Table Tennis Wellington



Merv Allardyce

Sad news with Merv Allardyce passing away on Saturday (July 11) age 88.  As a Life Member of the Empire Table Tennis Club he was also well known within the Wellington and indeed the New Zealand table tennis community including as a dedicated administrator for TTNZ in the head office for 11 years.  He will be missed by so many, sympathies from us all to Merv’s family.

See John Kiley’s article on Merv in Saturday’s Dominion Post.


2015 NZ Vets O80s Doubles Silver Merv Allardyce and Eddie Moore
Here’s Merv on the left back in 2015 in Empire colours following silver at the NZ Vets Over 80 Men’s Doubles with Eddie Moore (on the right)
Merv (also in 2015) at the Empire Table Tennis Club prize giving

Looking Back: Gary Roselli

Gary Hudson Roselli (85) 21/1/1934-13/7/2019
Dies 13 July 2019 suddenly at home aged 85 years. Dearly loved husband of Pam and father of Carol, Annette, Maria, Gina. Lesley, Richard and Gaye (Dominion Post 15 July 2019).
photo: 1959 Gary Roselli (National Library Site)

Gary was born in Westport, the youngest of 3 boys. His oldest brother was Peter followed by Leon. He went to Westport North Primary School and Westport Techical High School (now Buller High School). After school he began his pharmacy studies. He was good at sports, especially table tennis and tennis, where he was a junior/senior West Coast Representative.

In 1948 he played a match against former world champion Michael (Miklos)Szabados in Westport and in 1949 played against fomerly World Champion Victor Barna in Westport.

Gary won the West Coast Open Boys Singles (1948,1949 & 1951), Men’s Singles (1953)  Men’s Doubles (1951& 1953 with John Allan) and Mixed Doubles (1953 with Miss B Walsh). The Buller Open Men’s Singles (1953 & 1954), Men’s Doubles (1953 with J Allan) and Mixed Doubles (1954 with V Walker). Also the 1954 Buller Closed Men’singles and Mixed Doubles with Miss K Mooney. There was no Buller Open (1950-52) and the 1954 West Coast Open results were not received by Table Tennis NZ.

In 1955 Gary moved to Wellington and worked in 2 pharmacies in the city before moving to High Street, Lower Hutt (1961) where he remained until he retired.  He joined the Onslow Table Tennis Club. He won the  Onslow Club Singles Champion 3 times (1959-61) and also won the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles 3 times. The Men’s Doubles was won in 1960 & 1961 with Rudd Taylor and in 1962 with Ivan Houghton. The Mixed Doubles was won in 1959 with his then wife Margaret Roselli and in 1960-61 with Madeline Hooker.

He played Wellington A Grade for Onslow. The team finished 5th (1957) 5th (1958), 4th (1959), 2nd (1958), 4th (1959), 2nd (1960) 5th (1961) and 2nd ( 1962).

Gary won reached the Quarter Finals of the 1958  NZ Men’s Singles, beating the 8th seed  George Smith (Auckland)  and Ron Foster (Otago) before losing to the winner Bob Jackson (Auckland). He was ranked Number 9 on the NZ Men’s Ranking List that year. In 1959 He won the Hutt Valley Open Men’s Singles defeating John Crossley (Wgtn) 3-2 (21-23 21-14 15-21 21-19 21-17). In the 1959 North Island Men’s Doubles Final Gary and Roy Lea (Wgtn) lost to Murray Dunn/John Crossley (Wgtn) 0-3 ( 15-21 19-21 19-21). In 1961he won the Hutt Valley Open Mixed Doubles with Val Smythe (Wgtn).

Gary was ranked on the Wellington Men’s ranking list 6 times (1957 (9) 1958 (3) 1959 (3) 1960 (3) 1961 (2) and 1962 (6). He was selected in the Wellington Men’s Team to the NZ Championships (1958-61). In 1958 Wellington were runner up to Auckland with their match tied at 6-6 (Auckland winning on games 15-13). Wellington were again runner ups in 1959 losing to Auckland 0-12. In 1961 Wellington ( Murray Dunn (Captain, Geoff Jennings, Gary Roselli, John Crossley, Mike Beder) won the Kean Shield ( NZ A Grade Men’s Team) winning all 5 matches including beating Auckland 9-3 in the final.

Gary was in a Wellington Team that won the Croudis Shield against Hutt Valley (1958 17-11 1959 16-10 1960 score not in annual report    1961 19-9). The Claphaw Trophy against Canterbury was won in 1958 22-6 and 1961 15-13. The Gordon Cup against Auckland was won in 1961 at Taumarunui 18-10 which was the last time the Cup was completed for. He was in the Wellington team that beat Wairarapa 1958 12-0 and 1961 32-16. In 1958 he was in the Wellington Men’s Team that beat NZ University 11-1.

Gary later played for the Empire Club and was mainly a reserve for the top team in A Grade  interclub (1965-76). He played 4 matches (won 10 lost 2) for the 1972 Empire A Grade No 1 Team (with Hone Ridley, Warren Evans and Keith Pointon) which won the Hutt Valley A Grade. He was in the  1973 A Grade Team (with Hone Ridley and Pat Low) that won the Hutt Valley A Grade where he won 23 out of 36 matches. 1981 was his last year of interclub for Empire for the A Reserve No 1 Team (with Tony Rutledge, Keith Pointon and Merv Allardyce) which finished 3rd.

In Tennis Gary was a Life Member of the Avalon Tennis Club. He won 5 NZ Veterans Men’s Doubles and 4 NZ Veterans Mixed Doubles Titles. They were:

1985 NZ Over 50 Men’s Doubles with Ivan Easton
1986 NZ Over 50 men’s Doubles with Geoff Lankow
1993 NZ Over 55 Men’s Doublies with Viv Hargreaves
2000 NZ Over 65 Men’s Doubles with Tom Wotherspoon
2001 NZ Over 65 Men’s Doubles with Tom Wotherspoon
1993 NZ Over 55 Mixed Doubles with Mary Ryan
1995 NZ Over 60 Mixed Doubles with Ann Stephens
1997 NZ Over 60 Mixed Doubles with Mary Ryan
2000 NZ Over 65 Mixed Doubles with Jean Stevens
In 1990 Gary with Geoff Lankow were runner up in Australian Over 55 Men’s Doubles
Gary represented NZ in the following Veterans teams tournaments overseas
1994 Men’s Over 60 – Von Cramm Cup, Florida USA with Larry O’Neill & Russell Blewden
1995 Men’s Over 60 – Von Cramm Cup, Portschach Austria with Don Tayor & Larry O’Neill
1998 Men’s Over 60 – Von Cramm Cup , Fort Lauderdale, USA with Larry O’Neill, Don Taylor & John Hempsted
1999 Men’s Over 65 – Britannia Cup, Costa Brava Spain with Larry O’Neill & Don Taylor

Information for this article came from Peter Roselli (details on Gary before his move to Wellington) , National Library site, Wellington Table Tennis Annual Reports, Onslow Table Tennis Club records, Table Tennis NZ Website, Table Tennis Review (July & Aug 1959), Avalon Tennis Annual Report. NZ Tennis Seniors website and Tennis Seniors Australia website.

– Malcolm Wong

Looking Back: Betty Thompson

Betty Irene Thompson (nee Powell)  died 5/03/2019 in Wellington, aged 97. Much loved mother of Trevor, Jennifer, Lester and Louise and special grandmother of Michael and Laura.  (Dominion Post, 7 March 2019)

Betty first played table tennis in 1939 at work in Wellington during the lunch hour and after work. She played interclub for Railways and Technical (1948) and was ranked in the Wellington Women rankings 1946 (5), 1947 (4), 1948 (6). She was a Wellington Women’s  Representative to the 1947 NZ Championships that won the Women’s A Grade Teams  and became the first team to win the Herbert G Teagle Memorial Shield.  Betty was an allround attacking player on both wings.

In 1946 Betty won the North Island  Women  Doubles with May Wareham (Wgtn) and the Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface (Wgtn). Also the Hutt Valley Open Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface.

In 1947 Betty won the NZ Mixed Doubles with Eric Boniface. The South Island Women Doubles with Audrey Hunt (HV) and Mixed Doubles with W J (Bill) Fogarty (Otg). Also the Wellington Open Women Doubles with A P (Agnes) Knight (Wgtn) and Hutt Valley Open Women Doubles with A Hunt.  In 1948 Betty retained the Hutt Valley Open Women Doubles with A Hunt.

Betty moved to Manawatu in 1949. She won the Taranaki Open Women Singles and Doubles,with M Fahey, and gained a NZ Women ranking of 10th.

Betty then moved to Timaru and won the South Canterbury Women Singles (1951 & 1953) and Women Doubles with E A Collins (1952 & 1953). She won the 1952 South Island Women’s Singles and Doubles with E A Collins. She was on the NZ Ranking  list 1951 (9), 1952 (4) and 1953 (7). Betty was the only player to defeat Margaret Hoar in the 1953 NZ Women’s A Grade Teams.

In 1954 Betty moved to Otaki in the Manawatu. She won the Manawatu Closed Women Singles (1954 & 1955), Women Doubles with Merle Rolston (1955) and Mixed Doubles with H Jones (1955).

Also 8 more Provincial Open Doubles and 3 Mixed Doubles Titles. They were:
1954 Wairarapa Open Women’s  Doubles with N Andrews (Wairarapa)
1956 Wanganui Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston (Manawatu)
1957 Bush Open Wpmen’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1957 Hutt Valley Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1957  Hutt Valley Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder (Wgtn)
1957 Manawatu Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Wellington Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Wellington Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder
1958 Manawatu Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Bush Open Women’s Doubles with Val Rolston
1958 Bush Open Mixed Doubles with Hugh Lauder

In Veterans events Betty (Rotorua) won the 1978 NZ Over 45 Women Singles and Doubles with D Ord (Manawatu). In 2006 representing Manawau  She won the North Island Over 65 Doubles with Merle Sneddon (MN) and Over 70 Mixed Doubles with Bill Otene (WT). In 2009 Betty won the NZ Masters Games Over 70 Women Doubles with Betty Meads.

Thanks to the Dominion Post, TTNZ Annual Reports, Table Tennis Wellington Annual Reports, Table Tennis Wanganui website  and the  TTNZ photo archives for information that is in this article.

– Malcolm Wong

1947 Wellington Association Representatives
L/R back: L M Wilson (captain), J S Crossley, M Gosling, E Boniface
seated: A Hughes, D R Croxton, E P Marshall (manager), B I Powell, A P Knight
front: R S Gray, B J Eames
1955 Manawatu Women’s Team at NZ Championships – Napier
L/R: Janet Oxenam, Merle Rolston, Daphne McLean, Lois Rodgers, Betty Powell
1962 Manawatu Ladies Team NZ Championships
L/R: Dawne Perks, Betty Thompson (nee Powell), Merle Rolston
Betty Thompson at the 2014 World Veterans Championship (Henderson, NZ).
She won the Over 85 Women’s Consolation Singles.



* TTW Vets cancelled
* Newtown stadium closed
* Empire stadium closed
* Summer competition suspended

Continue reading “COVID-19 ALERTS”

A Blast from the Past – 1997 Hutt Valley Women’s Team

By Malcolm Wong

The Hutt Valley Women’s Team won the NZ Women’s A Grade Teams (Herbert G Teagle Memorial Challenge Shield) for the first time at the NZ Championships held in Timaru (1997).

 v Southland 1      won 7-2
 v South Canterbury won 7-2
 v Composite 2      won 7-2
 v Composite 1      won 5-3
 v Canterbury       won 5-4
 v Canterbury (Final) won 5-2 

Singles averages:

Sabine Westenra (Belmont)    14/15  93%
Tracey McLauchlan (Waterloo) 10/14  71%
Melissa Beazer (Waterloo)    8/14   57%
Averil Roberts (Belmont)     4/8    50% 

In the Individual events Tracey won the Under 21 Women Singles and Doubles (with Melissa Beazer) and the Under 19 Girls Singles and Doubles (with Melissa Beazer). Melissa Beazer won the Under 19 Mixed Doubles (with Jason Ng, Auckland). Averil Roberts (Hutt Valley President) won the Over 35 and 45 Women Doubles (with Val Beaver (Counties Manukau).

In the Under 19 A Grade Girls Teams, Hutt Valley (Tracey McLauchlan, Melissa Beazer, Belinda Beazer and Aroha Tam – all Waterloo) won all their matches. They beat Auckland in the final 5-2.

In 1999 Hutt Valley (Tracey McLauchlan, Sabine Westenra, Diana White, Raewyn Young) again won the NZ Womens A Grade Teams in Palmerston North. They defeated Auckland 5-4 in the final.

1997 HV Women's Team
In 1997: Averil Roberts, Sabine Westenra,
Tracey McLauchlan, Melissa Beazer

In 1975 The Hutt Valley Men’s Team (Gary Murphy, Terry Murphy, Hone Ridley, Murray Borlase) won the NZ Men’s A Grade Teams (Kean Challenge Shield) for the first and only time in Christchurch. In a round robin (6 teams) they had 4 wins and 1 loss which was the same as Franklin. As Hutt Valley had beaten Franklin they won the A Grade.

Information for this report came from the 1997 Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association Annual Report, 1975 and 1999 TTNZ Annual Report and the TTNZ Website.

Val Muirhead (nee Phillips) 23/01/1933-8/04/2017

ValMuirhead1Val 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 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 (W) 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 (W) 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.

Victor Barna Cup, Hutt Valley Women's team (1956). L/R back: Fay Inglis, Val Muirhead (c), Pam Oben; front: Mary Garden, Joan Brown
Victor Barna Cup, Hutt Valley Women’s team (1956). L/R back: Fay Inglis, Val Muirhead (c), Pam Oben; front: Mary Garden, Joan Brown

Malcolm Wong

Blast from the past – 1967, 50 Years ago

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

Blast from the past – 1997 Autumn A Grade

Blast from the past 20 years ago 1997 Wellington Autumn A Grade remembered

by Malcolm Wong

1997 Te Rama Team Members Martin Young, Malcolm Wong and Matthew Hobbs reunite at the Wellington Interclub Finals Night, Series 2 (Tuesday 19 September).

In 1997 there were 8 Teams in the February-April competition. A round robin was followed by 3 knockout rounds to determine the winner. Onslow A (Greg Smith, Stuart Cordue, John Cordue) were top after the round robin and they made the final. Te Rama, 4th after the round robin, hit form to beat Titan A 9-2 and Titan B 11-0  to make the final. A close final was expected. However Te Rama (Malcolm Wong. Bob Bell, Matthew Hobbs) beat Onslow A 9-2. Malcolm Wong won all his 3 singles for Te Rama, continuing his good recent form where he had won his last 12 singles. Greg Smith won 2 singles for Onslow A

Malcolm Wong has been in 4 Te Rama winning interclub teams. 1986 C Grade (with Brian Hearfield, Jeff Larsen, Olaf Leijon), 1989 B Grade (with Brian Hearfield, Henry Anastasi), 1991 A Reserve Grade (with Martin Young, David Robinson) and 1993 A Reserve Grade (with Martin Young, Brian Neale). Martin Young was in the following Ling Tse winning Teams. 1986  C2 Grade (With Lewis Young, Kee Yee) and 1988 C Grade, Division 1 (with Martin Gee, Chuah, Glen Douglas). Bob Bell had been the following winning Newlands A Reserve Grade Teams. 1986 (with Brian Neale, Kaz Witko, Chas Wong), 1989 (with Adrian Sutton, Pam Sutton, Brian Neale) and 1992 (with Ray Hardy, Brian Neale, Kerry Duggan, Ross Fisher). Matthew Hobbs was in the winning 1992 C Grade Titan B Team (with Mike Winsborough, Geoffry Hobbs). Malcolm Wong (12) and Martin Young (18) were Te Rama Club Singles Champion. Malcolm had also won the 1995 Titan Club Singles. Bob Bell was the Newlands Club Singles Champion (1995). Bob (2011) and Matthew Hobbs (2012) would win the Onslow Club Singles.

Onslow A’s top player was Greg Smith, who was in the NZ Under 17 Boy’s Team to Australia (1995 &1996). His Wanganui City College Team won the NZ Secondary
Schools Open Teams Championship in 1995 (with Ben Chapman and James Chapman) &
1996 (with James Chapman and Michael Purvis).  In 1996 his Gonville 2 Team (with Jonathan Spring and Larn Sweeney) finished 2nd in the Wanganui A Grade (2 person teams) Interclub behind Wanganui East 1 (Lee Mummery, Jared Smith, Nelson Tizard). He was the top ranked Wanganui  Junior Boy and 3rd  on the Men’s list, behind Shane Wilson and his brother Jared (Top ranked Man). Stuart Cordue was a former ranked Wellington Junior Boy (4th in 1974) and the father of John. He was in the winning 1974 A Reserve Grade team with Onslow B (with Lloyd Richards, Murray Bordignon, Ruth Futter). John Cordue (1996 NZ Under 14 Boys Rep) would be the Onslow Club Singles Champion in 1999 and 2000. He won the 2009 South Island Men’s Singles. John would become a future NZ Men’s Representative, playing in the World Championships (2005, 2009-2014) and the 2014 Commonwealth Games. At this years World Masters Games Table Tennis, John won the Over 30 Men’s Singles and was in the winning Over 30 Men’s Team with Simon Wallace. He was also runner up in the Over 30 Men’s Doubles with Chen Rong.

New players to Wellington were Kel and Marilyn Smith, the parents of Greg, who had moved from Wanganui. Aroha Tam (1993 NZ U14 Girls, 1994 NZ U15 Girls and 1996 NZ U20 Women) had moved from Dunedin. Liam Orange travelled from the Wairarapa with his grandparents Des and Rose Orange.

7 players (Martin Young, Matthew Hobbs, David Buckrell, Bryan McConnochie, Phillip McConnochie, Win Nguyen, Andrew Budden) were still playing Wellington interclub in 2017.

1997 Autumn A Grade

Place  Team
1      Te Rama   (Malcolm Wong, Martin Young, Bob Bell, Matthew Hobbs)
2      Onslow A  (Greg Smith, Stuart Cordue, John Cordue)
3      Titan B   (Jake Yang, David Buckrell, Alvin Wong)
4      Onslow E  (Kel Smith, Marilyn Smith, Aroha Tam)
5      Onslow B  (Bryan McConnochie, Phillip McConnochie, Blair Duckett)
6      Titan A   (Win Nguyen, Geoff Fletcher, Alan Cliffin)
7      Onslow C  (Paul Escott, Liam Orange, Steve Dunn)
8      Onslow D  (Mark Freeman, Andrew Budden, Cameron Gordon)

Interclub Averages

Place                 Wins  Games   %
1  Jake Yang           17    18    94
2  Greg Smith          27    29    93
3  Win Nguyen          25    29    86
4  Bryan McConnochie   20    27    74
5  Martin Young        18    25    72

Sir Peter Snell pops in for a visit!

We had a special guest at the Newtown Table Tennis Stadium – you may have seen him on the news! Sir Peter Snell and his wife Miki were in Wellington for his memorabilia presentations to Te Papa and popped in for some hits to keep their eye in for the upcoming Masters Games where they will be competing in table tennis. A number of us there took some photos and below is a selection (thanks to those who sent in some pictures already including Phillip, David M, Yang, Malcolm, & Rob).

Sir Peter’s messages on TVNZ are a powerful endorsement of the ability of table tennis to engage us at all ages. Age is no barrier! Here are two links to news items – spot a few background guest appearances!

Blog at

Up ↑