Baby Point Club Tennis History

Tennis has always been an important part of the club’s history.

When R. Home Smith surveyed the land he reserved a large lot for recreational purposes in the original
development of the Baby Point community.

In approximately 1923 development of the reserved land was started. Funds were raised by selling stock
in Baby Point Club Limited to install fencing and construct clay tennis courts. The lawn bowling green was constructed at the same time. The club house was constructed at a later date. The courts were
originally constructed of “puddled’ clay and were reported to be kept in first class condition.

According to an article in “The Globe” the tennis courts were officially opened May 23, 1925. On that day there was a tennis match between W.Leroy Rennie (ex champion of Canada) and Gilbert Nunns
(junior champion of Canada). Rennie was the winner of the tournament and it was reported that he praised the excellence of the new courts.
Opening and closing day events at the club were regularly reported in “The Globe”, throughout the
1920s, 1930s, early 1940s and 1950s. There are many short articles describing the opening and closing events, the tennis tournaments and also reporting who was in attendance, etc. (Some examples attached.)

According to early member documents, the tennis courts were open to all Baby Point members. At some point this was changed and tennis members paid an additional membership fee for use of the courts.

Today, tennis is an add-on benefit (at an extra cost) to the general membership and due to the popularity of tennis, there is always a waiting list for the tennis add-on.

In the early 1970s the courts were reportedly in bad shape. As the Club did not have the funds to replace the courts, the Governor in charge of tennis, Stuart Robertson, raised funds to replace the courts through a lottery and a paddlewheel cruise which took place in September of 1976.
Tennis lessons have been available for many years and are in great demand today for all ages and skill levels. Summer tennis camps for member’s children are very popular.

Over the years there have been many tennis instructors. Gary Stephenson has been the regular tennis instructor for the past 15 years. A few other tennis instructors over the past 30 or so years have been,
Wing Armstrong and Darryl Northcote.

The success of the tennis at the Baby Point club is thanks to the many volunteers who generously give their time so we can all enjoy the courts and programs. They organize the lessons, the camps, the weekly doubles games (Men’s, women’s and Mixed) and the end of season tournaments. It is a huge amount of work.

Some of the tennis programs that have been run over the years include:

  • Sunday Drop in Doubles
  • Monday night Men’s Doubles and Thursday night Mixed Doubles. These have since expanded as demand increased and now also include women’s doubles.
  • Wednesday night Women’s Drop in doubles ran for many years. It has been replaced by organized women’s doubles.

Throughout the 100 years of the club’s tennis history there were also many regular tennis tournaments; including opening and closing day tournaments, singles, doubles and junior tournaments.

Many of the tennis trophies are on display at the Clubhouse including:

  • Men’s Singles Annual Competition Tennis (Lt Colonel Dunham Trophy) 1934-1950
  • Men’s Doubles Tennis (Baby Point Tulving Trophy) 1978- 1990
  • Men’s Tennis (Bell Singles Trophy) 1978-1990
  • Junior Girls Tennis (Anderson Trophy) 1974-1981
  • Mixed Doubles Championship Trophy 2003-2018
  • Opening Day Mixed Doubles – last presented 2013
  • Baby Point Vs Old Mill Side – last presented 2012
  • Baby Point Vs Palace Pier – last presented 2013