.


The second croquet court was opened for play in February.
A financial statement showing a Bank Balance of $292.97 was tabled.
The Treasurer then advised the closing of this account with all future transactions to be carried out in the Drysdale Bowling and Croquet Club Incorporated bank accounts.
A new rule was implemented to the fact that if the weather forecast predicts extreme heat, above 34 degrees, then play is to be postponed.
Single and double-sided shelters were costed at $350 and $430 respectively.
Sponsorship was to be sought for this project. $100 received from Rex Gorell Ford and a $100 legacy received from the Estate of the late Mabel Fulton.
The Incorporated body reports a credit Bank Balance of $10,130 with $19,550 outstanding on the bank loan.


The Incorporated body is considering building a new kitchen at the northern end of the Bowling pavilion. Strong disapproval to construction in this location is expressed by the Croquet section.
A cupboard for equipment storage on the verandah was discussed.
The Incorporated body Management Committee will obtain professional advice re: the proposed kitchen and will place all proposals before a special general meeting.
Graham Bath, Clare Bird and Rosemary Harrison will represent the GCA in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 respectively, in the Country versus Metropolitan Tournament.
The Incorporated body Bank Balance stands at $19,119.75 with $9,700 outstanding on the bank loan.
Marge Smith won the Division 4 Championship.
Wilma Bath was nominated to both the Handicap and Selection Committees of the Geelong Croquet
Association Inc.
In September the original building plans of the Bowling Clubhouse were inspected and these showed that any expansion to the kitchen could only occur westerly into the car park.
A new croquet shelter has been completed by Mr. Harold Peel.


The Incorporated body reports that the original loan has now been paid in full and an overdraft of $20,000 taken out to finance further Club improvements.
Social days in future will be held on the first Thursday of the month.
Helen Forsyth suggested organizing a BBQ and running a Coaching Clinic with Ken Boal or Stephen Forster and invite other clubs to attend.
The Croquet Club to arrange a roster for mowing and maintenance of the Croquet surrounds.
Helen Forsyth was nominated to the position of Promotions Officer of the GCA.
A “Come and Try” Golf Croquet day attracted 16 players and 2 spectators.
The Victorian Regional Croquet tournament is to be hosted by the GCA in 1998 with Drysdale as the main venue.


At the AGM in May a Credit Balance of $3163.05 was reported. After expenses $2663.10 was given to the DB&CC Funds.
This year our long-standing member Edna Peel lost her husband Harold who had done so much work towards keeping our Club going, from caring for the playing surfaces to building our 4 shelters, repairing fences and all manner of other jobs as they arose. The Club will greatly miss his massive input.
Wilma Bath was overall manager of the Regional Championships hosted by the GCA.
4 Pennant teams were to be entered in the 98/99 competition, but this was later reduced to 3 teams.
The Australian Croquet Association chose “Quick Croquet” to be an Australian wide schools game – this is now known as “Aussie Croquet”. The President will contact Bellarine Secondary College to investigate a program for 1999.
A new ride-on mower was purchased for $3000 and a new water tank and reticulation system to service the bowling greens installed at a cost of $3500.
Rosemary Harrison, 8-12 handicap range, and Kay Scotland, 17-21 range, were congratulated on winning the GCA Tournament in these divisions.


The Belcher Cup was won by Rosemary Harrison and Clare Bird was runner-up. In the Pennant competition Drysdale was runner-up in the 0-12 range and winner in the 17-21 range.
Croquet members expressed disappointment about the deterioration of the croquet courts and instructed the Secretary to write to the Board of Management of the DB&CC Inc re: this matter requesting a long term plan for restoration and management of the courts. Subsequently, the Board of Management “is considering seeking external advice on the Croquet courts and utilizing grass from the rejuvenation of the Bowling greens”.
Kay Scotland donated 2 beach umbrellas to the club.
The AGM this year saw the passing of $2,606 to the DB&CC Inc funds.
In July a motion was passed stating that “New Croquet players may come and try Croquet for 3 days, and if they desire to continue and be coached the fee will be $20 for 6 lessons, and after that they should become fully affiliated members and pay $91 less the $20 for coaching”.
In December the Incorporated body of DB&CC Inc was to draw up and present a new contract for the Greenkeeper which would include the maintenance of the Croquet courts.
Water restrictions forced hand watering of the courts via a Members’ roster.


The Bowling Club roller went out of control and fell to bits – the cost of the damage was $1200 – so reported at the February meeting!
Research done by the Secretary, Graham Bath, reports that “the Croquet Club has handed over to DB&CC Inc. a total of $53,803 which has more than adequately met any expenses we have incurred”.
Kay Scotland won the Club Handicap Championship and was presented with a badge.
In May Wilma Bath was nominated to be on the Selection Committee of the VCA.
Graham Bath undertook the position of Director of Croquet Courts. The Greenkeeper will scarify and top dress No. 1 court, the inside court. Any work on the second, outside court depends on water restrictions and/or rain, but will be mowed, then sprayed in August or September, top dressed and sowed with Santa Ana Couch. Croquet members are to look after the surrounds.
Saturday, 14 October being 50 years to the day since the Club commenced, a Special Celebration is to be held. A committee of Wilma and Graham Bath, Kay Scotland, Clare Bird, Edna Peel and Helen Forsyth will finalize arrangements and decide on the format. Possibly Lex Mortimer, Director of DB&CC Inc. to propose the toast for the 50th Anniversary and George Latham, representative of the VCA to toast Croquet and Wilma Bath for her 50 years of involvement. There will be a 3 course lunch for 80 guests.
An Aussie Croquet days is to be held in December run by Wes Prosser of Eastern Park Croquet Club to raise funds for GCA Travel Fund.
An Annual Wilma Bath Shield, for Handicap competition for Drysdale Croquet Association Players to be organised by the Club Captain.


Stephen Forster was appointed Captain of the Victoria team to play in the Australian titles in Perth and $500 has been given to each team member by VCA.
Receipts for the year totalled $4,622.80 after payments $3,844.45 was paid to DB&CC.
A new refrigerator was required for the Club room.
VCA reported that urgent repairs were needed to headquarters “Warleigh”. Drysdale CC passed a motion that a one-off payment of $5 per member be made for the 2001/2002 season, dedicated to essential repairs to kitchen and roof of “Warleigh”. It was also moved by Drysdale CC the VCA continue to provide the publication “Mallet News” through subscription rather than “free copy to all”.
At the General Meeting in July it was noted that “all notices of tournaments must name the balls to be used”.
Croquet is one of number of sports to be included in a Promotions Day at Eastern Beach in October.


Helen Forsyth has worked away as Promotions Officer over the past several years and this year has distributed over 200 notices in the Drysdale, Portarlington and St. Leonards areas in an effort to increase membership.
$3,794.80 paid to DB&CC during the previous financial year.


A competition for Aussie Croquet players on Fridays has been set up by Graham Bath.
Watering of the courts by roster may again be needed.
Consideration is being given to major restoration to re-seed one court with Santa Ana, leaving only one court available for one season.
$5,073.55 was paid to the DB&CC during the preceding financial year.
Congratulations to Wilma Bath on being on State Selection Committee again!
Wilma will examine Referee Candidates following a Laws talk at Belmont CC in August.
At the August meeting the first mention “Cairnlea” was noted and its current progress, but no mention of the sale of “Warleigh”.
Approximately 40 school children tried Aussie Croquet in 2 sessions conducted by Ken Boal.
Thanks were expressed to the Bowling Club members for their assistance in repairs to shelters. It is noted that maintenance and painting needs to be carried out on several sections of the Croquet Clubhouse.
Cumulative amount paid to DB&CC $3,273.90.
“Peg Thomas Memorial Trophy” to be struck for Division 4 GCA tournament.


Committee of Management of the DB&CC to be asked to pay for 2 sets of balls, 1 set each of first and second colours. Again, at the AGM it was reported that $5,144.98 was paid to the DB & CC Inc.
A new Handicap system is to take effect in January 2005.
Meem Moffat’s mallet was donated for memorabilia, and is currently in the Clubhouse.
Helen Forsyth’s last year as Promotion Officer.


The reasons for bestowing these honours on two of our most admired and loved members and their late husbands.
While every member of any club has its best interests of that club at heart and many work tirelessly to achieve the smooth running, progress and prosperity, there are, inevitably, those very few who go far and beyond the day to day duty of involvement.


Edna has been a member of our club for over fifty years; Treasurer from 1974 to 1988, a commitment of 28 years in all. This ever so modest and diligent lady also achieved success as a player, some of these successes being Winner of the Belcher Cup and C. Grade Regional Champion in 1974. She won both the G.C.A and Regional B. Grade championships in 1977. In 1984-85 Edna, along with Wilma, won the combined Division 1 and 2 Pennant. The Division 2 championship was hers in 1987 and then went on to win the Division 2 Bareena Gift in 1988.
In recognition of her services to our Club, Edna was awarded Life Membership in 2002. She continues to this day to work quietly in the background to promote the harmonious and smooth running of our activities.
And now to Harold Peel, Edna’s husband, who passed away in 1998. At the time of his death the Minutes recorded that “Harold had done so much work towards keeping our club going, from caring for the playing surfaces to building the 4 shelters, repairing fences and all manner of other jobs as they arose. The Club will greatly miss his massive input.” (End of quote)
As this Clubhouse took shape in 1990, Harold was heavily involved in the making and fitting of fixtures within its walls.
As it is fitting that Harold shares this honour, Edna we salute you both!


Wilma has been a valued member of the Drysdale Croquet Club since its inception some 64 years ago. She has served as President, Secretary and Treasurer on numerous occasions. Wilma has also won many accolades over her playing, coaching and refereeing career.

As a player, Wilma has been G.C.A. Division 1 champion 5 times, has represented G.C.A. in Regional championships and was Runner-up in Division 2 of the Regionals.
As an Official of the game, Wilma was a State Selector for 10 years, a Level 1 Coach for 27 years and a Referee for more years than we can count!
Wilma continues to teach basic skills to new-comers and is always keen to assist and mentor players in all standards of the game.
Her input, both in Drysdale and the wider Croquet community, is immeasurable.

We also remember and thank Wilma’s late husband Graham who served as Club Secretary from 1989 to 1999. He was heavily committed to the formation of a second court during 1994. This came to fruition in 1995 and Graham supervised and continued the ongoing care and upkeep of our lawns. Graham was also a successful Croquet player and, along with Wilma, threw his wholehearted support into not only the Drysdale Bowling and Croquet Club but also at Geelong, Regional and State levels. Mere words are not enough and so we also honour Graham today.

for the latest information visit the Drysdale Bowling and Croquet Club website.

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