Renamed Anderson’s Bay club regains identity

Philip Mirfin, Margaret Borland and John Guthrie on the balcony of the newly renamed Anderson’s...
Philip Mirfin, Margaret Borland and John Guthrie on the balcony of the newly renamed Anderson’s Bay Tennis Club yesterday. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The newly renamed Anderson’s Bay Tennis Club has got back its identity.

That is the feeling from several of the club’s long-serving members, who were thrilled to see the name return after 27 years as the Eastern Harbour Tennis Club.

It was officially rechristened on Sunday, with about 60 people present at the clubrooms and courts at Bayfield High School.

For Margaret Borland (nee Rennie), a life member who has been with the club for 65 years, the change was "absolutely exhilarating".

"It’s so significant because 113 years ago the club was founded, one of the first in Dunedin.

"The court where it was situated was the headquarters of the Otago Lawn Tennis Association, so it goes back a long way."

The original courts,  on the corner Somerville and Marne Sts, had been what she described as "the place" in Otago tennis prior to the move to Logan Park in 1930.

It, alongside Carisbrook,  had been the venue for big matches and tournaments in Dunedin in those early years.

The club moved across Bayfield Park in the 1990s, something Borland said had been a great move, although she had not been for it at the time.

It was a club steeped in history and had produced many top players and achieved highly through the period from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Alongside Borland, who won a national doubles title, it has also had New Zealand representatives in Ruth Seeman and Des Shaw.

However, there was a feeling it had lost its identity with the name change, something that had returned on Sunday.

Fellow life member John Guthrie — who joined the club as a child 55 years ago — was also thrilled with the change.

"It just feels right what we’re doing. It’s coming home, just doing the right thing.  That was the feeling on Sunday. We had 60-something people here and it was just a nice feeling.

"I think people identify with Anderson’s Bay. A lot of the members are coming from outside Anderson’s Bay.

"The attraction’s not just the name change, but a lot of the stuff  [club president Philip Mirfin’s] got going in terms of the junior programmes and the seniors and stuff, so it’s on the climb again.

"In the old days it was a very social part of Anderson’s Bay. 

"You went to the church, the boy scouts and the tennis club and that was part of the social triangle, I guess.

"It’d be nice to get that back on the tennis front, to some extent."

In the Stumbles, Macandrew and Hume families, the family-focused club now had several fourth-generation players.

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