Following a public meeting of interested persons in Taree in April 1937, the formation of Taree Croquet Club took place on 7 August of that year.1
Land was gazetted for the club at Taree Park on the corner of Florence and Albert streets. The area was formerly occupied by tennis courts.2
Prior to construction and the opening of the court, Mrs C E Bennett generously offered the use of grounds at her residence for practise and play. The site was the corner of Victoria and Macquarie Streets.3 In 2021 it is occupied by Manning Valley Property and Livestock Real Estate.
Croquet was by no means new to Taree. Some forty five years prior, men played on grounds at the rear of the Methodist Church.4
Patroness Mrs L O Martin attended the official opening of the clubhouse on 29 November 1938 with an estimated attendance of 130.5
Popularity of the game saw the need for a second court and this was opened in 1954. Nearby clubs in Wingham, Tuncurry-Forster and Port Macquarie elevated its popularity within the region.6
A third court opened on 10 April 2010 and the naming of it was dedicated to the construction and expertise of curator, Mr Phillip Sage.7
Mr Joe Dimech, a modern day member represented Australia in the World Championships in London 2011, and one year prior he played in the over 50s Internationals in Egypt.
Taree member Mr Bill Strick won NSW titles in Singles and also Mixed Doubles in 2015. These performances showcased the Manning in Croquet.8
Author: Les Eastaway
1 Northern Champion, 14 April 1937, 3; Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 11 August 1937, 3.
2 Northern Champion, 19 May 1937, 4.
3 Manning River Times, 11 August 1937, 3; Taree Historical Rate Books 1937, https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-4-2-2/.
4 Manning River Times, 11 August 1937, 3.
5 Northern Champion, 3 December 1938, 3.
6 Manning River Times, 25 June 1954, 12.
7 Presentation plaque in Taree Croquet Clubhouse.
8 Taree Croquet Club archives, accessed 2021.