Table Tennis Wellington


TTW:Player Profile

Ivan Moffat – A Lifetime Involvement in Table Tennis

Ivan Moffat was born in 1917 in Wellington. He was 97 in August last year and is Table Tennis Wellington’s oldest Vice President. He started playing at age 12 at the Boys Institute in Tasman Street, Wellington. This began a lifetime involvement with table tennis.

During World War 2 Ivan was a private and sapper with the 36th NZ Army Battalion (1941-45) in the Pacific. He borrowed a bat from the Salvation Army and played with his fellow soldiers when there was time.

Ivan played interclub for the St Josephs Club in Mount Victoria. He was in their 1954 winning E Grade Team. In the final St Josephs beat Kilbirnie RSA 12-8. There were 61 teams in E Grade that year, in 8 sections. The next year Ivan was playing C Grade. His team won Section 3 and finished 3rd of 4 teams in post section play. Brian Hearfield (TTW Life Member) recalls that he played against Ivan in B Grade. The St Josephs team also included Jack Dobbs and Bob Gallagher. Bob who played for St Josephs (1957-62) said that Ivan was an attacking player who used the same side of the bat for both forehand and backhand. Bob also said that Ivan was the most awkward player he has played against. Ivan also played in the A Reserve Grade. He later played for St Pats in Kilbirnie. His wife Florence (better known as Florrie or Flossie) was ever present with him on club night and at his interclub matches.

Ivan was on the Wellington Table Tennis Association Executive Committee (1962-73). He was on the Emergency, Tournament and Hall, and Equipment Sub Committees. Ivan was also the Recording Secretary for A-B Grades (1963-73). He was a Junior Selector (1962) and Senior Selector (1963-70). He was the Manager for Wellington Teams in matches against Wairarapa, Canterbury (Clapshaw Trophy) and the Grades Match against Hutt Valley. He was the Manager of the Wellington Teams at the NZ Championships (1963) and Women’s Team (1964-67, 1969-70). Ivan was on the New Zealand Table Tennis Committee (1974).

In the then annual match against Hutt Valley, Ivan was in the Wellington Executive Team (1962,1963,1965,1967,1969 & 1972), C Grade Team (1955) and A Reserve Team (1971 & 1973). The Executive Team won 10-2 (1963) 12-0 (1967) 7-5 (1969) 11-1 (1972) and the A Reserve Team won 8-4 (1971) and 7-5 (1973). Ivan won the Wellington Open Veteran Men’s Singles (Over 45) on 4 occasions (1963,1965, 1966 and 1968). Ivan is a qualified National Umpire. At the New Zealand Championships, Ivan was Deputy Referee (1965), Assistant Referee (1979) and Referee in 1986,1988, 1991, 1996 and 1998. Former Wellington coach Paul Escott said that at the New Zealand Championships, Ivan (Tournament Referee) proudly worn his Wellington blazer. His wife Florence was there at the tournaments with him until she passed away in December 2004.

Ivan left Wellington to move to Papakura, Auckland in July, 1978. He joined the Papakura Club and continued playing and being an official. He was rewarded for his services by being made a Life Member of the Auckland Association (1994), Papakura Club (2005) and Counties Association (2013). Ivan is the Patron of the Papakura Table Tennis Club since 2008 and the joint Patron of the Counties Association. There was a story in the Papakura Courier in 2007 when Ivan won the Papakura Club Doubles at the age of 90. A fellow Auckland Committee member referred to him as always strict but fair. He had an engaging personality and was always able to communicate with all ages and all types. As Referee he would ensure that the playing conditions were right. He would check that the barriers were in their right place, and that the net heights were correct at the start of each session. Ivan had a true love for the game.

Ivan played table tennis until he was 94. He said that table tennis had helped him maintain his coordination and fitness in his life. He was a visitor at the 2014 World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in Henderson, Auckland. Ivan enjoys seeing his family: his son Keith and wife Eunice, 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Ivan has moved into a rest home in Papakura in 2014.

Thanks to information from Ivan Moffat, Eunice Moffat, Val Beaver, Paul Escott, Bob Gallagher, Brian Hearfield and the Papakura Courier. Photos below are from Eunice Moffat, The Table Tennis New Zealand Archives and from the 2014 World Veterans Championships site.

-Malcolm Wong

Blast from the Past – 1991 A Reserve Grade Remembered

1991 A Reserve Grade Champions Te Rama. Martin Young, David Robinson and Malcolm Wong. (photo taken at the Te Rama Championships, 1999)
1991 A Reserve Grade Champions Te Rama.
Martin Young, David Robinson and Malcolm Wong.
(photo taken at the Te Rama Championships, 1999)
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

Player Profile: Nha Nguyen – The Blocker

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.

Nha at Titan Club
Nha at Titan Club

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.

Paul Escott presents the Jackson Shield (2001) to Titan (Nha Nguyen, Malcolm Wong, Lindsay Ward).
Paul Escott presents the Jackson Shield (2001) to Titan (Nha Nguyen, Malcolm Wong, Lindsay Ward).

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).

Win and Nha Nquyen at Titan Club (2/2/2014)
Win and Nha Nquyen at Titan Club (2/2/2014)
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.

Wellington Club Team which won the Wellington Tennis Men’s Third Grade (1995) and Second Grade (1996)
Wellington Club Team which won the Wellington Tennis Men’s Third Grade (1995) and Second Grade (1996)
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!

My thanks to Kent Yu from for editing the photo of Nha and Win (see above).

-Malcolm Wong

Lloyd Macintyre – a never say die battler

Lloyd MacIntyre
Lloyd MacIntyre
Lloyd was born in Wellington (1940). He started playing table tennis at age 7 because there was a table tennis table at his home. He and his father, brother and sister played. Audrey Hughes (1947 NZ Women’s Singles Champion) use to visit occasionally and play table tennis with the children. When Lloyd was 10, he played table tennis socially at the Cashmere Community Centre (Khandallah). Lloyd played football at school, as a centre back. He joined the Onslow Table Tennis Club at the age of 15. He recalls Ivan Houghton and Gary Roselli from his early days at the club. Paul Escott was to join the club 2 years later and they were to play in the same interclub team in the early 1960s. Lloyd received the most improved player award at the Onslow Club (1960).

After school Lloyd served a 5 year apprenticeship (10,000 hours) and qualified as an Upholsterer. He played football for Waterside and Johnsonville. In 1968 Lloyd joined the Tawa Club, which had been started by Colin Alexander and Richard Hull. He was to be in the same team as those two in the Kapiti A Grade Competition as well as Reg Hall, Bruce Lockhart, Chris Talbot, Ian Talbot and Murray Talbot. Lloyd was a member of a number of Kapiti Men’s Team that went to the New Zealand Championships between 1981 and 1992. He was the top ranked Man in Kapiti (1980).

In 1977 Lloyd joined the Johnsonville Men’s Club. He was to become Vice President (1997-2011) and was elected a life member (2008). He is still the welfare officer there. Lloyd has won the Johnsonville Men’s Club Singles 12 times. In Wellington Interclub Lloyd has played in the Wellington A Grade and then the Premier 1 and 2 Grades (1981-2012), mainly for Johnsonville. His team included Tony Radford, Ann Gyongyos, Nha Nguyen, Ian Talbot, Martin Young, Colin Alexander, Bob Bell, Jim Pandelidis and Paul Escott. Lloyd won the 2000 Wellington Masters Games Over 55 Men’s Singles and Doubles.

Lloyd has a keen interest in motorbikes and owns 7 bikes. He joined the the Ulysses Club (1980) for motorbike riders over the age of 40. Lloyd has been on the Brass Monkey Rally, held over Queen’s Birthday weekend, at Oturehua (Central Otago) on 15 occasions. He has also been on the Cold Kiwi Run, held south of Waiouru, and the Cold Duck Run, in Waipawa.This year Lloyd has became the CEO of The Rusty Nuts Motorcycle Club. The Club organises rallies, including the Grand Challenge, a 1,000 miles (1,609 km) 24 hour event each October. Also the Southern Cross Road Rally (6 day event) from Cape Reinga to Bluff (6,500 km) which is held every 2 years.

This year Lloyd has stopped playing interclub table tennis. He is teaching a community education course in Upholstery at Onslow College three nights a week and on Saturday morning. In his leisure time Lloyd enjoys being on the water in yachts and boats. He is a great grand father and loves looking after his 2 great grand children (both boys). He still plays at the Johnsonville Men’s Club and intends to play at the 2014 World Veterans Championships in Auckland.

-Malcolm Wong

1981 NZ Championships - Kapiti Men's Team L/R: Warren Evans, Lloyd McIntyre, Robin Radford (manager),  Tony Radford, Murray Talbot
1981 NZ Championships – Kapiti Men’s Team
L/R: Warren Evans, Lloyd McIntyre, Robin Radford (manager),
Tony Radford, Murray Talbot
Kapiti Men's Team (1982) L/R: Murray Talbot (manager), Michael Radford, Chris Talbot, Lloyd McIntyre, Tony Radford
Kapiti Men’s Team (1982)
L/R: Murray Talbot (manager), Michael Radford, Chris Talbot, Lloyd McIntyre, Tony Radford
Kapiti Teams (1989) L/R: back: Martin Smithies, Chris Talbot, Lloyd McIntyre front: Jean Radford, Caron Watson, June Campbell
Kapiti Teams (1989)
L/R: back: Martin Smithies, Chris Talbot, Lloyd McIntyre
front: Jean Radford, Caron Watson, June Campbell
Kapiti Teams (1992) L/R back: Lloyd McIntyre, Chris Talbot, Alan Baines front: Jean Radford, Caron Watson, Lyn McKay
Kapiti Teams (1992)
L/R back: Lloyd McIntyre, Chris Talbot, Alan Baines
front: Jean Radford, Caron Watson, Lyn McKay

Player Profile: Hugh McIlwrath – Perseverance pays dividends for late starter

HughMcIlwrath2013Hugh was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1931). He left school at 14 and worked in the shipyard (2 years). Hugh then served a 5 year apprenticeship to qualify as a baker. His grandfather, Warmington, was a champion baker in Belfast. Hugh lived in Bisley Street and started playing football at 15 for the Bisley Street team as a goalie. Later he played for the Agnes Street Methodist Church team which won Division 2 (1949/50) in the Methodist Church League.

In 1954 Hugh moved to London and loved living in the city. He supported the Arsenal Football Club as he lived near their stadium at Highbury, North London. Hugh watched the team play midweek as he was playing football himself in the weekend. Hugh meet the English singer, Matt Monro, who was a friend of his boss. In 1958 he emigrated to Australia and lived in Redcliffe, near Brisbane. While there, Tommy Steele, the English singer/actor was a guest player for the Annerly Football Club team Hugh played for.

In 1963 Hugh moved to Auckland. Later he moved to Masterton (1977) to set up a bakery. Hugh sold the bakery to Alastair Naysmith (1980) with who he was later to play Wellington interclub table tennis with. Hugh then moved to Timaru, where he has relatives, to set up another bakery. While there he coached the Timaru Girls High School Football first eleven, which won the local competition for 3 consecutive years. He moved to Dunedin (1986) to set up another bakery, and finally to Masterton (1994) where he still lives today.

Hugh started playing table tennis at the Red Star Club in Masterton (1994). Among the players there were Peter Greenlees, who had coached Margaret Hoar (NZ Women Singles Champion 7 times between 1948 and 1957). Peter helped Hugh to significantly improve his table tennis. Hugh said he modelled his game on Peter’s.

Hugh started travelling to Wellington to play at the Titan Club (1998) on Sunday mornings, with Alastair Naysmith, as both were improving and needed to play stronger players. Soon they were playing Wellington interclub (2000-2008) which meant a 3 hour return trip from Masterton.

Hugh’s perseverance paid off and soon he was winning Titan Club Veteran Titles, including the Over 60 and 70 Singles. He started playing tournaments and won the Manawatu Over 70 Men’s Singles (2004). Success came to Hugh in the older age groups in the NZ Veterans Championships. He has won the Over 75 Men’s Singles (2006 & 2008), the Over 75 Men’s Doubles (2006 & 2007) and the Over 80 Men’s Doubles (2013). To paraphrase the current Ping Pong film, you are never too old to win gold medals.

Hugh is a bionic man, with 2 hip and 3 knee replacements. He still plays at the Red Star Club and the Titan Club. Hugh continues to play in the NZ Masters Games (Wanganui) and NZ Veterans Championships. He intends to play at the 2014 World Veterans Tournament in Auckland.

Hugh at Glenburn TTC in Belfast!
Hugh at Glenburn TTC in Belfast
Photo from the Glenburn TTC – stop on by next time you’re in Northern Ireland!

-Malcolm Wong

Hugh with Merv Allardyce (NZ Vets 2013)
Hugh with Merv Allardyce (NZ Vets 2013)
Hugh & Titan players (2002)
Hugh & Titan players (2002)

Player Profile: Reg Seddon – Titan Foundation Member

Reg SeddonReg was born in the town of Darwen (1927), which is near Blackburn in Lancashire, England. He left school at 14, and served a 7 year apprenticeship to qualify as a carpenter and joiner. After the war Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were looking for migrants. Reg wanted to go to South Africa but his older brother, Bill, advised him to go to New Zealand.

He travelled to Wellington, New Zealand by ship (6 weeks) and arrived in September 1949. His first job was at Swansons Joinery Shop (Newtown) and on his first day he meet the late Jack Blackmore (former Titan Club and Wellington President). They made up a table and played table tennis at lunch time and after work. Reg and Jack joined the St Thomas Club (Newtown) and played interclub for them in 1950-51.

In 1952 Reg married Yvonne. Work and family took precedence and he gave up table tennis for the next 20 years. He built his home in Island Bay in his spare time (1954) and still lives in the place today. Reg found time to play football for the Wellington Working Club for a few years. In 1966 Reg formed his own building company, R V Seddon Limited, and built many residential and commercial buildings.

When the Newtown Stadium was built (1971-72) Reg become a member of the stadium club, Titan. He played interclub again. Reg served on the Wellington Table Tennis Association Committee (1976). In 1981 the Wellington Association gave him free life membership of the stadium club, for his volunteer work in improving the lighting and installing the seating at the Stadium. Reg won veterans titles at the Titan Club Championships and at the Wellington Tournament. The highlight of his table tennis was playing for the NZ Over 50 Men’s Team at the 1988 Australian Veteran’s Tournament (Melbourne).

Today Reg is still active but does not play much table tennis. He has a fine singing voice and plays several musical instruments, including the piano, saxophone, clarinet, ukulele and mouth organ. May there be many years ahead for him.

– Malcolm Wong

Rendall Conwell (Titan Club President) and Reg Seddon during a morning tea for him at the Titan Club (16 June 2013)
Rendall Conwell (Titan Club President) and Reg Seddon during a morning tea for him at the Titan Club (16 June 2013)

Bi-Centennial Australian Veterans Championships Melbourne (1988)
Bi-Centennial Australian Veterans Championships Melbourne (1988)
L/R back: Reg Seddon, Bruce Connolly
2nd from back: Ron Menchi, Ray Rowland, Eric Neal, John Lelliott, Warren Evans
3rd from back: Isabel Cleland, Nancy Brant, Thelma May, Pat McArthur
front row: Margurette Green, Christine Cunningham

Bi-Centennial Australian Veterans Championships Melbourne (1988)
Bi-Centennial Australian Veterans Championships Melbourne (1988)
L/R: Ray Rowland, Reg Seddon, Ron Menchi, John Lelliott

Brian Hearfield – Technical/Te Rama Stalwart

This is the latest player profile from Malcolm Wong:

Brian Hearfield in 2011
In 1950 Brian (then 15 years old) joined the Technical Table Tennis Club in Wellington. There were 2 tables in the Technical Old Students Tennis Pavilion in Taranaki Street, which is today occupied by Massey University. On Sundays Brian would often play from noon to late at night. He recalled that players had to prove they were a certain standard to join the club. There was a limit on the membership and good players were asked to join the club, rather than the other way around.

The Technical Club was formed in 1936. The Club has won 32 Wellington interclub titles including 6 A Grade (1939-41, 1943-44 & 1946). The A Grade team included Frank Mooney, Wellington’s top ranked man (1943) who was also a wicket keeper in the NZ Cricket Team (1949-54). The W M Jackson Shield (Most interclub points) was won twice (1946 & 1977). The Sportswear Model Trophy (Highest point average for 3 nominated teams from a club) was won 6 times (1974, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1989 & 1990). The most interclub teams entered were 11 in 1971 & 1977.

Club members were involved in several notable achievements. Max Gosling was selected for the first ever NZ Team in a match against the touring Hungarian Team (1938). Eric Boniface was selected for the first NZ Team to travel overseas (1939). The team travelled to Australia for matches against state teams. John Crossley and John Stewart were in the first NZ Team at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary (1950). Crossley won the first international title by a New Zealander when he won the Scottish Open Men’s Singles held in Edinburgh (1950). Gosling (1939), Boniface (1940-41) and Crossley (1944) were ranked Number 1 in Wellington and all won the Wellington Open Men’s Singles. Crossley was North Island Men’s Singles Champion (1949).

29 New Zealand Open Titles were won. The first was achieved in 1940 when Dawn Croxton won the Women’s Doubles with Leonie Kennedy, and the Mixed Doubles with Max Gosling. This was the first year of the NZ Inter-Association Teams Championships and Wellington won both the Men’s and Women Teams Title. Club members representing Wellington were Max Gosling and Eric Boniface (Men) and Leonie Kennedy, Dawn Croxton and May Wareham (Women).

In 1950 Club members were in all 5 NZ Open individual finals. John Crossley lost to Bob Jackson (Auckland) in the Men’s Singles. John won the Men’s Doubles with Neville Brightwell (Canterbury). Margaret Hoar won the Women Singles, Woman Doubles with Thyra McGregor, and the Mixed Doubles with Owen Jaine (Auckland). As well, Murray Dunn won the NZ Under 16 Boys Singles that year. Murray was to win a record 9 Wellington Open Men’s Singles and also 4 NZ Men’s Singles (1960-63).

Margaret Hoar was the number 1 ranked Wellington and NZ Woman (1949-50) when she was at the Club. She was the Wellington, North Island and NZ Women’s Singles Champion in those years. Christine Beasley (nee McGregor) was the number 1 ranked Women for 7 consecutive years (1973-79) and won 10 Wellington Open titles including 5 Women’s Singles (1973-74, 1976-78). She was also an excellent tennis player and won the Wellington Tennis Open Women Singles (1979), achieving a unique tennis/table tennis double.

In 1967 the club moved to the Te Rama Tennis Pavilion in Kilbirnie when the Technical Tennis Pavilion had to make way for new buildings. In 1972 the club changed its name to Te Rama to meet city council requirements to stay at the site as the tennis club had folded up. In 1984 the club moved to the Kilbirnie Gym due to the Aqua Centre being built where the Tennis Pavilion was. In 1985 the club moved to St Giles Church Hall and later to the Newtown Stadium. A team was last entered in interclub in 2001.

Brian Hearfield started off in F Grade and was in C Grade the following year. He played mainly in B grade. He recalls filling in at A Grade interclub and playing Murray Dunn, Geoff Jennings, John Crossley, Ron Foster and Ivan Houghton. In 1956 at the Hutt Valley Open, Brian and Bill Stewart (both C Graders) upset Mike Beder/Stan Ferguson ( NZ Boys Doubles Champions 1955) to reach the quarter finals where they lost to the top seeds, Murray Dunn/John Crossley (NZ Men’s Doubles Champions 1954). Brian has been in 9 Technical/Te Rama winning winter interclub teams (See below).

A Reserve A Grade 1963 Brian Hearfield, Foon Chin, Thyra McGregor

B Grade 1966 Brian Hearfield, Jack Ngan, Diane Bates
1974 Brian Hearfield, Ray Bryan, Dawn Perks, Judy Sharman
1977 Brian Hearfield, D Hitchcock, Roger Watkin
1989 Brian Hearfield, Henry Anastasi, Malcolm Wong
1990 Brian Hearfield, Roger Watkin, Peter Wong
1993 Brian Hearfield, David Feist, Roger Watkin, Giles Moiser

C Grade 1959 Brian Hearfield, John Wilcox, Andy Curran
1986 Brian Hearfield. Malcolm Wong, Jeff Larsen, Olaf Leijon

Brian had the highest interclub average in B Grade (1990, 1991 & 1993). His best result was 37 wins from 39 matches (94.9%) in the B Grade (1985, 1990). He won the B Grade Singles (1966) and the B Grade Doubles with David Fry (1965) and Bruce Mills (1966). Brian represented Wellington in the annual match against Hutt Valley 7 times. C Grade (1959), B Grade (1965, 1966, 1974, 1989, 1990) and B/C Grade (1993). Wins were achieved in 1959 (7-5) 1965 (10-2) 1966 (9-3). He donated the Brian Hearfield Cup for the B Grade Singles at the Wellington Grade Championships. The first winner was fellow club member Henry Anastasi in 1989.

Brian has been Secretary, Treasurer and Club Captain for the Club. He served on the Wellington Committee (1962-77) and (1992-2009). He was a long serving member of the interclub subcommittee and chaired it when there were 167 interclub teams. Brian was the Secretary/Treasurer (1999-2001) and Secretary (2002-2009). He was a regular sight on night duty at interclub. Brian is a Life Member of the Te Rama Club (1980) and the Wellington Association (1994).

Brian played cricket for Institute Old Boys, Wellington South Institute, Technical College Old Boys and Onslow. His 1971-72 Onslow team included Trevor Mallard (Labour Member of Parliament since 1984 and former Minister (1999-2008). He was a batsman/wicket keeper with a highest score of 85 not out. Brian was in three winning teams: Technical College Old Boys 3B (1958/59); Technical College Old Boys 5th Grade (1960/61); and Onslow 3C (1972/73). The Onslow 3C Team also included a young Kevin Haines, the current TTW Treasurer.

Wellington Table Tennis Association AGM (1997)
Brian Hearfield (Life Member and Committee), Paul Escott (Life Member and President), Malcolm Wong (Secretary/Treasurer) and Eric Tindill (Life Member, The first Treasurer 1933, Double All Black)
Te Rama Club Championship (1999)
Martin Young, Roger Watkin, Brian Hearfield, Malcolm Wong, John Lister and David Robinson.

– Malcolm Wong

Super stars Hui-Ling Vong and Abram Goh in the news

There are a couple of great new articles in the press this week on Hui-Ling Vong and also Abram Goh following their results recent ITTF Hopes event in Auckland.

First is one on Hui-Ling in The Wellingtonian: Hui-ling targets table tennis titles which has a nice photo. One of her goals is to be the best player at her club (Belmont) so watch out Belmont – oh wait, that means becoming the best player in Wellington so watch out everyone!
Hui-Ling Vong
The other one is in the Hutt News: Belmont youngsters rise to top and talked about Hui-Ling and Abram. The classic quote from Stephen Hirst was: “She looked very annoyed with a bronze,” Hirst says !

Stephen Hirst organised and managed a group of juniors that went to the recent Inaugural TTNZ Hopes and Cadets Trials in Auckland on March 25. Results and pictures (click on the “Images” tab) are here.

Eddie Moore – Life begins at 60

Here is the latest player profile from Malcolm Wong:

Eddie was born in Christchurch (1932). There was no organised sport during his time at primary school. In his secondary school days, at Christchurch Technical College, he excelled in football and cricket as well as playing table tennis for the Avonside Table Tennis Club from the age of 15 to 25. Eddie was in the first XI for both football and cricket. In football, as a centre forward, his outstanding performance in the South Island Schools Tournament (1949) resulted in him becoming selected as a South Island Schools representative. In cricket his rapid improvement lead him to be selected for the Canterbury Under 16 Boys team (1947) as a spin bowler, a team which included future NZ representative Murray Chapple (1953-66).

After Eddie left school, work and family took precedence over sport. In 1972 he moved to Wellington on a job transfer. When he retired at 60, Eddie was looking for a sport to play. He wanted to play tennis but there was no men at the local Midweek Club. A chance meeting with Ron Menchi lead to him joining the Empire Midweek Table Tennis Club (1992-93) where he became the Secretary. Eddie moved back down to Christchurch in 1993 and rejoined the Avonside Table Tennis Club. He immediately became the Secretary/Treasurer (1993-2003). He started up the Canterbury Midweek Table Tennis Club based on what he had seen at the Empire Midweek Club.

The then Canterbury Table Tennis Hall needed substantial repairs and planning permission for this would not be approved as it was in a residential area. Eddie with Keith Armstrong and Ron Fleming became involved in the purchase of the former Yates Seed Store(1999) for table tennis. They with Denver Glass, Neville Duggan and Brian Wilson were the driving force behind the conversion of the building into the current Table Tennis Canterbury Stadium (294 Blenheim Road), opening in early 2000. The six were presented with an appreciation medal by Table Tennis Canterbury. Eddie was further recognised for his endeavours by being made a Life Member of Table Tennis Canterbury and receiving a Summer Sports Award from Sport Canterbury in 2000. He was Table Tennis Canterbury Sportsperson of the Year (2002). Eddie returned to Wellington in 2003 and was responsible for running the Empire Midweek club, with Lois McStay, until 2009. He was awarded the Dick Gray Cup for Best Empire Club Member (2008) and the Empire Table Tennis Cup for Most Outstanding Performance(2009). There is a volunteer profile on Eddie in the Empire Spin Newsletter (August 2008).

Eddie soon made an impact in veterans table tennis. He was in the NZ Over 50 Men’s team to the Australian Veterans in Perth (1994). There he caused a hugh upset in a teams match by beating Ken Cole, who had just won the NZ Open Over 45 Men’s Singles. In 1999 Eddie was number 85 on the NZ Open Men’s rating list at the age of 67! In 2008 he won the NZ Open Over 70 Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles (with Lois McStay). Eddie has represented New Zealand four times in the Over 70 Men’s team in the test against Australia. He has won 12 individual NZ Veterans titles including the Over 70 Men’s Singles (2002) and the Over 75 Men’s Singles (2007 & 2009).

Eddie had an outstanding performance in the NZ Veterans Over 75 Men’s singles (2009). Eddie defeated the second seed, Geoff Nisbett, in the semi finals and then the top seed, Tony Herbert, in the final. Tony was then the current Australian Veterans Over 70 and 75 Men’s Singles Champion. Eddie continues to play table tennis at the Empire Midweek Club and hopes to play at the World Veteran’s Championships (2014) in Auckland.

Above: NZ Veterans Test Team (2008) for the match against Australia
Back Row (L/R): Christine Little, Sabine Westenra, Jim Jarmin, Eddie Moore, Fleming Alison, Lyndon White, Bill Stewart, Dave Scott, Bryan McConnochie.
Front Row (L/R): Pauline Bennyworth, Chip Eade, Lynnette Bellamy, Gerry Doyle, Alison Williamson, Lesley Gardner, Lindsay Ward, Raewyn Young.

Photo: TTNZ Archives

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