Val Muirhead died at Waikanae at the age of 84. She was a former Epuni Club/Empire Club member and Hutt Valley Table Tennis Representative. Val was a Empire Club/Hutt Valley Association Committee Member and a Hutt Valley Life Member.
Val had a open attacking style. She joined the Empire Club in 1955 from the Epuni Club. Val was in the following Empire winning interclub teams. 1955 B Grade Team (with Ron Menchi, Murray Sherlock, R Inglis) and the 1960 A Reserve Team (with Merv Burns, Ron Menchi, John Ogilvie). She played Hutt Valley A Grade for the Empire Number 2 Team (1959-72) with her best result 50% in 1965 (18/36) and 1967 (12/24). At the Empire Club Val won the Best Sportsperson Award jointly with Eddie Harris (1958) and the Most Outstanding Performance (1959). At the Empire Club Championships Val won six Women Singles (1963, 1964, 1966, 1968-1970), nine Women Doubles (1958-62, 1967-68 with Joan Brown, 1963 & 1970 with Merle Harding) and four Mixed Doubles (1959, 1963-64 with Keith Pointon and 1970 with Hone Ridley).
As a junior Val won the 1950 Wellington Open Under 18 Girls Doubles with N A King (W). She was a Hutt Valley Women Team Representative (1956-71) to the NZ Championships. In most of these teams was Joan Brown (1953-62, 1964-65, 1967-72). Val won the 1958 Bush Open Women Singles and the 1963 Hutt Valley Closed Women Singles. In Women’s Doubles she won: six Hutt Valley Closed tournaments (1962,1964-65,1967, 1969 with Joan Brown, 1963 with R Bush); five Hutt Valley Opens with Joan Brown (1961,1965,1969), with Gwen Schneider (1963), with Jeanette Wilson (1967); four Wellington Opens with Joan Brown (1965, 1967-69); the 1971 Kapiti Open with Gillian Kemp; the 1967 Manawatu Open with Joan Brown; the 1959 Wairarapa Open with Mary Anderson; the 1964 Wanganui Open with Joan Brown. In Mixed Doubles Val won the Hutt Valley Closed twice (1963 with Peter McLauchlan and 1964 with Albert Roberts); the 1963 Wairarapa Bush Open and the Wairarapa Open with Geoff Jennings; the 1966 Hutt Valley Open with Denis Thorner. In 1963 Val played in the Australian Open.
1959 was Val’s best year. She was ranked Number 8 on the New Zealand Women’s Ranking List. She represented the North Island (with Barbara Packwood (Captain), Joan Brown, Neti Davis) against the South Island ( Pat Purdon (Captain),June Shadbolt, Thelma May, Pam Crowe ). Won 7-5 by the North Island. In the NZ Championships Val and Joan Brown were runner up in the Women Doubles to Mary Anderson (HV)/Val White 21-12 15-21 21-8 17-21 21-19. In the North Island Championships Women Singles Val beat the seeded Pat Purdon (3rd round) and Mary Broadbent (Semi Finals) and was runner up to Joan Brown 21-14 21-14 10-21 21-11. Val and Joan Brown were runner up in the Women Doubles to Pat Purdon (C)/Pam Deans 11-21 21-16 22-20 21-19. In the Hawera Teams Tournament Empire Club (Joan Brown, Val Muirhead, Betty Gardner, Bev Christensen) beat Wanganui (Gwen Schneider, Cynthia Gifford-Moore, P Haywood, Joyce Williams) in the Women’s Final 6-4.
Val was on the Empire Club Management Committee (1957-72) and was one of the fifteen signatures when the Club applied to be an Incorporated Society in 1961. The Certificate of Incorporation was registered on December 19, 1961. She was also on the Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association Executive Committee. The Empire Golden Jubilee Book said she served for 20 years on the Hutt Valley Committee. In 1965 history was made when the Hutt Valley Association appointed her as its sole selector. The first time a woman has held that position. Hutt Valley beat Wellington 21-7 to win the Jack Croudis Memorial Shield and Canterbury to win the Brightwell Trophy to win both matches for the first time in the same year. She was elected a Hutt Valley Association Life Member and became a Table Tennis Wellington Life Member when the Wellington Association and the Hutt Valley Association merged in 2002. She was also on the NZ Executive Committee (1971-72). Val also served on the 1980 NZ Championship Committee.
Information for the article was provide from the Alexander Turnbull Library, Val Darroch, Empire Table Tennis Club Annual Reports, Empire Club Golden Jubilee Book (1934-1984), Empire Club website, Table Tennis NZ website and Wellington Table Tennis Association Annual Reports. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association Reports for this period. Also some Empire Club Annual Reports were missing (1934-36, 1939-45, 1954,1955,1970). No information was founded from her time at the Epuni Club.
Hi all, thanks to all those participating and volunteering at association & club events during the year. All clubs & the associations could use an extra set of hands or few to help out with events, repairs, or decision making. All those involved are volunteers so next time you see one shake their hand, or shake your own hand if you are one!
Other wrap-up news – thanks to Malcolm Wong:
Wrap-up for Titan – Club Champs
The Titan Club Champs Championships were held on four consecutive Sundays (November 12, 19, 26 and December 3) at Newtown Stadium.
The Club Singles (12 November) was won by Ben Collins who defeated the titleholder
Lindsay Ward in the Final 4-0 (12-10 11-6 11-8 11-6). Lindsay lead 10-8 in the first
game before Ben won the next 4 points to win the game and he was in command for the
rest of the match. This was Ben’s 3rd Club Singles title after previously winning in 2013
and 2015. This brings Ben level with Nha Nguyen (1994, 1996-97) and Win Nguyen
(1998-2000), but well behind Lindsay Ward who has won 10 Club Singles (2001-02,
2004-2006, 2009-10, 2012, 2014, 2016). In the semi-finals Ben beat Yang Low in a close
struggle 4-1 (11-9 11-9 7-11 11-5 15-13) and Lindsay beat Paul Brown 4-0 (11-5 13-11
11-2 11-8). In the Quarter Finals – Ben Collins 3 v Zhidong Yu 0, Lindsay Ward 3 v C
Talbot 0, Yang Low 3 v Depak Patel 0, Paul Brown 3 v Ian Talbot 1. Yang Low showed
good form in beating Depak Patel 11-5 11-8 11-7. Depak Patel was to win the Empire
Club Singles and Doubles (with Paul Brown) the following Saturday. In the Singles Plate
Final Martyn Barry beat Mei Mun Teh 3-0 (11-5 11-2 11-4).
The Club Doubles (19 November) was won by Chris and Ian Talbot who beat Lindsay
Ward and Bryan McConnochie in the final 3-0 (11-9 11-7 11-7). This was their 4th title
together after previously winning in 2003, 2006 and 2007. Ian had also won with Bryan
McConnochie (2004). Ian is now one behind Depak Patel who holds the record with 6
Titles (2009 with Raewyn Young, 2011 with Elias Villanevua, 2012 with Raewyn
Young, 2013-14 and 2016 with Paul Brown). In the semi finals Talbot/Talbot beat
Zhidong Yu/Tony Tziakis 3-1 (11-9 4-11 11-3 11-3) and Ward/McConnochie beat Depak
Patel/Simon Jung 3-1 (11-4 11-4 7-11 11-7). Due to Paul Brown being unavailable,
Depak Patel/Paul Brown could not defend their Titan Doubles Title.
The Over 40 Singles (26 November) was won by Lindsay Ward who defeated Paul
Brown in a close match 4-2 ( 11-8 9-11 6-11 11-9 12-10 11-7 ). This was Lindsay 10th
Over 40 Singles titles (2003, 2005, 2007-11, 2013-2014, 2017) and 25 overall ( Also10
Club Singles, 2 Club Doubles with Nha Nguyen (2008, 2010) and 3 Club Over 40
Doubles with Ian Talbot (2015-17)). In the semi finals Lindsay beat Chris Talbot 4-2 (9-
11 11-4 8-11 12-10 11-5 11-9) and Paul Brown beat Depak Patel 4-3 (11-7 8-11 11-6 8-
11 11-6 9-11 11-4). In the Quarter finals – Lindsay Ward 3 v Zhidong Yu 0, Chris Talbot
3 v Harry Chen 0, Depak Patel 3 v Bryan McConnochie 0, Paul Brown 3 v Ian Talbot 0.
The Over 40 Doubles (3 December) was won by the defending champions Ian Talbot and
Lindsay Ward who beat Depak Patel and Bryan McConnochie in the final 3-2 (11-5 11-5
8-11 1-11 11-9) for their 3rd consecutive win. In the semi finals Talbot/Ward beat Paul
Brown/Ilkka Havakkala 3-0 (11-7 11-3 11-4) () and Patel/McConnonchie beat Tony
Tziakis/Simon Jung 3-0 (11-6 11-6 11-7). This is Ian Talbot’s 4 th Over 40 Doubles title
which gives him the outright record from Malcolm Wong, William Yang and Lindsay
The trophies were presented at the Titan breakup on Sunday, 17 December. Rendall
Conwell was awarded the Presidents Cup for services to the Titan Club. Thanks to Tony
Tziakis (Club President) for organising the food and drinks.
Wrap-up for Onslow – Club Champs
The Club Championships were held at the Ngaio Town Hall at the end of their season.
The deciding match in the Men’s Singles had John Gan retaining his title by defeating Win Nguyen 4-3 (5-11 11-5 11-3 8-11 11-2 10-12 11-9). Earlier John Gan beat Malcolm Wong 4-0 (11-8 11-6 11-3 11-7) and Win Nguyen beat Malcolm Wong 4-1 (11-8 11-5 9-11 11-3 11-6).
The Men’s Doubles (28/9/2017) was won by John Gan and Win Nguyen 3-0 against Matthew Hobbs and Malcolm Wong.
The Over 40 Singles (21/9/2017) had 2 round robin groups of 3 with the group winners playing off for the title. Win Nguyen beat Matthew Hobbs 3-0 (11-9 11-9 11-0) to win the Singles. Malcolm Wong beat Quac Dinh 3-0 to take third place.
The Women Singles and Mixed Doubles were not held this year.
Thanks to Virgil Kan for running the senior club and and he and his daughters Michelle and Kimberly, who have been running the Junior Club (all on Thursday nights).
The Club Championships were held at the Ngaio Town Hall on Thursday nights (October 6, 13, 20 and 27).
The Men’s Singles was a repeat of the previous 3 years. The result was the same as John Gan won in a very tough struggle against Matthew Hobbs 4-3 (11-4 11-9 3-11 11-13 7-11 11-7 11-5). John started well to win the first 2 games. Matthew then lifted his game to win the next 3 games to lead 3-2. John then regained control in the last 2 games to win his 8th Club Singles. In the semi finals Matthew beat Darrin Wilkinson 4-0 (11-9 11-5 11-3 11-2) and John beat Malcolm Wong 4-2 (11-4 11-2 10-12 12-10 8-11 11-7).
The Women’s Singles was won by the Dianne Taylor, for the 28th time, against Michelle Kan. Her consistent returning overcame Michelle’s hard hitting in a tough struggle 4-3
The Men’s Doubles was won by John and Jonathan Gan, against the titleholders Matthew Hobbs and Malcolm Wong 3-2 (4-11 11-4 7-11 11-3 11-8). This is the second father and son combination to win the doubles after Bryan and Phillip McConnochie (2001 & 2002).
The Mixed Doubles was won for the first time by Matthew Hobbs and Beth Tait against the titleholders John Gan and Diane Taylor 3-1. Beth is a former Wairarapa Junior Girls Representative and won at the Wairarapa Open, the Under 15 Girl Singles (2003), Under 17 Girls Singles (2005) and Under 19 Girls Singles (2006).
The Over 40 Singles had 3 round robin groups of 3 with the group winners playing off for the title. John Gan won, with Matthew Hobbs 2nd and Malcolm Wong 3rd. The Over 40 Singles Plate 1 was won by Virgil Kan and Plate 2 by Lei Chen. The Over 40 Doubles (Round Robin) was won by Matthew Hobbs and Malcolm Wong from John Gan and Lei Chen (2nd) and Virgil Kan and John Haswell (3rd). The Over 40 Doubles has been held only once before in 2013 when John Gan and Zhidong Yu won.
The Under 40 Singles (Round Robin) was won by Andrew Budden with Jonathan Gan 2nd. The Under 40 Doubles was won by Andrew Budden and Daniel Wilkinson against Jonathan Gan and Michelle Kan 3-2.
Andrew Budden (Wellington Under 15 Boys Representative 1995-96) was playing for the first time since 1996 when he played Premier 2 for Onslow (with Andrew Hunt and Mark Freeman). He was in the Raroa Schools Team (with Mark Freeman and Edward Szeto) that won the 1993 NZ Primary/Intermediate Schools Tournament. Andrew won the 1994 Wellington Intermediate Schools Boys Singles and 1995 Wellington Open Under 15 Boy’s Singles. He and Mark Freeman won the 1994 Wellington Open Under 13 Boy’s Doubles. Also the 1995 Under 15 Boys Doubles at the Hutt Valley, Kapiti, Manawatu , Wairarapa and Wellington Open. In 1996 they won the Hutt Valley and North Island Under 15 Boy’s Doubles. Andrew won the 1996 Wairarapa Open Under 15 Boys Doubles with Cameron Gordon.
The club’s breakup was held on October 27. Thanks to Virgil Kan and his daughters, Michelle and Kimberly, who have been running the Thursday club night, and the Friday junior club night. Next year the junior night will be changed to Thursday.
Most clubs are offline for the summer (excepting Empire & Titan) but I’m reminded of Malcolm’s Titan report following the club champs that I need to post (& Onslow Club next)…
The Titan Championships were held on 4 consecutive Sundays (November 13, 20, 27 and December 4) at Newtown Stadium.
The Club Singles (13 November) was won by Lindsay Ward who defeated Depak Patel in the Final 4-1 (11-7 11-6 11-4 2-11 13-11), which was his 10th Club Singles title. Lindsay has won the most club singles followed by Nha Nguyen and Win Nguyen (3) and then Depak Patel and Ben Collins (2). The other winners have been Malcolm Wong, Catherine Zhou and Ian Talbot. In the semi finals Lindsay beat Ian Talbot 4-2 (5-11 11-7 11-9 11-5 9-11 12-10) and Depak beat Paul Brown, the Empire Club Singles Champion, 4-1 (11-3 10-12 14-12 12-10 12-10). It was unfortunate that last years winner, Ben Collins, was not available to defend his title. In the Singles Plate Final Tony Tziakis beat Ryan Cronin 3-2 (11-8 12-10 13-15 5-11 11-5).
The Club Doubles (20 November) was won by Paul Brown and Depak Patel who beat Chun Kiet Vong and Hui-Ling Vong in the final 4-0 (11-6 11-3 11-4 11-6). This was their 3rd win in 4 years. Depak Patel has won the most club doubles (6) followed by Malcolm Wong and Ian Talbot (4) and then Nha Nguyen and Paul Brown (3). In the semi finals Brown/Patel beat the Empire Doubles Champions Chris and Ian Talbot 4-1 and Vong/Vong beat Rob Chung/Lindsay Ward 4-1. In the Quarter Finals Vong/Vong were fortunate to beat Martin Young/Zhidong Yu 4-3 (11-7 6-11 8-11 10-12 11-8 11-7 11-9). Young/Yu were up 3-1 and then lead 7-3 in the 7th game.
The Over 40 Singles (27 November) was won by the defending champion Depak Patel who beat Lindsay Ward 4-3 (9-11 11-9 11-9 12-14 7-11 11-6 14-12). Lindsay lead 10-7 in the 7th game but was unable to convert his match points. Lindsay has won the most Over 40 Singles titles (9) followed by Ian Talbot (3) and then Malcolm Wong, Nha Nguyen, William Yang and Depak Patel (2). The only other winner has been Geoff Fletcher. In the semi finals Patel beat Ian Talbot 4-0 (12-10 11-2 11-3 11-2) and Ward beat Paul Brown 4-3 (8-11 8-11 10-12 14-12 11-6 14-12 11-6) where he saved a number of match points. In the Quarter finals Paul Brown beat Bryan McConnoche 4-2 (11-9 11-6 11-5 9-11 9-11 11-9).
The Over 40 Doubles (6 December) was won by the defending champions Ian Talbot and Lindsay Ward who beat Depak Patel and David Buckrell in the final 4-1 (13-11 11-5 8-11 11-4 11-6). In the semi finals Talbot/Ward beat Tony Tziakis/Ryan Cronin 4-0 (11-9 11-8 12-1 11-7) and Patel/Buckrell beat Martin Young/Zhidong Yu 4-3 (8-11 11-4 11-6 11-7 11-13 6-11 11-7). The Over 40 Doubles title record is held by Malcolm Wong, William Yang and Ian Talbot (3).
The Over 70 Singles was not played this year.
The trophies were presented at the Titan breakup on Sunday, 18 December. Tony Tziakis was awarded the Presidents Cup for services to the Titan Club. Thanks to Tony Tziakis for organising the food and drinks, and Rendall Conwell for the club sandwiches.
For players at the level of Division 1 or Premier interclub standard there is a Thursday evening 7-9pm session (see the TTW Training Invitation Flier for details). This coaching group is now underway and targets preparation for the Wellington Open (July 30/31).
All sessions are at Empire in Petone. For further information contact Richard Lee on 567 0314 or 022 0684866.
Hi folks, short notice but the weather is looking ok – we’re having a working bee Sunday at noon onwards at the Newtown TT stadium this Sunday (Jan 18). Please come along if you can, we’ll be doing some painting, gutter clearing, and any indoor work we can do depending on how many turn up!
Btw Titan is underway at the Newtown stadium (9:30am – 1pm) also Empire in Petone is underway from Monday Jan 19 (casual play) and organised games from Jan 26. Other clubs will be starting up for the season later on after summer.
Lindsay Ward dominated the Club Singles and Over 40 Singles. Depak Patel and Paul Brown did likewise in the Doubles. The Championships were held on 4 consecutive Sundays (November 9, 16, 23 and 30).
The Club Singles (9 November) was won for the 9th time by Lindsay Ward, who defeated the titleholder Ben Collins in the final 4-2 (13-11 11-9 9-11 11-7 12-14 11-7). In the semi finals Lindsay Ward beat Paul Brown in a tough struggle 4-2 (9-11 14-12 18-16 11-8 12-14 15-13) and Ben Collins beat Depak Patel 4-2 (6-11 7-11 11-5 11-7 11-2 11-4). Depak Patel had won the Empire Club Singles the previous Sunday against Ian Talbot 3-0. In one of the Quarter Finals Paul Brown beat Ian Talbot 3-1 (11-9 8-11 11-6 11-1) which reversed the result of the Empire Club Singles semi finals won by Ian 3-2. The Singles Plate was won by Gray Hodgkinson against Kung Tepp 3-1 (13-11 5-11 11-8 11-9). Gray is originally from Hamilton and was a former Hamilton Representative (1974-76).
The Over 40 Singles (16 November) was won for the 9th time by Lindsay Ward who defeated Depak Patel 4-2 (11-8 11-8 8-11 11-9 7-11 13-11). In the semi finals Lindsay Ward beat Paul Brown 4-2 (11-4 8-11 9-11 11-9 11-7) and Depak Patel beat Ian Talbot 4-0 (11-9 11-9 11-9 11-9). The Over 40 Singles Plate was won by Ryan Cronin against Gray Hodgkinson 3-2 (11-9 10-12 11-9 8-11 14-12). Ryan is Canadian and played interclub in Division 1 for Titan.
The Club Doubles (23 November) was won by Depak Patel and Paul Brown who beat Chris and Ian Talbot 3-2 (11-7 9-11 2-11 11-9 11-8). This reversed the result of their group match won by Chris and Ian 3-1 (25-23 5-11 11-9 11-8). Depak and Paul had won the Empire Club Doubles earlier this year. In the semi finals Depak and Paul beat Ben Collins and Lindsay Ward 3-1 and Chris and Ian Talbot beat Martin Young and Zidong Yu 3-1. Depak Patel now holds the record for Titan Doubles outright with 5, one ahead of Malcolm Wong and Ian Talbot.
The Over 40 Doubles (30 November ) was a round robin which was won by Depak Patel and Paul Brown ahead of Chris and Ian Talbot. Depak and Paul won the crucial match against Chris and Ian Talbot 3-1.
The trophies were presented at the Titan breakup on Sunday, 14 December. There were also cups for Hugh McIlwrath, who was awarded the Over 80 Singles Cup, and Robert Chung was awarded the Presidents Cup for services to the Titan Club. Much thanks to Tony Tziakis for organising the food and drinks. Of special note was the cake which represented a table tennis table and 2 bats and balls (see photo below). Also thanks to Raewyn Young for the club sandwiches.
There were 8 teams in the grade and 2 rounds were played. Te Rama (Malcolm Wong, Martin Young and David Robinson) convincingly won the Grade (13 wins 1 loss) with 39 points, 10 clear of runner up Onslow (Adrian Sutton, Les Foy, Tony Tziakis).
Malcolm Wong first played for Te Rama in C Grade (1982) with his brother Peter and Mike Burke. In his first match Te Rama beat Johnsonville 12-0. He played interclub for Te Rama (1982-98) and was in Premier 2 (1994-98). He has won 10 Te Rama Club Singles and the Titan Club Singles (1995). He was in the Te Rama team that won C Grade (1986) B Grade (1989) and A Reserve Grade (1991 & 1993). Also the Pre Christmas Division 2 A (1986) and the Autumn A Grade (1997) where in the final against Onslow, Malcolm won all his 3 singles which included defeating 2 current NZ Junior Boys Representatives. He won the 1982 Regional C Grade Doubles (with Brian Roberts), 1989 B Grade doubles (with Henry Anastasi), A Reserve Singles (1990 & 1991) and Doubles (1989 with Henry Anastasi & 1991-93 with Martin Young), and 1995 & 1996 Open Grade Doubles (with Matthew Hobbs).
Malcolm later played interclub for Titan, Onslow and Empire, including Premier 1 for Titan and Empire. He was a National Councillor (1987) and the Wellington Table Tennis Association President and Chairman (1990-91). He was to be Wellington Treasurer (1993 and 1996-98) and Secretary (1998). Malcolm was elected as a Wellington Vice President (1999). He is a qualified coach, with Table Tennis New Zealand Level One and Coaching New Zealand Level One Certificates (2001). He qualified as a National Referee (2007) and International Umpire (2008). Malcolm has been on the TTNZ Umpires and Referees Committee since 2012 and was this year on the Oceania Table Tennis Federation URC. He was the TTNZ National Official of the Year (2013). To date he has won 85 Tournament Titles. His first title was winning the 1995 Wellington Regional Over 40 Doubles with John Lelliott, against Adrian Lust and Nha Nguyen. At this years NZ Chinese Sports Tournament Malcolm with Martin Young were runner up in the Men’s Doubles and were in the winning Wellington Men’s Team.
Martin Young had originally played for Ling Tse and was in their team that won the C2 Grade (1987) and C Grade (1988). He headed the C Grade singles averages in 1988 with 34/36 (94%). He and Martin Gee won the C Grade Doubles that year. He joined Te Rama in 1989. Martin was in the Te Rama Team that won the A Reserve Grade (1991 & 1993) and he won the A Reserve Singles (1993) and A Reserve Doubles (1991-93). He was to have the top singles average in Premier 2 in 2003 with 24/27 (89%) when playing for Johnsonville. He has won 16 Te Rama Club Singles and the Johnsonville Men’s Club Singles twice. Martin was in the GP Print Dragon Boat Team the won the Wellington Corporate Section (1993). He currently plays for Empire in Premier 1 and has been on the Empire Club Board since 2011.
David Robinson was a NZ University Representative (1964) and has a doctorate in Physics from Auckland University (1964). He played for Takapuna in the North Shore competition and for Auckland University in the Auckland competition. In the North Shore Grade Championships, he won the C Grade Doubles (1957), B Grade Singles (1958) and A Grade Men’s Doubles (1961) with his older brother Max. David was in the Auckland University Team that won the table tennis at the NZ University Tournament (1964). He also won the Mixed Doubles with Ann Mutch. David played in England (1966-69) at Harwell, Oxfordshire, for his work team, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, in the local league. He moved to Wellington (1969) but did not play again until 1988 for Ling Tse in the Pre Christmas Summer Interclub (Division 2) prior to joining Te Rama in 1989. He also has an interest in music and has played the bassoon in various orchestras.
Runner up Onslow had Adrian Sutton, Wellington Association Secretary (1990) who was in the winning A Reserve team with Newlands (1989) with his wife Pam, Bob Bell and Brian Neale. He won the 1990 A Reserve Grade Doubles with Jason Granville. Also in the team was Les Foy and Tony Tziakis. Tony was in the same 1977 Wellington College Team as current Wellington Junior Coach Paul Solt. He is now playing again at the Titan Club.
Third placed Titan A had Virgil Kan, now The Club Captain at Onslow. Geoff Fletcher, who had originally played for PSA, and was to win the Titan Over 40 Singles (2000). Bruce Stewart had set up the first work trust and was the founder of the Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay. The Marae entered teams in Wellington interclub in 1983 (C and D Grade) and 1984 where the C Grade team (Bruce Stewart, Maru Corbett, Dean Stewart) finished second in the grade. Dean is Bruce’s son and another son James played table tennis at the Titan, Empire and Belmont Clubs. Another son, Sam played rugby league for New Zealand. Bruce Stewart was to win the A Reserve Singles (1994).
Newlands had Bob Bell, Kerry Duggan, and the father and son pair of Tony Fisher and Ross Fisher. Ross Fisher was in the Wellington Boy’s under 15 Team (1990) and Under 19 Teams (1991-92) and was to win the Wellington Secondary Schools Boys Singles (1992). Bob Bell, Kerry Duggan and Ross Fisher would be in the Newlands A Team (with Ray Hardy and Brian Neale) that would win the A Reserve Grade in 1992.
Titan B had Allan Rassmussen, who had won C Grade with Spartan (1981) and PSA A (1984) and D Grade with NAC A (1969). He won the C Grade Singles (1981 & 1989) and C Grade Doubles (1982 with Dave Pyle). He won all his 39 matches in 1981. Colin Hicks was in the PSA A Team that won C Grade (1984) and he and J Milne won the 1981 C Grade Doubles. He was President of the Public Service Association (PSA) from 1983 to 1988. Colin died in 2010. Dave Pyle had been in the University team that won D Grade (1979) and the PSA team that won D Grade (1981) and C Grade (1984). He won the 1964 2nd Grade Singles and Doubles (with T Ng), C Grade Singles (1983) and Doubles (1982) and D Grade Singles (1978-1980) and Doubles (1978-79 with H Yee and 1980-81 with Jim Delahunty). Dave was on the Wellington Association Committee (1980-85) and would be in the Apollon team that would win the A Reserve Grade (2006). Elizabeth Groblinger was number 5 in the Wellington Women rankings that year.
Apollon had Chris Papanicolaou Alan Bond, Stuart Prince and Peter Varuhas. Chris Papanicolaou had been the Apollon B Grade winning team (1979). Alan Bond had been in the winning C Grade Team with Sony (1978) and Royals (1989). He won all his 27 matches in 1989. He won the C Grade Singles (1972 & 1989) and 1989 Doubles (with Ron Haward) and 1972 D Grade Singles and Doubles (with Brian Biberstein). Peter Varuhas is a Romanian Greek who arrived in New Zealand in 1951 and first played for the Apollon Club in 1952. Already playing for the club were Nick Gousgounis and Chris Papanicolao. Peter (1975-79), Nick (1980) and Chris (1980-85) were on the Wellington Association Committee. Nick and Chris have since died. Peter Varuhas would play for the Apollon Club until 2006 when he was 78. Peter was in the Apollon team that won D Grade (1975), C Grade (1976), B Grade jointly with University A (1979) and A Reserve (2006). In those winning teams was his younger brother Nicholas (1975 & 1976), who has since died, and his son Costa (1979). After 2006 there were insufficient teams to have a A Reserve Grade competition at the Newtown Stadium, Wellington. The players in his Apollon team did not want to play in the B Grade competition at the Empire Club (Petone) so the team stopped playing interclub.
Karori had juniors Simon Reed, Grant Hardy and Mark Jurgeleit. Simon would be in the Wellington Boy’s under 19 Boy’s Team (1992-94) and be the top ranked Wellington Under 19 Boy (1994). He was in the Wellington College team that won the Wellington Secondary Schools Boys Teams (1991). Simon would serve on the Wellington Association Committee (1993-2002). He was also coach of the Wellington Under 19 Boys Team (1998-2001). The 2000 Team (John Cordue, Evan Kramer, Cameron Gordon, Quentin Rew) won the NZ Boys Under 19 Teams Title. (John Cordue would be number 1 on the NZ Men’s Ranking list (2009) and has represented NZ at the World Championships and this years Commonwealth Games. Quentin Rew would represent NZ at the 2012 Olympics in the 50 km Race Walk.) Mark Jurgeliet was in the Wellington Under 15 Boy’s Team (1990) and won the C Grade Singles that year. He was in the Wellington College Team (1991) and Onslow College Team (1992) that won the Wellington Secondary Schools Boys Teams. Grant Hardy was in the Wellington Under 15 Boy’s Team (1986-87) and he won the 1987 Wairarapa Open under 15 Boys Singles and Doubles.
Hardshots had Brian Neale who had played A Grade for Victoria University and Newlands. Brian was in the Victoria University Team that had won the table tennis at the NZ University Tournament (1963) and he was runner up in the Men’s Singles. He was then selected in the New Zealand University Men’s Team that toured the South Island. Brian was in the Newlands team that won the A Reserve Grade (1971,1986 and 1989). He won the A Reserve Grade Singles (1986) and Doubles (1971 with Robert Yee). Brian has won 10 Newlands Club Singles. He was on the Wellington Association Committee in 1964 and 1983-89. Brian was the Wellington Association’s Secretary (1983-89) and was elected a Wellington Vice President (1994). He had the top singles average in the Grade with 35/39 (89.7%). Brian O’Connor and Alan Dunn originally played for Johnsonville, with Bill Stevens. When the Club folded up they formed the Hardshots. The team had won the C Grade in 1990 and had the top 3 players in the interclub averages. Alan Dunn and Bill Stevens were top equal with 43 wins in 45 matches (95.6%). Brian O’Connor was 3rd with 36 wins in 45 matches (80%).
In the A Reserve Grade Championships, Malcolm Wong won the Singles against Martin Young. Malcolm retained the title he won the previous year against Jason Granville, a Wellington Under 19 Boys Representative and future Wellington Player. Malcolm Wong and Martin Young won the Doubles against Adrian Sutton and Simon Reed, and they were to retain the doubles title in 1992 and 1993.
In the Grades Match against Hutt Valley (11 August), The Wellington A Reserve Team lost 4-7.
Statistics for 1991: 1991 WTTA A Reserve Grade – Malcolm Wong
Tuesday night at the Victoria University rec center will be the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the ladder-style competition that has been running up there since August. They have invited any and all of us to come along to have some nibbles and see some great matches!
A very special thanks to John Burton for running this event and we hear that the participants have been enjoying the competition!
Division 2: Mo Whare (Belmont)
Runner Up: Terry Hooper (Empire)
also a Doubles was held for Divison 2 won by Maggie Dyer & Peter Lowe (Empire).
Division 3: Ian Thomas (Waterloo)
Runner Up: Cayden Larson (Empire)
Thanks to everyone who played – regroup and prepare for Series II – tap the shoulders of those you know who missed out on Series I – Series II will be starting July 29/30 (entries due July 22) and is a great time to get more teams in or adjust teams from Series 1 as required. See you then!
As a reminder for the Premier folks, 2 September will still be off due to the National Secondary School’s Champs.
The Mike Flynn Memorial Award is awarded to the most improved junior in Table Tennis Wellington for the previous year also including attitude, cooperation and respect for others. We would like to congratulate Ellen Xiong as the winner of the award for 2013! As well as her excellent play and friendly attitude, her work on the Waterloo club committee has been greatly appreciated by Waterloo and beyond.
Let me leave you with some recent pictures from the Summer interclub currently in progress…
After a number of years of discussion for a stronger interclub competition, The Wellington and Hutt Valley Associations reached agreement to have a combined Premier Grade. The top 4 teams from each association were placed in the Premier 1 Grade and the next 4 teams into the Premier 2 Grade. Matches were played at the Newtown Stadium (Wellington) and the Empire Club (Petone).
The Premier 1 Grade was won by Empire, undefeated with 13 wins and one draw, who were 6 points clear off runner up Onslow. This was despite Onslow having the top 2 players in the singles averages, Peter Miller and Lloyd Richards. Lindsay Ward is the only player from Premier 1 still playing interclub today. Current Table Tennis Wellington Life Member and committee member Bruce Northover played for Waterloo B.
Premier 2 was won by Empire A. After the final Round Titan had 22 points and 110 Matches. Empire A had 20 points and 111 matches. Under the then rules, as Empire A had won the most matches, a playoff was necessary against Titan. Unfortunately for Titan their top player Murray Coppen was unavailable and Empire won easily. Tony Rutledge is the only player from Premier 2 still playing interclub today. Tony Radford (Johnsonville) was a future NZ Men’s Representative.
Nha was born in Saigon (1942) in Vietnam as the fourth of seven children. He started swimming at age 5 and excelled in the freestyle sprints. However there was a table tennis table at his home and he started playing at age 10 with his brothers, where he developed his trademark blocking style. These were his main sports though he also played tennis as an adult.
After gaining university entrance at high school he passed the entrance exam to study education at Saigon University (1959-63). He graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Education. He was the Captain of the swimming team and won the 100 and 200 freestyle at the University Swimming Championships (1959-63). He represented the University at the South Vietnam University Sports Tournament.
Also at the University was Inh Van Le, the Captain of the table tennis team, who was to represent South Vietnam in table tennis. Inh was to win the Southeast Asian Games Men’s Singles (1967) and Men’s Doubles (1969) and was runner up in the Men’s Doubles (1973). He was also a Men’s Doubles bronze medallist at the 1962 Asian Games with his brother Tiet Van Le, who was the French Open Singles Champion (1959) and was in the South Vietnam Men’s Team that won Gold (1958 Asian Games) and Bronze (1959 World Championships). Inh Van Le moved to Australia and is a table tennis coach and top veteran player, winning 36 Australian Individual Veteran Titles (1993-2013).
After university Nha attended teachers college for 4 years and then taught English at high school. He married in 1974 and in 1975 he was selected as a Columbo Plan student (12 from South Vietnam) and came to New Zealand to study English at Victoria University, Wellington. Three months after he left, South Vietnam was defeated in the war by North Vietnam. Nha became stateless and unable to return home but was given permanent resident in New Zealand by the Government and become a New Zealand Citizen the following year. After his course, Nha found work at the Department of Social Welfare. His wife and son finally managed to leave Vietnam and arrived in New Zealand in early 1979. Nha purchased a dairy in Hawker Street and was there for 3 years before moving to the Austin Street Dairy (1982-2009) before retiring.
Nha started playing table tennis at the Titan Club (1975) and his University A Team (with Huy Hoang and R Clark) won the Wellington Table Tennis A Reserve Grade (1978). In 1980 his Titan Team (with Adrian Lust, Warren Mak, Lindsay Ward) won the Wellington A Grade Competition. Nha was also in the Titan Terriors Team (with Lindsay Ward, Harry Singh, Robert Chung) that won Premier 1 in 2007.
Nha was ranked 11 times on the Wellington Men’s list and achieved a best ranking of 5 (2001) and represented Wellington at the New Zealand Championships and Veterans Championships in the veterans team. In 2008 Wellington, Eddie Moore and Nha, lost to North Harbour 2-3 in the Over 65 Men’s Team Final after earlier beating them 4-1 in group play. Nha won several veterans tournament singles titles including the Wanganui Over 40, Hutt Valley Open Over 50, Wellington Autumn Open Over 60 and Wellington Open Over 50 & 60. With Lindsay Ward, Nha won 15 veterans doubles tournament titles including 5 consecutive Wellington Open Over 40 Doubles (1998-2002).
Nha was the first winner of the Titan Club Singles Championships (1994) and he also won in 1996 and 1997. His oldest son, Win, a former Titan Premier 1 player (2000) also won the Club Singles three times (1998-2000) and won the 1999 Wairarapa Men’s Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Nha won the Club Doubles with Win (2000) and with Lindsay Ward (2008 & 2010). Nha also won the Titan Over 40 Singles in 1998 & 2001.
In tennis Nha joined the Wellington Club (1976) and continues to play there. His Wellington Team (with Adrian Lust, Peter Miller, Lindsay Ward, Graeme Hall) won the Third Grade (1995) and Second Grade (1996) in the Wellington Tennis Interclub Competition (1995/96 season). Adrian, Peter and Lindsay had all played top grade tennis and table tennis. Nha played in the New Zealand Tennis Veterans Championship in Blenheim (2000) and his photo appeared in the local newspaper.
Nha no longer plays interclub table tennis but still attends the Titan Club on Sunday mornings. He also walks, swims, plays tennis and snooker. His Petone snooker team was runner up in the Wellington Working Men’s Competition (2012). He hopes to continue playing table tennis for a very long time!