Whangarei Squash Club has a rich and very proud history which continues to this day.
2014 was our 50th anniversary year!
The Whangarei Squash Club stands on the grounds originally established as the Whangarei Lawn Tennis Club in 1919. The club at one stage boasted 16 grass courts.
In 1963 a campaign was begun, spearheaded by local accountant Arthur Jones, to establish Whangarei’s first squash club. This club was to be established alongside, and become part of, the Whangarei Lawn Tennis Club. A public meeting was called to gauge interest and fundraising commenced. Obviously the fundraising was successful as the new squash facility was officially opened in June 1964 boasting 3 courts, with kitchen and bar facilities.
The next major step was the decision in 1973 to dispense with the “lawn” tennis courts and instead four porous “all weather” floodlit courts were laid down in their place. At the time this was a very progressive step for the tennis side of the club and it meant members were now able to play tennis and squash 24 hours a day, all year round.
Squash continued to grow in popularity and as more people took to the game it became obvious that the present facility was becoming stretched and a larger complex was needed. So it was that plans were drawn up to extend the building, thereby incorporating a glass backed “exhibition” court, an extended lounge/bar facility and a new enlarged kitchen area. The extensions were officially opened in March 1977.
The Last Decade
As time goes on the memories are extended. Each decade is as important as the next to those who were there. The club really is it’s members – the people.
The time from the turn of the century (2000) has seen the club largely administered by a part time manager in combination with several key members. More recently the managerial position has been reduced and the requirement for members contributions to the running of the club has been increased with a greater input from the elected committee.
During this period in the club history two major events feature. In 2008 the club demolished the rear walls of courts 2, 3 and 4, replacing them with glass backs. The result was surprising. The dungeon corridor to the changing rooms behind the courts was now light, airy and inviting, and members could now see who was playing without having to go upstairs. This renovation has stimulated friendly banter and made for a far more convivial atmosphere around the club.
The second change to the facilities has been the leasing of club land. Tenants now occupy roadside land on the south side. Alpha Caravan and Holiday Park occupies the land formally used as the lawn tennis grounds. The tennis facilities of the club were more or less without use for more than a decade and it seemed no one in the club had the motivation to resurrect that side of the club activities. Consequently, it was decided the club could make better use of it’s assets by leasing the land. Currently the club has no tennis facilities.