Mr L Castle, the Clubs first life member, convened the first meeting of 15 members for the purpose of forming a tennis club. Mr Castle moved that the Clarinda Tennis Club be called as such and exerted a fantastic amount of work and energy, forming and running the Club in its early years.
Mr Castle was instrumental in the purchase of the land where Clarinda Tennis Club was originally built and drawing up tournament and club rules for the Committees he was on.
Mr Castle held the position of foundation Secretary and Treasurer in 1913 and remained secretary until 1918, and again in 1922. Mr Castle held many other positions and represented the Club on many Committees and helped pioneer tennis in our district.
Mr Castle was a leading figure in the Club’s great rise in this area in the 1910’s and 1920′s. Mr Castle organised many functions in his 22 years as a member. An example, obtaining the services of the Oakleigh Orchestra to play at their Open Air Concerts.
Born in 1878, Mr L S Castle, who still resided in the area at the time of his death on 17th February 1963, still took a great interest in the Club’s affairs and was eagerly awaiting the Club’s Golden Jubilee celebrations later that year.
During its first year the Club arranged the purchase of 1 acre of land from Mr. R. Dowling at a cost of 20 (twenty pounds or $40.00) . The terms of the payment for this land were 1/5/0 (one pound five shillings or $2.50) payable as deposit, the balance at the Club’s convenience. The first court cost 7/13/5 (seven pounds, thirteen shillings and five pence, or $15.34) and the first clubhouse cost 5/8/9 (five pounds, eight shillings and nine pence, or $10.88). Membership was decided on at 5/- (five shillings or 50cents) per annum.
The courts were officially opened on 24th October 1914. At this time, there were 25 members. In 1916, there was a motion on the books that the ball fees be 3d/month (three pence or 2 cents), which was subsequently amended so that the ball fees became 3/- ( three shillings or 30 cents) per annum, paid half yearly.
In 1922, 15 members contributed sums of money ranging from 5/- (five shillings or 50cents) to 2 (two pounds or $4.00) in order to pay off the amount owing on the original purchase of the land. In 1923, there were 32 members. In 1924, the Club joined the Clayton and Spring Oake District Tennis Association. In 1925, the Club joined the Dandenong Tennis Association, which the Association changed its name for the 1925/26 season to the Clarinda and Dandenong Districts Tennis Association. This Association ceased to exist in 1946, thus the Club joined the Clayton and District Protestant Churches Tennis Association until disbanded in 1959. The Club then joined the Dandenong and District Tennis Association. Now we are associated with Waverly Districts Tennis Association, Bayside Region Tennis Association, and Tennis Victoria Pennant.
The annual Easter tournament was the big event on the calendar and the Afternoon Tea Fund Treasurer held an important position in the Club. Meetings were held in the Clarinda Presbyterian Church Hall, membership cost 15/- (fifteen shillings or $1.50) for Gents and 7/6d (seven and sixpence, or 75 cents) for Ladies.
The Club was first located in Clarinda Road – the site was the car park for the Bunnings store. The original courts were constructed of asphalt and a new clubhouse (pavilion) was built in the 1950′s and was made of fibro-cement cladding, 20 feet by 10 feet (6m by 3m) in size costing 166 (one hundred and sixty-six pounds, or $332). In the 1960′s, an en-tout-cas court was added.
Electronic Industries had established a factory on Centre Rd which extended behind the tennis courts. On 15th September 1964, the company wrote to the Club suggesting that they would like to acquire our land in Clarinda Road and that they would be prepared to build 6 courts and a clubhouse in exchange. After much correspondence the Company finally purchased land in Crawford Road and the 6 porous courts were commenced in 1967. The courts were finally finished in 1968. The Club played its first tournament on the courts in August 1968. The clubhouse was commenced in October 1968 and completed in March 1969. In April 1969, the Club was officially opened by Lady Warner, the wife of the late Chairman of Electronic Industries, Sir Arthur Warner.
In 2000, the Club installed lights on courts 2 and 3, and then soon after on court 1. The Clarinda Tennis Club recognised the need for a sustainable future, and in 2007 installed 3 new hi-tech “Classic Clay” courts which no longer needed watering and could be played on all year round, and also installed 3 large water tanks to sustain the en tout cas courts and toilets.
In 2011, Clarinda Tennis Club continues to grow with lights installed on courts 5 and 6, the club now has 5 courts with lights. In 2012, solar panels were installed and the Club became almost self sufficient. In 2017, the Club changed the last 3 en-tout-cas courts to synthetic grass and in 2018, renovated the clubhouse making our facility wheelchair friendly.
Our attendance at night tennis has also continued to prosper, with competition & social tennis. Our membership is now 200+ and continuing to grow. The Clarinda Tennis Club continues to thrive, offering tennis to the local community for over 105 years!