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Canterbury (NZ) Croquet Association Inc



In this issue:

From CCA Executive
From the Tournament Convenor
Clubs’ News
Matters and Dates to note


Hooray! The new season for 2017-2018 is almost here. I was fortunate to be able to travel with my croquet club to Australia in May to play against some croquet clubs north of Sydney. We met some lovely people and played some interesting croquet on a variety of lawns. I found it interesting to read what was on their notice boards. The following paragraphs from an article caught my eye.

“Jean is keen to explode the myth that croquet is a sport to play when all else fails. ‘The first thing that people say is that they will start when they have finished their other more active sports like tennis and golf’, she said. ‘It is seen as an old person’s sport. What they don’t realise is that the reason so many older people are playing is that it is a sport that you don’t have to give away. You don’t get the injuries that are prevalent in other sports.

One other thing I love about croquet apart from the game is that it is the friendliest sport I’ve played. There is absolutely no trouble about the top players having a game with the lower order. Everyone is so supportive and keen to promote the sport’, she said.” Great reasons for promoting and playing croquet!

A number of the clubs had mallet stands to use between games. As a club we are looking at perhaps creating a mobile unit, but if you have a railing around your club the photo may give you an idea, instead of having mallets propped against walls or windows. The bird is the local kookaburra that loves to appear at sausage sizzles!

One club had an interesting mallet.




And I did enjoy this Peanuts cartoon that was framed and hanging on the wall.

There are a number of Interclub activities coming up and I encourage you to read again the article by Chris Clarke in the April newsletter about why playing in tournaments is a great idea.

Have a great season everyone J

From CCA Executive

Like me, I expect all croquet players reading this newsletter will be looking forward to the start of the new season. My very special thanks go to Vilna for compiling her typically newsy and informative missive to the croquet community of Christchurch and beyond. There is a lot of information to digest and I would especially like players to prepare themselves now for the competitive element of our sport. The CCA Calendar and tournament advertisements, both published and displayed on club house displays, the CNZ Year Book and this newsletter are the places to go for planning to play croquet outside the safe domain of your club. I will mention that the Masters Games are being held in Nelson in October and will surely have golf and association croquet in the selection of sports available. Good luck everybody and may your game develop this season along with your handicap improvements.

Along with seven others elected to the CCA Executive we have a committed team looking to bring about change in the administration of croquet. The resolutions at the AGM of the association recommended we bring about better communication and involvement of clubs and players in the business of croquet. The first stage is to present options for the structure of the CCA before a full-blooded review of the CCA Constitution. Prior to the first delegates’ meeting on Saturday 16 September, we ask that clubs look at the discussions the Exec have already had on the possible ways forward for the CCA. We are also going to present our ideas for promoting croquet by the CCA and by the clubs.

I would like to draw your attention to the national tournaments that will be held in Christchurch this season, and to encourage participation either as a player or as a volunteer to make these events successful. Immediately prior to Christmas, we have the NZ Under 21 GC tournament being held at United. In the New Year, the National AC Championships is also at United and will be a practice tournament for players entering the World AC Champs in Wellington later in January. At the end of the season, Fendalton Park welcome the provincial GC Handicap Winners to the national play off of the Don Reyland Stars event. We intend making these tournaments successful as well as to bring attention to our sport in the media. Your attendance as a spectator or engagement in organization of these events is very welcome and appreciated.

Lastly, please don’t rely on the senior players of your club to provide all the interpretations of the game of croquet. It is now the time for many players to step up to become coaches, umpires and referees so that the game is sustainable at all levels and we all know what we are doing on the lawns. Have a happy season everybody.

Owen Evans CCA President

From your Tournament Convenor

The CCA AC handicapper is Jonathan Hart. If you require more cards see your club captain and they can get some from me. Any queries re handicap please contact me
I am also the AC tournament convenor, again any queries please contact me. Results for interclub / Johnson will go on to Croquet scores. The link will be on CCA website or you can find results via

It will be under CCA … (then name of the tournament) eg CCA Johnson etc.

I will be entering the AC results and Alan Belcher will be doing GC results, then hopefully we may get club captains to do this next year.

Note: The inter provincial for AC will be in Ashburton on Sunday 1 October. Please indicate expressions of interest to me. This event is always a fun day. Transport can be arranged. If interested let me know. I will provide more details when I hear from Ashburton.

Jonathan Hart

Clubs’ News

Barrington Croquet Club

Opening Day at Barrington Park Croquet Club hopefully will be mid-September. Because we have had so much rain in Christchurch this winter, our lawns need to dry out considerably. Let’s hope for some spring north west winds over the next month.

In June we had our 90th AGM. This was well attended. Club officers remained the same except for our delegate. Lyn Dawson stepped up to this position.

Also in June we had a successful mid-winter lunch at the Tai Tapu Hotel. It was nice to see partners coming to this occasion. The salmon was so popular that some missed out.

During the winter many of our members played indoor croquet. Championship matches for both AC and GC are being played at the moment.

Our club captain, Ian Campbell, went to Australia and played in the Gold Coast Tweed Men’s Singles which he won. Well done, Ian. He also played in the Gold Coast Tweed Open during which he suffered a “catastrophic loss of form”!!

Brian Collins has willingly carried out many jobs around our club, from replacing locks to removing unwanted trees and planting more suitable ones. We are very fortunate to have such a ‘handyman ‘ among our members.

In the coming season we are fielding teams in the AC Interclub Competition and the Johnson. We look forward to some enjoyable games

Diane Martin

Cashmere Croquet Club

Following on from our recent committee change, it was decided to try something a little different during the better days of the winter months. Monday being our main club day we instituted a Croquet, Soup and hot bread rolls day. Taking it in turns to produce the soup, we have been treated to beautiful homemade soups of many varieties – none of the horrid packet stuff – which, along with hot bread rolls, cheese and crackers have made a delightful change to our winter playing schedule. Starting at 11 a.m., with full greens stacked two up and others waiting to play, we played for an hour then it was in to the clubrooms for our luncheon, for which there was a small charge. Funds went towards our machinery fund. It has become a very popular social time for our members, and we have been privileged to have some players turn up from another club to swell our numbers. Luncheon was followed by a couple more hours of play, depending on the weather, or course. Going down to the Club one raining day I was pleasantly surprised to find that, although the greens were closed, there was a large group of people busily playing games from MahJong to Rummikub and even Scrabble as they waited for their delicious luncheon! Hearty thank you wishes go to all those supporting this initiative, and a special thank you to all the soup-makers extraordinaire, you are the tops.

For our Open Day we envisage all the usual advertising in all the usual places but with a big emphasis on our new Youth League. With parents becoming increasingly cautious about contact sports we are setting up the League for the children of our, and surrounding, neighbourhoods. We plan to have coaching and skills followed by actual play. Having set up the Conditions of Play and, with firm guidelines concerning etiquette and rules we plan to “give it a go”.

Best Wishes to all Croquet Clubs for a successful and interesting season, and thank you to all those people serving on the Canterbury Committee.

Marcia Admore (President, Cashmere Croquet Club).

Elmwood Croquet Club

Every successful club has a member who volunteers for just about everything, turns up to the work parties and fund raising events – but the very lucky, successful club, has a member who does all these things AND is a great organiser.

The Elmwood Croquet Club has Gary Annakin.

Gary is a coach with the patience of a Saint, who enjoys coaching beginners and has the ability to pass his enthusiasm on to his coachees – he also has, not only a very good command of trivia, but will organise a trivia night, questions and all.

Gary is an amateur wine maker and propagator who keeps the sales table well stocked with exotic plants – you don’t buy just a tomato plant of Gary’s, you buy a tomato plant that was first bred by a Russian Count in the 18th century.

Gary remains a valued member of the club but, for the first time since calendars were invented, he will not be a member of the committee. His considerable, hands-on talent for greenkeeping will be missed but thank goodness he will remain as a consultant.

To say thank you to Gary, a special luncheon was held in July – Soup, Savouries and Speeches to honour one of those special members.

Bruce Newburgh

Fendalton Park Croquet Club

We are looking forward to our opening day on Saturday 2 September at 1.30pm. And we are really hoping that the weather is kind to us so we can play croquet. Our lawns have been unavailable over the winter due to renovations and with the recent amount of rain, are still quite wet. However, lawns will be marked on Saturday 26 August and we are optimistic. Lorraine, our club captain assures us that the program she and Andi have devised will enable us to play lots of croquet. Roll on summer!

To keep up the social contact we had a mid-winter lunch in July. It was great to meet up with friends again and enjoy a delicious meal, followed by an entertaining trivia quiz organised by our club captain Lorraine. The questions were quite challenging as I think she had too much time to think about them while recuperating from knee surgery.

A group of 12 members visited Australia again in late April/early May to play against croquet clubs in the regions north of Sydney. We encountered a variety of lawn states including lawns on fields also used as rugby fields – quite a challenge to get the croquet balls go where you want them J or lawns on the edge of a cricket oval – they did tend to run towards the boundary. And then there were lawns that were like billiard tables – one touch and off they went. However, the folk we met were friendly and hospitable, the weather was good, and we had a great time. The trip next year is well under way with Queensland in our sights.

One of our life members, Mary Gibson, recently passed away at the wonderful age of 107 years.

Our annual doubles GC tournament will be held on 5th November, so we encourage keen players to mark that date in your diary and keep it available for the tournament. Further details will be given later.

Vilna Gough-Jones (Secretary FPCC)

Holmes Park Croquet Club

Planning is well in hand at Holmes Park for a positive start to the new season. Our Opening Day will be Saturday 9 September with a 1.30 start. We were very proud of our lawns last season and they look like being even better this season. Our current membership is 30, a nice manageable number, but we would welcome a few more members. On 23 September we will hold a Bring a Friend Day, with the suggestion that each friend might bring a friend. This will begin at 1.30 and after a little introductory coaching and some games afternoon tea will be served by members. The first of our Saturday afternoon/evening BBQ’s will be announced early in October. Looking ahead to 2018 please pencil in Wednesday 21 March for our Fun Day.

Marion McLean

Hornby Croquet Club

We have been playing on our lawns during the winter months except for the very wet weeks in July.

Saturday 9th September is our first Saturday afternoon of the new season. We will then be playing on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon.

The Hornby Croquet Club Fun Day is on Thursday 21st September. Play starts at 9.30am until 3.30pm. Entries to Alan Belcher by 19th September.

Club Captain’s will be given a poster for this fun day at their meeting.

Alan has made up a new game called 7’s. There will be a chance to try this new game at our fun day on a mini lawn. On Thursday 21st December the Hornby Croquet Club is running a 7’s competition for clubs to play this new game. More information from Alan about this later in the year.

The first CCA competition is Interclub and we have entered a team in all 3 Divisions.

Some of our members are also taking part in the Master games in Nelson later in the year.

The beginning of the new playing season looks like a very busy time.

Annette Wilson

Kaiapoi Croquet Club

Kaiapoi’s opening day – with a fabulous afternoon – tea is on September 9th at 1.00pm.

Our “funky” fun day will be held on St Valentine’s Day February 14th 2018. For those who attended our fun day last year be prepared for an even better day next year.

Jan Chisnall – Kaiapoi Club Captain

Rangiora Croquet Club

Opening day is on Saturday 9 September from 11.30am with a shared finger lunch.

This will be followed by the running of the first hoop at 1pm.

We also have a flagpole and flag to raise thanks to Lyn and Neville.

For those of you who have not been to the club rooms over winter, thanks to a team of hardworking members there has been great progress.

The building is now lined, and painted.

We have a wonderful kitchen and electricity and water.

The heat pump is also connected as well.

Mark O’Connell

St James Croquet Club

St James Park becomes a hub for indoor croquet during the winter months. More than twenty people play each of association and golf croquet each week. We enjoy the company of players from Rangiora, Edgeware and St Martins during the winter. Indoor croquet was initiated more than fifty years ago by Ada and Bill Kirk (distinguished members of our Club and recently inducted into the Croquet New Zealand Hall of Fame). The Kirk Trophy, an interclub AC doubles tournament is competed for at the end of each season. This year five Clubs entered (Rangiora, Edgeware, Barrington, Elmwood and St James) with the St James team of Peter Couch and Margaret Lane edging out the Rangiora team of Audrey Burnett and Neville Turner for the Trophy.

Our GC players have shared visits with Kaiapoi and Barrington this year. It’s all good for us and good for the Canterbury croquet community.

Now we are looking forward to the outdoor season, with our Opening Day scheduled for Saturday, 2nd September and an Open Morning for prospective new players from 10.00 till noon on Saturday, 9th September

Margaret Lane (President)

St Martins Croquet Club

It has been a long, cold, wet winter for us with an early closing and big plans to finally solve our drainage problems.
A core of members have had many very enjoyable Saturday afternoons playing various card and board games in the clubhouse.
Many thanks to the Cashmere Club who extended an invitation to their greens for luncheon and croquet on Mondays. A kind gesture.
The death of our vibrant President, Janet Lilley, has left us shattered…….. she has been our leader for five years and her presence, capabilities and sense of fun is such a loss and sorely felt.
On a brighter note, the work on our grounds has progressed favourably with remedial levelling of areas along the east boundary and complete renewal of the drainage pipe for the full length of the opposite one. A pump has been installed and this is now working with an electric motor to additionally assist
…….. what a lovely gurgle …….. any takers for the emergency squeegees we bought last season?
We had an enjoyable Mid-Winter luncheon at the Valley Inn and look forward to our new season luncheon on the 2nd of September.
The stage is set for the 2017/18 season…….. new Atkins hoops,replenished club mallet stock…… and improved playing surfaces !!!

Kay Blair


In spite of indifferent weather there have been plenty of players willing to brave the elements and we have had good numbers on most club days during the winter.

The lawns seem to have stood up quite well but because we had to defer lawn maintenance in the autumn the work will be done soon when the weather settles. This will mean that lawn use will be restricted during spring.

On Saturday 5th August we had a working bee which was well attended by willing workers. Everyone enjoyed soup, rolls, scones and banana loaf for lunch while catching up with other members after the winter in beautiful sunshine.

We have had new “sails” made and will have them put up when it really is spring.

Many of our members have played well and achieved commendable results in competitions but we are particularly proud of two of our members.

Jenny Clarke was captain of the New Zealand team who played in the MacRobertson shield test series in California in April.

Duncan Dixon was named Croquet Player of the year by CNZ.

Congratulations to both

Sally Jeffcott

Matters and Dates to Note

  1. The next delegates meeting is on Saturday 16 September at Barrington
  2. CCA website is
  3. Please send any material for the next newsletter to Vilna at by 20 October for publishing end of October. Newsletters are published end August end October end January then March/April
  4. The CCA calendar for next two months is given below
  5. A list of the 2017/2018 CCA and CNZ tournaments is summarised for you below.