The Holdfast Tennis Club, which is located on the east side of the Glenelg Football Oval, is one of the oldest clubs in the Glenelg District Tennis Association.
The Club was formed in 1925 as a result of the amalgamation of two local clubs – the St Peter’s Church Club and the Holdfast bay Club. It was not until March 12, 1931 that the St Peter’s Holdfast Tennis Club changed its name to Holdfast Tennis Club.
The first President of the Holdfast Tennis Club was Mr Karl Quist who occupied that position for an amazing 25 years until 1955. His three sons Bruce, Adrian and Neville were members of the club in the 1930’s. Neville Quist became a top South Australian player and Adrian Quist represented Australia in the “Davis Cup” a record 28 times. He had the immaculate figures of 42 wins and only 13 losses. In addition to this he won the Australian Men’s Championship three times and the doubles 10 times. These doubles were with Don Turnbull (twice) and John Bromwich (eight times). The victories were won in consecutive years from 1936-1950 (no play during World War II, 1941-1945). Adrian also won two Wimbledon doubles finals. During this period he never lost contact with the club, and on a number of occasions exhibition matches were organised at Holdfast. Hundreds of people would attend and the Club committee were quick to arrange for a donation from the spectators. Adrian was made a life member of the Club in 1936.
In 1937, the present day clubhouse was built for a cost of £200. This money was raised by donations totalling £30, loans £130 and club funds £40. Much of the credit for organising the building of the clubhouse (by members) and also raising the money went to Mr Les Rogers, who has been associated with the club since 1931. He was the Secretary before the war and was also President from 1957-1968. He was made a life member in 1947 (at the same time as Mr Karl Quist) and he is one of the patrons of the Club this season.
In 1941, Mr Allen Carnell was elected Secretary of the club, a position he held until ill health forced him to step down in 1956. He was still a committed member until he died in February 1958. The Club today owes so much to this man who worked so hard during this period of time. During World War II many club members enlisted and were called up for duty overseas. Mr Carnell (along with Mr Karl Quist) was responsible for the club surviving during these years as there were very few Club members. Teams could not be fielded and even Annual General Meetings could not be conducted as there were insufficient members to attend. After the war, the former members returned and the club flourished once again. For his dedication Mr Carnell was made a life member in 1945. One of the premier events in the Club’s annual tournament is the “Allen Carnell Memorial Handicap Mixed Doubles” which is keenly contested by member in the hope that their names can be inscribed on the honour board.
The Club entered its most successful era from a competition point of viewpoint in the 1960’s when its Division1 side contested every grand final from 1960-1961 to 1969-1970. During these ten seasons, the Club won six premierships and four Champion of Champion titles. In this period Holdfast had many good players that contributed to these successes. Nobody contributed more than well known tennis identity, Mr Murray Sibley, who played in every one of these finals. Murray was captain of the A grade side for many years, was Vice-President of the Club for eight Years and President from 1968-1971. Some other players who played during this period were Grant Kerr, John Jeffery, Chris Goodes, Jim Ker, Ian Geddie, Lynton Franzi, Tim Richards, Phil Brook, Ian Staker, Robert Fowler, Kerry Franzi and Trevor Flintoff. Many of these players went on to play Pennant tennis and in the case of Lynton and Kerry Franzi, successfully coach overseas. Some of the women who played during this period were Joan Murphy, Jan Jeffery, H. Mechnie, Elizabeth May, B Fellows, M Blair, Pam Saunders, Bronwyn MacKay, Christine Gapp, Judy Stone and Kay Phillips. Also, between 1961 and 1970, the club won four men’s winter pennants in the S.A.H.C.T.L.
Miss E May won the women’s Championships singles in the Club’s Annual Tournament five times between 1959 and 1966. Margaret Beckley also won the title five times in a seven year period between 1971 and 1977. The club’s current Women’s Champion is Gail McEvoy who has won for the last three years and four times in all. John Jeffery had wins between 1954 and 1960, Grant Kerr won five times between 1961 and 1965 and Murray Sibley has also won it five times, his first in 1967 and his last in 1977. The current Men’s Champion is Rodney Kraemer who has won the event for the last three years. The club is very proud of our current champions as first Gail (in 1978) and then Rodney (1979) won the Parsons Medal for the fairest and best player in the Glenelg District Tennis Association.
Other life members in addition to those mentioned are Mr E J Bart, who served on the committee for many years and was president 1955-1957, Mr J L Williams who was made a life member in 1953 and Mr J Daenke who served on the committee for a number of years before becoming president during the period 1971 to 1977.
David Newman has been the current Club President since 1978, Graham Beckley id the Vice President, Richard Hawkes, Secretary, Janet Hawkes Treasurer and Deanne Newman Club Captain. This season the club is fielding seven Saturday afternoon teams and has an excess of 80 members.
Last season (1979/1980) the club had six teams in the finals, four teams made the grand finals with Division 9 13 and15 winning. Division 3 missed winning the grand final by the narrowest margin possible – one game. With the interest shown by our younger members both on and off the court, and the strong possibility of an open Tournament with sponsorship being conducted with support of our club in the Christmas New Year period, the future of the Holdfast Tennis Club is hopefully assured for many years to come.
Club President - Bob Klingberg
Pictured with the 'Finalist Award'
at the dept of recreation
& sports annual presentation dinner.
Mens A grade champion: Steven Bills Championship and special awards winners - presented by his worship mayor of
Mr Brian Nadilo
Holdfast Tennis Club