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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.

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

Tony Rutledge – The Evergreen Sportsman

Player Profile by Malcolm Wong

Tony was born in Blenheim (1946). He was the youngest of 6 Children (2 boys and 4 girls). He started played rugby (1955) and tennis (1956) while at primary school. Tony was a second five eight in rugby and was selected for Marlborough Intermediate School Boys Rugby Team (1958) against Nelson.

His father, Jack, was a champion rower. He was in the Wairau (Marlborough) Cox Four (Wally Gibbons (stroke), Harry Rutledge, Jack MacDonald, Jack Rutledge, G Elsmore (cox)), at the 1934 NZ Championship held in Picton, which won the New Zealand Title. Also in the crew was his uncle Harry. Jack also raced motor cycles and later speedboat racing, where he has won the Pelorus Jack Cup (1964) and South Island unlimited championships on “Excuse Me Too”. Tony also raced on this boat. His uncle, Harry, was also a competitor in speedboat racing and won NZ’s Premier Speed Boat event, the Masport Cup twice (1968 & 1969) on “Tru-Jen”.

Tony started playing table tennis interclub in Marlborough (1962) at age 16. He played 2 years in B Grade and then A Grade (1964). His brother, David, also played A Grade. Tony was coached by Nigel Perry, a great stalwart of Marlborough tennis and table tennis. Tony has always played with a hard bat, with short pimple rubber on both sides. He had a all round style. Tony was Co Dux at Marlborough Boy’s College (1964) and won the Marlborough Open under 18 Boys Singles and Doubles (with Bill Cockram) that year.

In 1965 Tony moved to Christchurch to study engineering at Canterbury University (1965-69) where he completed a BE and ME degree. He played Canterbury A Reserve Grade Table Tennis (1965-66) and then A Grade (1967-69).

Tony worked for NZ Electricity at Marsden (1970) near Whangarei and played A Grade Table Tennis for the Kamo Club. He then moved to the Wairakei geothermal power station (1971-72) and played Taupo A Grade. In 1973 Tony moved to NZ Electricity Head Office in Wellington and played for the Hospital Club (1973) and Te Rama Club (1974-80). Tony was in the winning 1975 Te Rama Team (with Alan Eng, Dick Coker) in the Summer (After Christmas) 1st Division B. Tony ( with Graeme Jourdain and Murray Talbot ) was in the 1977 Te Rama A Reserve Grade winning team and won the A Reserve Grade Doubles with Murray Talbot. In his Te Rama B Team in A Grade (1978-80) were Ann Gyongyos, and Kay Kelly. List of players in teams did not exist in the Wellington Table Tennis Association Annual Report, except for winning teams, prior to 1978. He also played in Kapiti A Grade interclub (1976-80). He won the 1976 Porirua Table Tennis Club Singles and was in the Porirua Red Team (with Murray and Chris Talbot) that won the 1980 Kapiti Division 1 Competition ( P Ngan Cup). Tony was selected in the Kapiti Men’s Team for the 1977 NZ Championships.

Tony moved to the Hutt Valley (1981) and has played for the Empire Club since then.
He played Premier 1, Premier 2, A Grade, A Reserve Grade and Division 1, for Empire. He was in the Empire winning Premier 2 Team on 7 occasions, and in 2 Empire Teams that has won Division 1. In winning 2015 Division 1 (Series 1) his Empire Team became the first winners of the Chris Williams Cup. Tony also won the Division 1 Grade Singles (2015 & 2016). His best season was in 2008 where he was headed the interclub averages in Premier 2 with 100%, winning all his 36 singles.

Winning Empire Interclub Teams

Year Grade Players
1981 Premier 2 John Lelliott, Chris Clegg, Tony Rutledge, Paul Ridley
1982 Premier 2 John Lelliott, Chris Clegg, Tony Rutledge, Paul Ridley, Albie Roberts
1985 Premier 2 Michael McCleary, Brendon Pearson, Kristen Phillips, Tony Rutledge
1993 Premier 2 John Lelliott, Heath Murdoch, Tony Rutledge
1994 Premier 2 John Lelliott, Heath Murdoch, Tony Rutledge
2006 Premier 2 Stephan Gershewski, Thom Nguyen, Tony Rutledge, Dzeung Nguyen
2008 Premier 2 Chris Williams, Bruce Connolly, Uy Tang, Tony Rutledge
2015 Division 1 (Series 1) Tony Rutledge, Bob Leeming, Bruce Connolly, Russell Buchanan
2016 Division 1 (Series 2) Tony Rutledge, Andrew Maguire, Brendyn Shaw

 

Up to the end of 2015 Tony has played the most times for Empire at winter interclub (413). At the Empire Club Championships Tony has won the Men’s Singles twice (1993 & 1996), Men’s Doubles 7 times (1985, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007) and Mixed Doubles twice (1994 & 1995). Tony had the best interclub record at the Empire Club (2008, 2012, 2013, 2015) and won the Best Sportperson Trophy twice (1985, 2003).

Tony was a Hutt Valley and Wellington Veterans Representative at the NZ Championships and NZ Veterans Championships. He was in the Wellington Team (with Warren Evans and Bryan McConnochie) that won the NZ Men’s Over 55 Teams (2003).
At the NZ Masters Games (Wanganui). Tony has won 7 Golds in table tennis, which were for the Over 35 Teams (2007), Over 45 Teams (2003), Over 35 Men’s Doubles 1999), Over 35 Mixed Doubles (1999) and 3 Over 55 Men’s Doubles (2005, 2009, 2015).

Tony has won the Kapiti Over 35 Men’s Singles (1988), Wellington Open Over 50 Singles (1997) and Wairarapa Over 40 Men’s Singles (2002).

In Tennis Tony has been runner up in the club singles at the Kilbirnie Tennis Club (1981) and Avalon Tennis Club (1982). He was in the Avalon Men’s Team that the Hutt Valley Men’s Division 1 (2009-2010). At the NZ Masters Games (Wanganui) Tony won the Gold Medal in the Over 60 Men’s Tennis Singles (2007 & 2011).

Tony ran for Aurora Harriers in Petone (1984-89). In 1986 he ran the Rotorua and Masterton Marathons. His best time was 3 hours 25 minutes and 25 seconds at Masterton.

Tony has a keen interest in model power boat racing. He was the secretary of the NZ Model Power Boat Association (1979-87, 1990-91) and was made a Life Member in 2002. He has won the Presidents Cup 12 times for being best overall results at the NZ Model Power Boat Championships (1979, 1987-1991, 1997, 1999, 2001-2004). Tony holds a number of speed and matrix records for model power boat racing. He has represented New Zealand at the 1979 NAMBA Nationals held at Monterey, California (USA) where he was placed 1st (1 hour endurance and ½ hour endurance overall) and 2nd (1/2 hour race). Tony set 2 endurance records at the NAMBA Nationals for 1 hour and ½ hour. Tony went to the Indy Down Under near Sydney in 1991 where he placed 3rd (6 lap race).

Today Tony continues to play tennis, table tennis, build and race model speed boats. At the 2016 Antique and Classic Boat Show held at Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lake District Park) he won the Eventiac best theme display, a model boat display. Tony played for Wellington at the 2016 NZ Table Tennis Veteran Championships where he won silver in the Over 65 teams with Bryan McConnochie and was unbeaten in the over 70 teams event. In 2016 Tony has won the Wellington Autumn Open Over 65 Singles, Wellington Veterans Over 70 Singles and the Marlborough Open Over 60 Singles and Doubles.

Information for this article came from the following. Table Tennis Wellington Annual Reports and TTW website, 1980 Kapiti Table Tennis Association Annual Report, Empire Table Tennis Club 75th anniversary book and website, The NZ Model Power Boat Association website, The Marlborough Pictorial (Feb 1971), The NZ Power Boat Association website and The Manukau Power Boat Club website.

by Malcolm Wong

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2016 – Tony Rutledge, in his 1952 Citroen Light 15 Sedan, which was originally
owned by his late father, Jack.

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April 2001 Silver Cup Regatta (Hamilton Lake) – Model Power Boats. Far right is Tony Rutledge.

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Tony with a selection of Marine Model trophies.

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Tony at the NZ Model Powerboat Championships

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1971 –Tony Rutledge in “Excuse Me Too”, Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lake District Park)

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2015 Empire Division 1, Series 1 winning team.
Back – Bob Leeming, Russell Buchanan, Tony Rutledge
Front – Bruce Connolly with the Chris Williams Cup

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1993 & 1994 Empire Premier 2 winning team. Tony Rutledge, John Lelliott, Heath Murdoch.

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1985 Empire Premier 2 winning team. Michael McCleary, Kristen Phillips, Brendon Pearson, Tony Rutledge.

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1982 Empire Premier 2 winning team. John Lelliott, Paul Ridley, Tony Rutledge.

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1981 Empire Premier 2 winning team. John Lelliott, Chris Clegg, Tony Rutledge.

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1977 Kapiti Teams at NZ Championships. L/R: rear: Joyce Harris, Jean Radford, Louise Roberts. Front: Tony Rutledge, Chris Talbot, Ross Talbot.

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Tony Rutledge – 2016 Marlborough Open Over 60 Singles and Doubles winner

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!

In Memory of Joy Shirley

Joy Shirley (nee Warwick) died 19 October, 2016, in Nelson.

Joy was a former Wellington Women’s Representative (1956-59, 1961-65, 1967, 1969). She played interclub for All Saints (1955), Technical (1956-65), Northland (1967) and Kilbirnie (1969). Joy was selected for Wellington Under 18 Girls against Hutt Valley in 1955 (won 12-0) and 1956 (won 11-1). She won the 1956 Wellington Open Under 18 Girls Singles and was selected in the same year for Wellington Women’s Team against South Taranaki (won 10-2).

Joy was first ranked on the Wellington Women’s List in 1956 (6th). She was ranked in all the following years she played (1956-65, 1967 and 1969). The highlight was being ranked number 1 in 1964. Joy was in the Wellington Team that won the Clapshaw Trophy against Canterbury (1963, 1969) and the Croudis Shield against Hutt Valley (1962-64)

Joy was in the Wellington Women B Team (1958) and the Wellington Women’s Team (1962-65, 1969) at the NZ Teams Championships. They reached the semi finals in 1963 against Auckland (lost 3-7).

Joy’s two younger sisters, Rae and Susan were also Wellington Juniors Girls and Women Representatives. They were also on the Wellington Women Ranking List. Susan was in the Wellington Junior Team that won the 1962 Calder Cup against Waitako 8-4. In 1962 all 3 sisters were in the Wellington Women’s Team against Kapiti (won 11-1).

– Malcolm Wong

Brian Neale (1942-2016)

Former Wellington Table Tennis Association Secretary Brian Neale died on the 9th of August 2016 aged 73.

Continue reading “Brian Neale (1942-2016)”

Murray Dunn – New Zealand Champion

(by Malcolm Wong)

Murray Dunn in 1958
Murray Dunn in 1958

Murray Dunn was born in 1935 and died on 19 July 2015 in Auckland, aged 79. His obituary was in the New Zealand Herald.

He was a former Wellington and New Zealand Table Tennis player. Murray was NZ Table Tennis Singles Champion (1960-63), ranked Number 1 on the NZ Men’s List (1960-63 and 1965), NZ Player of the Year (1961, 1962 and 1965) and went to 3 World Table Tennis Championships (1954, 1961 and 1967). He is in the Table Tennis Hall of Fame (1999).

His Hall of Fame article said that ‘Murray was the possessor of a wonderful match temperament coupled with quick reflexes and nimble footwork. His backhand kill was a consistent and accurate winner. He was able to rally for long periods, hitting the same shot from either side of the table until the point was won’.
Continue reading “Murray Dunn – New Zealand Champion”

Tony Darroch – International Umpire and Wellington Player, Manager and Committee Member

A new Player Profile from Malcolm…

Tony was born in Wellington (1934). His father Robert was a Wellington Table Tennis Association Vice President. Tony first played in table tennis at age 10. Bill Scott, in the top floor of the building Tony lived in, had a table tennis table. Tony was taking tennis lessons from Tommy Williams who suggest that he play table tennis. So at age 11 he went to a table tennis club at the Newtown Primary School in Russell Terrace.

Tony went to Wellington College (1947-51) and boarded there from the Fifth Form (1949). There was a table at Firth House to practice on. Tony (15) played fellow Wellington College student and future NZ Men’s Singles Champion Murray Dunn (13) in a curtain raiser to the New Zealand v England Men’s Test (1949). Tony won the single game 33-31. Tony was selected in the 1949 Wellington Under 16 Boys Team in the annual match against Hutt Valley (won 10-2). In 1951 Tony won the Wellington Secondary Schools Senior Boys Singles, The Wellington Open Second Grade Singles and Doubles (with Roy Lea) and the Manawatu Boy’s Singles. He and Murray Dunn won the Wellington and Hutt Valley Open under 18 Boys Doubles. Also the Wellington Under 18 Mixed Doubles with Helen Dykes.

Tony was also a good tennis player, representing Wellington as a junior in the Slazenger Shield (1951-53). He and Murray Dunn won the 1949,1950 and 1953 Wellington Junior Boy’s Doubles. Tony reached the Quarter finals of the 1952 NZ Junior Boy’s Singles and was runner up in the 1952 and 1953 NZ Junior Boy’s Doubles with Murray Dunn. He played at the Island Bay Tennis Club and was the Island Bay Club Men’s Singles Champion in 1955-56 and 1956-57.

In 1951, Tony first played interclub for the Te Tapu Ranga Club. The one club team meet at Bill Wah’s garage in Adelaide Road, Newtown, Wellington. His team was Dennis Catley, Dave Marple and Alan Robinson. In 1952 Tony played in A Grade with Dave, Alan and Ron Sandilands. Ron had won the 1951 Under 18 NZ Boys Singles and Doubles with Murray Dunn. Dave and Alan were to win the 1952 NZ Under 18 Boy’s Doubles, and Dave also won the 1952 NZ Under 18 Mixed Doubles with M Emery. Tony was selected for the Wellington Men’s Team for the NZ Championships.
In 1953 Tony, Dave and Alan joined the University Club and played in The University Team in A Grade with O G Collins. Tony represented Victoria University at the NZ University Tournament in 1954 where Victoria won the teams and he won the Men’s Doubles with Alan Robinson and Mixed Doubles with Elizabeth Lesser. Tony was selected for the NZ University Men’s Team which played Wellington (Lost 0-12).

Tony represented Wellington Men’s Team at the NZ Championships (1952-54 and 1956). The highlight was in 1954 where he was the Player/Manager of the Men’s Team and Manager of the Women’s Team. Both teams won their Teams Competition. Tony was on the Wellington Association Committee (1954-56 and 1961-62).

Tony won the 1956 Nelson Open Men’s Singles. Also the following Men’s Doubles Titles.He won the 1952 Bush Open with Dave Marple and the 1954 Wanganui Open with Hugh Lauder. Also the 1955 Bush Open, 1955 and 1956 Wairarapa Open with John Crossley. In the Mixed Doubles he won the1952 Wairarapa Open, 1953 Bush Open, 1954 Hutt Valley and Manawatu Open all with Thyra McGregor, Also the 1956 Marlborough and Nelson Open Mixed Doubles with Val Cousins. In 1957 Tony married Val Cousins and they won the 1958 Wairarapa Open Mixed Doubles.

Val had been in the Wellington Women’s Team (1953-56, 1958) and was the top ranked Wellington Woman in 1954 and 1958. Val won the 1955 Hutt Valley Open Women Doubles (With Ann Wah), 1956 Nelson Open Women Singles and the 1956 Wellington Open Women Doubles (with Thyra McGregor). Later she took up running and was the first winner of the Women’s section of the Rotorua Marathon (1974).

Tony and Val moved to Palmerston North in 1963. Their four children all played table tennis but only son Malcolm continued on with the sport. Malcolm was NZ Under 18 Boys Singles Champion (1975) and represented NZ in the Junior Boys, Men’s and Veteran Men’s.

In 1965 Tony passed the provincial umpires exam. He stopped playing table tennis in 1980 to concentrate on umpiring. In 1983 Tony and Gary Farquhar attended a umpiring course in Hong Kong. In 1984 they both passed the International Umpires Exam. Tony umpired in the 1985 Commonwealth Championships (Isle of Man) and 1985 World Championships (Gotenborg, Sweden). Tony and Val lived in London (1985-96). He umpired at many English weekend tournaments, often travelling with Surrey umpires Terry Carpenter and Terry Vance. In 1988 Tony was selected to umpire at the Olympics (Seoul, South Korea). In 1996 Tony and Val left London and returned to New Zealand to live in Wellington.

Tony returned to playing table tennis in 2014 as he had entered the World Veterans Championships in Henderson, Auckland. He plays table tennis at the mid week club at Newtown Stadium, Wellington on Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon and at the Empire Club (Petone) on Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Information for this article was provided by Tony Darroch, Wellington Table Tennis Annual Reports, New Zealand Table Tennis Annual Reports, TTNZ Chronicles, The Salient (Victoria University of Wellington Student Newspaper), The Dominion Newspaper, Wellington Tennis Annual Reports and the Island Bay Tennis Club.

The following photos are from the TTNZ Photo Archives.

1952 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.  L/R back: Thyra McGregor, Tony Darroch, John Crossley, Murray Dunn,  Colin Shewan, Charlotte Savage. front: Ann Leong, Laurie Wilson (Men's captain), Bill Jopson (manager),  Audrey Hughes (Women's captain), Pam Smith.
1952 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.
L/R back: Thyra McGregor, Tony Darroch, John Crossley, Murray Dunn,
Colin Shewan, Charlotte Savage.
front: Ann Leong, Laurie Wilson (Men’s captain), Bill Jopson (manager),
Audrey Hughes (Women’s captain), Pam Smith.

1953 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams. L/R back standing: Thyra McGregor, John Sigley, Eileen Brown, John Crossley, Murray Dunn, Pat Quinn  Center seated: Colin Shewan, Audrey Hughes, Keith Pratt (manager), Laurie Wilson, Charlotte Savage Front On floor: Ann Wah, Tony Darroch
1953 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.
L/R back standing: Thyra McGregor, John Sigley, Eileen Brown, John Crossley, Murray Dunn, Pat Quinn
Center seated: Colin Shewan, Audrey Hughes, Keith Pratt (manager), Laurie Wilson, Charlotte Savage
Front On floor: Ann Wah, Tony Darroch

1954 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.  Winners of the New Zealand Interprovincial Men’s and Women’s Teams Tournament. Left - Teague Shield (Women) and Kean Shield (Men). L/R: back: Pat Quinn, Ivan Houghton, John Crossley, Colin Shewan, Val Cousins Middle: John Sigley, Audrey Hughes, Tony Darroch, Murray Dunn, Eileen Brown Front: Thyra McGregor, Ann Wah
1954 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.
Winners of the New Zealand Interprovincial Men’s and Women’s Teams Tournament.
Left – Teague Shield (Women) and Kean Shield (Men).
L/R: back: Pat Quinn, Ivan Houghton, John Crossley, Colin Shewan, Val Cousins
Middle: John Sigley, Audrey Hughes, Tony Darroch, Murray Dunn, Eileen Brown
Front: Thyra McGregor, Ann Wah

1956 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams. L/R Back: Joyce Bratton, Tony Darroch, Alan Robinson, Brian Sim, Val Cousins. Front: Angela Williamson, Colin Shewan, Bill Jopson (Manager) Eileen Brown, Val White.
1956 Wellington Table Tennis Men’s and Women’s Teams.
L/R Back: Joyce Bratton, Tony Darroch, Alan Robinson, Brian Sim, Val Cousins.
Front: Angela Williamson, Colin Shewan, Bill Jopson (Manager) Eileen Brown, Val White.

-Malcolm Wong

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