Ngatira Tennis Club History
The young people of St Barnabas Church formed the Ngatira Tennis Club. They used a hired court near Dominion Road. As their tennis needs grew, the club moved to four chip courts owned by Mr. Hale near the Combined Services Bowling Club. From there, they moved to View Road to the courts occupied by the Kiwi Club. Then several years later, moved the club to its current location on Clive Road.
Mr. Clive Johns and Mr. Hugh Thomson, both tennis lovers, developed the site. After making extensive enquires overseas, the best lighting system of that time was installed and Clive Road become the first lighted courts in New Zealand in 1925.
Over the years, the Pascoe Association had been holding their annual tournament for business houses every February and upon the death of Mr. Thomson, the rights of the property was generously offered to the Pascoe Association for 6,000 pounds - being a reduction of 2,000 pounds below Government valuation. Mr. Pascoe bought the courts on behalf of the Association and gave the Association the right to purchase the courts within 15 years. In 1971, the Association purchased the courts.
Some of the highlights of the Club have been:
· Hosting an exhibition between two Australian Davis Cup Players - Jack Hawkins and Gerald Patterson played under lights in 1925.
· Ngatira players won the Champion of Champion tournament serveral times in the late thirties and early forties.
· Starting in 1974/75 and through to the late 1970s, the Club had a Caro Bowl Team.
· During the years 1975 to the early 1980s, club members Chris, Mark and David Lewis represented New Zealand in Davis Cup. These successes also included Mark winning the New Zealand Singles' Title in 1980. Chris was ranked #1 World Boys Junior Champion in 1975 after having won Junior Wimbledon and going on to reach the Wimbledon Finals in 1983.
· In 1998, the club celebrated its 75th Jubilee (1922-1997).
· In 2003, Ngatira started a junior programme under the supervision of the club coach. Some of the juniors are the most successful in the Auckland junior programme including Joanne Carswell.
In 2005, the club managed the Pascoe Cup Tennis Tournament in February and March 2005 with 45 team entries.
The club managed the Pascoe Cup Tennis Tournament in February and March 2006 and installed new court lighting in July 2006.
In 2009, the club renovated its building. The renovation included a new clubhouse with an external viewing platform, new changing rooms, new kitchen and bar area, disabled facilities, and a newly paved parking area.
In 2015, the club upgraded the court lights to the latest equipment thanks to a generous donation from a past member.
Ngatira is one of the icons of Auckland Tennis and just about every tennis player in Auckland has played there as part of the Pascoe Cup Tournament, Interclub Tennis, Social Tournaments or as a member.