Ontario Tennis

Ontario Tennis 2012/2013 | Summer 2012

Tennis, Ontario

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shared by both the bowlers and tennis play- ers, was a bit of a dump with raccoons living in the roof. Because they shared the club- house, the bowlers and the tennis players knew each other quite well. In fact Mary even tried bowling, but did not find it fast-paced enough to engage her, even though she is a keen curler. MEMBER MEMORIES IN 1941 MARY RICE MOVED FROM MONTREAL to To- ronto and joined Lawrence Park Tennis Club. The surrounding area was even more rustic than the green haven that exists so close to busy Yonge Street today. Mary was just 20 years old and she soon became renowned as the top player in the club, but also as someone who was ready to play with anyone, which was very important in the develop- ment of the friendly atmosphere at the club. At that time the club had real red clay courts, no lights, and 90 members who were all required to live in the immediate area. The courts were edged with a grassy area, both inside and outside the fences. Of course the balls would get wet when they landed in the grass on a dewy morning or after the rain, which was a nuisance. Mary remembers that the old club house, Lawrence Park members old and new pose a group shot. 1975 WAS A BIG YEAR FOR THE CLUB. MARY KIRKPATRICK BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT OF THE CLUB AND THE RED CLAY COURTS WERE REPLACED WITH HAR-TRU. The Lawrence Park club house were returning from the war, the tennis club became quite the matrimonial bureau. Mary met her late husband Ted Rice at the club. Frank and Alma Dimock, Maimo and Peter Fairbrother and Barb and Ron Mitchell were just a few of the couples who met at the club, or should we say courted on the courts. Lat- er the area around the courts would be used for playpens to keep the little ones safe while their mothers played tennis. Mary was the perpetual Secretary of the In the second half of the 1940's when men club, and did all the negotiations with the city (the name of the man from Parks was Mr. Love). She reminisced "Of course in those days the President of the Club was al- ways a man, but the Secretary was always a woman to keep everything organized." Mary was the first person to be honoured as a life member of the club. 1975 was a big year for the club. Mary Kirkpatrick became the first woman Presi- dent of the club and the red clay courts were wayside are the out of town trips and the monthly home cooked suppers. Mary Kirk- patrick and helpers would do most of the meal preparation at her house early in the day and then finish it at the clubhouse. Recently the traditional Sunday afternoon teas have been reintroduced, but the home- baked goodies have been replaced with store-bought cookies. sponsible for all the court maintenance in those days -- rolling and sweeping the courts and putting down and taking up the tapes -- until Penny Goldrick decided, in a feminist mood, to challenge the women to help with court maintenance. As the years went by the younger members weren't as keen on doing the maintenance and so the club hired someone to do most of it. Other traditions that have fallen by the replaced with Har-Tru. Keeping the red clay had ceased to be an option when the owner of the brick works died and his son didn't want to continue to supply the material. Bill Allan was part of the volunteer work crew who switched the surface. He drove the truck to the Cricket Club to pick up 70 tons of Har-Tru. When the truck was loaded, it sunk into the area of the cricket pitch on which it had been parked. The truck had to be unloaded, moved and reloaded. This upset everyone, especially the cricketers who had deep ruts in the pitch! The men used to be re- community clubs requiring that whites being worn on court. Almost every year there is a discussion at the AGM about the dress code and the majority comes to the conclusion that maintaining a straightforward "whites" dress code is less complicated than enforc- ing regulations about cut-offs and cropped tops, tank tops and all the other variations that can sometimes be seen on public courts. A few years ago the courts were under- Lawrence Park remains one of the only Intercounty B team, offering more members the opportunity for friendly competitive play against other clubs in the area. A commemorative tree, sponsored by the used and the club was struggling to attract new members. However a newer generation, including a number of more competitive players, have adopted the club as their summer playing place and undoubtedly they will bring about changes. Dennis Ing, for example, is a member of LPTC and also the new President of the Community League and is working hard to re-expand the league from its current 6 club scope to its former scope of a dozen clubs or more. As of this season there's also a new Lawrence Park Ratepayers Association, the Lawrence Park Lawn Bowling & Croquet Club, and the Lawrence Park Tennis Club, has been planted as part of the 100 year cel- ebrations. We hope that the tree and these neighbouring clubs will flourish for many years to come. G. F. L. Johns, History of The Lawrence Park Lawn Bowling Club 1912-1997, www.TENNISONTARIO.com SUMMER 2012 B. Myrvold & L. Moon, Historical Walking Tour of Lawrence Park, Toronto Public Library Board, 2007. 2 1 19 Pam Olley Pam Olley Pam Olley

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