Morwell’s Robert Smallwood presented the Croquet Victoria plaque to Korumburra Croquet Club president Ruth Cashin. Kt08_1521

Korumburra Croquet Club president Ruth Cashin (left) and Betty Thomson enjoyed the patches of sunshine at the club’s 100th birthday.

Korumburra Croquet Club secretary Joan Hopkins (left) and Helen Checkley showcase the club’s memorabilia.

KORUMBURRA Croquet Club enjoyed its centenary celebration on Saturday.

Club members were joined by friends from clubs in Leongatha, Wonthaggi, Drouin, Morwell and Sale, as well as Monash MP Russell Broadbent and South Gippsland Shire Council chair administrator Julie Eisenbise to mark the occasion.

“All of these people have contributed to the successful running of our club, either directly or indirectly, through grants, donations, tournament entries or most importantly, volunteering by dedicated members and others at grass roots level. We would not exist without them,” Korumburra Croquet Club president Ruth Cashin said.

“Indeed, there are many past members who went above and beyond expectations. Many of their names appear on the honour board and the life members’ board.

“I wonder whether the founders of the club dreamed it would still be going 100 years later when they bought the land and set up a constitution. There have been many challenges over that time: member fluctuations, a fire in the old clubrooms, waning popularity, droughts, rabbits, foxes, birds, grubs, ageing equipment and members, a lack of sponsors, and then along came

COVID. We have managed to rise above it all.”

The club was formed in 1921 by 21 women meeting in the shire offices.

The president urged the members to collect donations after the land was bought.

Shire engineer Frank Horsfall was formally asked to design the layout and earthwork, and to supervise the formation of the bottom terrace.

James Barker was asked to sow the bottom lawn, beginning a long line of greenkeepers through to 1999.

After 1999, club members cared for the greens.

The constitution was adopted in 1922, which included the aims of the club and general rules.

A small shed was built in 1924 and further extensions were built in 1935.

When the lawns were opened, flood lights were installed, and evening play became popular.

The lighting was used until the Second World War, but there is no record of its use afterwards.

In 1984, all social members were admitted as full members with voting rights.

By 2000, David Anderson was asked to draw up plans for a new clubhouse.

On April 21, 2001, heavy rain almost derailed the club’s 80th birthday, as water seeped through the wall and short-circuited the fuse box.

The rain continued and doused the flames.

The Korumburra Bowls Club hosted the birthday and, upon seeing the condition of the clubhouse, visiting councillors offered valuable advice and assistance to apply for grant money.

In 2002, the build began and grew in stages.

The clubhouse – known as the E. J. Faddie Pavilion – was opened in October, 2003. It was named for former president Eunice Faddie, who donated $10,000 to ensure the build could go ahead.

When she passed away a year later, she left the club a legacy of $10,000.

These events lead to the 100th birthday celebrations.

Mr Broadbent said it was an honour to attend the celebration.

“I wonder what Mrs R. Sanders thought when she was elected president of the club in 1921; it must have been some event,” he said.

“This is a very special occasion. The club offers a means to come together, and many have benefited from the fun and fellowship of the organisation.”

Ms Eisenbise also congratulated the club for its successes.

“This club is all about community. It’s about the connection made, jokes shared, and time spent together. It is such a privilege to meet and know people in the area and I hope the club continues to grow,” she said.

Club member Tricia McCraw – along with the Milpara Men’s Shed – were thanked for putting an old dibbler on display to add to the club’s history. The dibbler was found buried in the garden earlier this year.

The club is now focused on obtaining available grants for a diverse mobility access path. Secretary Joan Hopkins has been instrumental in applying for these grants.

Korumburra Croquet Club plays on a Tuesday morning and Saturday afternoon, with new members always welcome.

Those interested are encouraged to contact Joan Hopkins on 0408 505 789 for more information.