By Malcolm Wong

The 1967 Wellington Men’s Team won the Kean Shield (Inter Association Men’s A Grade Teams) at the New Zealand Championships held in Wanganui.

1967 Wellington Men’s team to NZ Championships. L/R: Denis Thorner, Murray Borlase (captain), Ivan Houghton (manager), Harrison Waterhouse, Barry Cross.

New Zealand A Grade Men’s Team (Kean Shield).

1st - Wellington Men	4 wins 1 loss 

v Canterbury    won 9-2
v Hutt Valley   won 9-2
v Auckland      won 6-5
v Northland     lost 4-7
v Otago         won 8-3

Wellington narrowly won from Auckland with both teams having a 4 win 1 loss record, Wellington won 36 matches to Auckland’s 35. This was the 9th time Wellington had won the Kean Shield. Previously Wellington had won in 1940,1941,1946,1954,1961-64. Murray Dunn (Trojan Club) has been in the most winning team (5) in 1954 and 1961-64. He was the team captain in all 5 teams. The 1967 team is the last Wellington Men’s Team to win the Kean Shield.

Murray Borlase and Denis Thorner had been in the Wellington Team to the NZ Championships since 1964 which was the previous time the Kean Shield was won. Harrison Waterhouse was selected in 1965 and Barry Cross in 1966.

1961 Murray Borlase and Denis Thorner

Murray Borlase (Onslow Club) was a top Hutt Valley Junior, as was Denis Thorner and Barry Cross. They all started playing at the Upper Hutt Club. They moved to Epuni and then the Silverstream Club and played Hutt Valley interclub for both clubs. They had moved to the stronger Wellington Interclub competition once they had left the juniors. Murray had won the Wellington Under 16 Boys Singles (1959), Wellington Secondary Schools Singles (1960) and Hutt Valley Boys Singles (1961). Also the 1959 NZ Under 16 Boys Doubles and the 1961 NZ Under 18 Boys Doubles with Denis Thorner.

Murray represented Onslow (1963-68) in Wellington Interclub and the Wellington Team (1964-68). He was the top ranked Wellington Man (1965 & 1967). The 1964 Team ( with Murray Dunn, Ron Foster and Denis Thorner) won the NZ Men’s A Grade Team Competition. He was the Onslow Club Singles Champion (1964,1966-68). In 1969 Murray joined the Empire Club and played in the Hutt Valley A Grade Competition. Murray was in the 1969 Empire team (with Warren Evans and Joan Brown) that won the Hutt Valley A Grade Competition. He won 26 out of 27 interclub matches played. He was the Empire Club Singles Champion (1969-70) and represented the Hutt Valley Men’s Team at the NZ Championships (1969-70). He was ranked 7 times on the NZ Men’s list (1964-70) with a highest ranking of 3rd (1967). He won 19 Open Men’s Singles Titles.
Manawatu (1963,1964,1965,1966,1968), Wellington (1965,1966,1968), Marlborough (1965,1967), North Taranaki (1966,1967), Wairarapa (1969,1971), Bush (1968), Hawkes Bay (1969), Hutt Valley (1966), Kapiti (1970) and Wanganui (1964).

1964 Wellington Men’s Team to NZ Championships. Kean Shield winners. Dick Moffat (Manager), Ron Foster, Murray Borlase, Murray Dunn, Denis Thorner.

Murray won the 1967 North Island Men’s Singles and the 1970 South Island Men’s Doubles with Denis Thorner. He reached the semi finals of the 1967 NZ Men’s Singles losing to Stuart Gibbs (England). He had knocked out the 1966 Singles Champion Bryan Foster (Otago) in the quarter finals. Murray represented NZ against England (1967) in the 5th and final test at Wanganui where he and Alan Tomlinson played the singles, and Murray with Gary Few the doubles. England won 5-0. He was also in the NZ team to the1968 SEAPATT Tournament in Melbourne, Australia. He died at the age of 61 in 2005.

Harrison Waterhouse (Victoria University Club) was a top Bay of Plenty Junior. He started playing at primary school at the Tauranga Table Tennis Club. In 1961 he won the Bay of Plenty Under 16 Boys Singles, and also the Franklin and Rotorua Boys Singles. Harrison won the Waitako Boys Singles (1962) and in 1963 the Bay of Plenty, Hamilton and Northland Under 18 Boys Singles and the North Shore and Thames Valley Boys Singles. Also the 1964 Wanganui Boys Singles. He won the 1961 NZ Under 16 Boy’s Doubles with Peter Salmon and the 1962 & 1963 NZ Under 18 Mixed Doubles with Dawn Wade. Harrison also played cricket and represented Bay of Plenty Colts as a batsman while at high school.

Harrison represented Victoria University (1964-69) in Wellington Interclub and the Wellington Team (1965-69). He was the top ranked Wellington Man (1966,1968,1969). He was ranked 5 times on the NZ Men’s List (1965-69) with a highest ranking of 4th (1968). He was undefeated in 72 matches in Wellington Interclub (1965-67) which was second only to Murray Dunn who won 97 consecutive matches (1962-64). Harrison was NZ University Men’s Singles Champion (1964-66) and Men’s Doubles (1964-65 with Barry Cross and 1966 with Barry Coley). His Victoria University Team (with Barry Cross, Barry Coley, Robert Armstrong, Maeve O’Flynn, Cusha Roberts) won the NZ University Team Title in 1965. He was selected for the 1966 NZ University Team that toured Australia where he won the Australian University’s Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles with Margaret Bridson. He was awarded a Victoria University Sporting Blue for Table Tennis for 3 successive years (1964-66). Harrison was twice awarded a New Zealand University Sporting Blue for Table Tennis (1965 & 1966). He was in the 1967 Victoria University Team (with Barry Cross and Peter Hall) that won the Wellington A Grade Interclub competition. Harrison won the Open Men’s Singles at Wanganui (1967), Marlborough (1968), Hutt Valley (1969) and Wellington (1969).

1966 NZ University Team to Australia. Harrison Waterhouse (VUW), Susan Craw (LC), Peter Salmon (AU), Margaret Bridson (AU), Barry Cross (VUW), Patricia Otway (OU), Doug Stewart (Manager). Front – Barry Coley (VUW).

Harrison defeated Alan Tomlinson 3-1 in the 1966 NZ Men’s Singles quarter finals and lost to the winner Bryan Foster in the semi finals 21-7 21-10 4-21 10-21 21-15. He was runner up in the NZ Men’s Doubles with Barry Cross to Gary Few and Murray Dunn 3-1. He represented NZ at the 1967 World Championships in Stockholm (Sweden). He lost in the 2nd round of the Men’s Singles to Istvan Jonyer (Hungary) 18-21 22-24 22-24. Istvan would win the World Championship Men’s Singles in 1975. With Murray Dunn they lost in the 3rd Round of the Men’s Doubles to Antun Stipancic/Dragutin Surbek (Yugoslavia) 21-14 21-16 21-8. Their opponents would win the World Championship Men’s Doubles in1979. Harrison retired from table tennis after 1969 due to work commitments.

Barry Cross (Victoria University Club) was the only defensive player in the team. He won the 1961 Manawatu Boys Singles, Wellington Under 16 and 18 Boys Singles and the Wellington Secondary Schools Boys Singles. He won the Hutt Valley Boys Singles (1962 & 1964) and Wellington Under 18 Boys Singles (1962). Barry won the 1961 NZ Under 16 Boy’s Singles and the 1962 & 1963 NZ Under 18 Boy’s Doubles with Gary Stewart (Wanganui).

Barry represented Victoria University (1963-67) and the Technical Club Team (1971) in Wellington Interclub. He was in the Wellington Team (1966-67, 1971) and ranked 5 times on the Wellington Men’s list with a highest ranking of 3rd (1967 & 1971). He was ranked 3 times on the NZ Men’s List with a highest ranking of 6th (1972). His Victoria University Team won the NZ University Teams Title (1965). He won the NZ University Men’s Doubles with Harrison Waterhouse (1964-65) and Mixed Doubles with Maeve O’Flynn (1965). He was twice awarded a Victoria University Sporting Blue for Table Tennis in 1964 and 1965. Barry was selected for the 1966 NZ University Team that toured Australia. He returned to the Hutt Valley interclub in 1968 and played for Petone Catholic. In 1971 he played for Technical in Wellington Interclub. Barry won the 1967 Wellington Open Men’s Singles. Also the 1968 Hutt Valley Open Men’s Singles where he beat Harrison Waterhouse in the Semi-finals 21-19 21-19 21-13 and Murray Borlase in the Final 21-18 12-21 21-18 23-21. Barry with Harrison Waterhouse won 8 Provincial Open Doubles Titles, including Hutt Valley (1967 & 1968) and Wellington (1967 &1969).

While at Teachers College in Christchurch (1972) Barry played for the Avonside team (with Maurice Burrowes and Graham Rhind). He won 33 out of 36 singles in Canterbury interclub which was only equalled by John Armstrong. He won the South Island Men’s Singles in Dunedin that year, beating Ling Nan Ming 3-2. Barry captained the 1972 South Island Men’s Team in the match against the North Island. Barry with (Ling Nan Ming, Loke Sim Wong, John Armstrong and Neville Brightwell) was in the 1972 Canterbury Men’s Team that won the Kean Shield (NZ Men’s A Grade Teams) for the first time. He moved to Levin in 1973 and stopped playing table tennis as there was no interclub there.

Barry ran the Rotorua Marathon 4 times (1985-8). Barry, at age 40, started playing outdoor bowls at the Central Levin Club and later moved to the Levin Club. He won the Centre Levin Club Singles (1999), Pairs (1992, 1995-96, 1998-99), Triples (1993) and Fours (1992,1995-99). He won the Levin Club Men’s Singles (2012), Men’s Pairs (2011 & 2013), Men’s Triple (2003) and Men’s Fours (2002). Barry was a Kapiti Coast Bowling Centre Representative. He won the Kapiti Coast Singles (1996), Pairs (1993 & 1995), Triples (1996 & 1999), Champion of Champions Pairs (1993 & 1995) and Triples (1993). He was awarded the Kapiti Coast Bowling Centre Gold Star (1996) for winning 5 Centre Titles.

Denis Thorner (Colonial Mutual Life Club) won the 1959 NZ Under 16 Boy’s Doubles with Murray Borlase. Also the 1961 NZ Under 18 Boy’s Singles, Boy’s Doubles (with Murray Borlase) and Mixed Doubles (with Neti Davis). Unseeded he beat Murray Borlase in the semi finals and Harrison Waterhouse in the final to win the 1961 NZ Under 18 Boys Singles held at Lower Hutt. Denis was the 1963 Onslow Club Singles Champion. He was in the 1965 Johnsonville Team (with Ron Foster and Ken Howe) and the 1966 & 1968 Colonial Mutual Life Team (with Ron Foster, Alan Harrington and Ray Foster) that won the Wellington A Grade interclub competition. He was ranked 5 times on the Wellington Men’s list and had a NZ Men’s ranking of 9th (1969). He represented Onslow (1963), Philips (1964), Johnsonville (1965), Colonial Mutual Life Club (1966-68) in Wellington Interclub and Wellington (1964-68). In 1969 he returned to the Silverstream Club and played in the Hutt Valley Interclub Competition and was a Hutt Valley Men’s Representative (1969-70).

Denis won the Open Men’s Singles at Wanganui (1962), Bush (1964), Wairarapa (1970), Kapiti (1971) and Northern Hawkes Bay (1971).  Denis with Murray Borlase won 18 Provincial Open Men’s Doubles Titles, which included Wellington (1964) and Hutt Valley (1965 &1966). Denis later ran for Trentham United Harrier (1978-83) until an archilles injury ended his running. He ran 10 marathons, winning Mangaroa (1979) and Hastings (1982). Denis had a best time of 2 hours 29 minutes at Rotorua (1983).

Ivan Houghton (Manager) was a former Wellington Men’s Representative to the NZ Championships (1954 &1955). The 1954 Team (with Murray Dunn, John Crossley, John Sigley, Colin Shewan and Tony Darroch) won the Kean Shield. He was a defensive player and was playing A Grade for the Onslow Club in 1967 (8th on the Wellington Men’s Ranking List). He played A Grade until 1979. Ivan played for the Onslow Club (1947-56, 1962-75). He was in Hamilton (1957-60) and the Wairarapa (1960-61). Ivan played for the Titan Club (1976-1985). He was in the 1975 Onslow A Team (with Frank Beasley, Dick Moffat and Lloyd Richards) that won the Wellington A Grade Interclub Competition. He won the Onslow Club Championship Singles 6 times (1951,1952,1956,1962,1965,1971).

Ivan was one of the main workers for Wellington acquiring its own stadium in Newtown (1972) and was instrumental in setting up the Titan Club to increase the stadium’s use. Ivan became a Provincial Table Tennis Umpire (1955) and a International Table Tennis Umpire (1980). He was on the NZ Table Tennis Executive Committee (1964), Wellington Association Committee (1956, 1962-1973, 1977-81, 1983,1994-96) and Onslow Club Committee (1952-56, 1962-77). Ivan was the Wellington Table Tennis Association President and Chairperson (1964-69, 1977-81, 1983) and Treasurer (1994-96). He was Onslow Club President (1974-1999). Ivan was made a Life Member of the Wellington Table Tennis Association (1973) and the Onslow Table Tennis Club (1983). He was also involved in tennis and was a long time committee member of the Khandallah Club, Wellington Association and NZ Tennis. He was a Life Member of the Khandallah Tennis Club, Wellington Junior Tennis Association and the NZ Tennis Umpires Association. Ivan died in at the age of 67 in November 1999.

Information in this report was provided by Robert Armstrong, Susan Barlow, Barry Cross, Robin Radford, Denis Thorner, Harrison Waterhouse, Empire Table Tennis Club, England Table Tennis News, Kapiti Coast Bowling Centre, Levin Bowling Club, NZ University Sports, Onslow Table Tennis Club, The Alexander Turnbull Library, The Salient (Victoria University Student Newspaper), TTNZ Annual Reports, TTNZ Website and Wellington Table Tennis Association Annual Reports.

1967 NZ Team in England – Harrison Waterhouse is third from left
NZ Mixed Team to South East Asia Pacific Area
Table Tennis Championships Melbourne Australia
L/R back: Dawn Wade, Murray Borlase, Cathy Tadema
front: Alan Tomlinson (captain), Alan McCallum (manager)
Denis Thorner, Murray Borlase, Warren Evans, Hone Ridley
Denis Thorner running in the 1980 Auckland marathon