History of the Club
In the 1930s to 40s, tennis was played on privately owned courts with the first public use courts in Redland Bay being at Harry Moore’s paddock on Moores Road. There were two tennis courts and the paddock was also used for cricket and soccer.
The Redland Bay sports club was first formed to raise money at the end of World War 2 and decided to bring all sports together at our current location.
These first two tennis courts (at the current site of courts 2 & 3) were made of ‘ant bed’ which was collected from the southern open bushland of Redland Bay. The ant bed was put in, lines on the edge of the courts and rotary hoed to break it down and finally crushed by hand. Levelling was done with timber edge, spirit levels and pegs hammered to the required height. The ant bed then spread and saturated with water to create a compacted playing surface.
The work was carried out by voluntary labour involving most of the local families who were keen to resume organised sport, following the war. In its final year, the club had 80 members, teams in local competitions and held its own club championships.
In the mid 60s, Mr Frank Sorenson became an enthusiastic coach for the area encouraging children from Redland Bay School to attend coaching clinics along with fixtures arranged by Redlands Lawn Tennis Associate (RLTA) at Cleveland.
The racquet of choice up to this time was wooden framed and was stored in a racquet press when not in use. Tennis balls were purchased by the half dozen in cardboard boxes and cost between 20-30 cents.
In 1970, a formal meeting was held to reinstate the Redland Bay Tennis Club and to form a working bee to clear the courts which had become overgrown with grass and had received no major maintenance since their initial construction. Ant heaps had dried up in Redland Bay, so fresh ant bed was sourced from the Beaudesert area to top dress the court surface.
Notable club teams to mention during the 70s included the Taipans, Panthers and Red Terrors. The club membership throughout those years was based on fixtures registration with the RLTA which meant that membership was limited to competition players.
In 1979, the club proposed to Redland Shire Council to light current court 2 with fluorescent lights. The club chose the metal halide option used today and council provided light poles and lights with the club digging foundations, conduits and carrying out the installation.
In 1980 tree planting occurred along the road side of the courts. Mr Ernest Day had a major hand in many improvements around that time including making a motorised roller for the courts, erecting lighting for court 1 and making new stands and seats for the club. A part time court preparer for fixture competition was employed to maintain ant bed surface standards at the club.
At this time also formal court high commenced with Mrs Majorie Buckler voluntarily organising and collecting relevant fees. This voluntary work was carried out by Mrs Buckler for the next 17 years.
1983 saw the joint amenities building (shared by tennis and cricket) constructed and one year later Council agree to rebuild the courts to an all weather surface. Synthetic grass was played on court 1 (now court 2) and flexipave on court 2 (now court 3). The old clubhouse was demolished and the second one constructed which used to be at the rear of these courts. The area next to the clubhouse was grassed and fenced so that young children could play while their parents were playing tennis.
Noteworthy too, in the mid 80s, was the commencement of the morning social playing group who are still playing to this day and who are an inspiration in their commitment to a fit and healthy lifestyle no matter your age.
From this time through to the mid 90s, the club was active in competitions and had many local families involved in voluntary projects to improve the facilities. This included installing synthetic grass over court 2 (current court 3), fencing between both courts, installing more light towers and many fundraising activities including delivering telephone directories for years.
In 2992, council called for a vision to 2010 of the Redland Bay Tennis Club. Mr Ernie Day put forward a 10 court centre, scale drawing which incorporated many of the facilities in place today and pretty much reflected the layout of the existing courts.
In 1993, Mr Keith Dyer (whom along with his wife were instrumental in much of the grounds presentation of the club) recommended changes to membership to ensure the long term viability of the club. This saw social players also eligible to become members (not just competition players). The Constitution was amended in January 1995 to reflect these changes.
At this time too from the mid 90s, coaching for local school children was available midweek and on Saturday mornings under the guidance of Mr Arch Shaw.
Moving forward to late 90s, and into the turn of the century, a further two courts (current 1 &4) with synthetic surface were completed and council re-developed the children’s play area.
Most significantly in the early 2000s, the club made a full-time appointment of a Professional Coach, Mr Frayne Bloor. This appointment opened the door to on-site junior development programs, private and group coaching for all ages, club fixtures and championships and a full equipped on-site Pro Shop.
From 2002/2003 through to 2009, the then President, Mr Alan Hope, let the progression to today’s facilities with the staged construction of courts 5-8, improved landscaping and surrounds and the building of the modern club house.
The club membership to this day continues to grow each year reflecting the many attributes that our modern tennis facility can now offer to both social and competition players of all ages.
Our heartfelt thanks is given to all the local families, members, presidents, office bearers and committees who have played a part in the rich history of the Redland Bay Tennis Club.
The information in this history transcript provided from club archives and as worded by Mr George Day, Mr Ernest Day and follows extensive interviews with other past and present club members. The accuracy of this information is given with good intent but may vary slightly.
Compiled by Melinda Singleton, August 2011.