Club History

The Association which was first known as the Ipswich Lawn Tennis Association was formed on the 21st March, 1906. After a number of years the name changed to Ipswich and District Lawn Tennis Association, then to Ipswich and West Moreton Lawn Tennis Association, and in more recent times known as Ipswich District Junior Tennis Association.

In the early years, social tennis was played on all private courts within the Ipswich area, until the early thirties, this included our local fixtures and championships. Towards the late 1928, at a Delegates Meeting, Mr Ted Kruger spoke up and the site for the courts & Association headquarters was suggested at the 5 ways, Chermside Road. It was agreed Mr Capel Greenway to approach the Aldermen and Council, as he was in a position to do so. A few Aldermen at that stage were also playing tennis. As times were very hard and timber and materials were scarce, Ted was able to lend a helping hand in the acquisition of these items. Ted at that stage was running a sawmill, Clarrie Shenton had a newspaper shop which was a great help to tennis. These three gentlemen must have been good organisers as the Association has grown from strength to strength. Much assistance was also given from Jack Routledge, George & Hughie Vincent and Jack Perrett. Ipswich tennis was taken very enthusiastically and seriously by its followers in the early years and has kept the keeness up to its present time.

About 1929, the work was taken up in earnest by the late Mr C.W.B. Shenton and Messers E.N. Kruger and C.A. Greenway, and after five years of strenuous and enthusiastic work their idea was accomplished.

An attractive and useful centre is erected on the site for players. The Clubhouse now bears the name of “Shenton House”, as a mark of respect and esteem for the popular and keen President “Clarry” Shenton who passed away while still in office shortly after opening the new centre on the 7th July, 1934. Memorial gates also were erected in honour of a person, who also played a big role in Ipswich tennis. Alderman Tom E. Woodford, was the person who was given the honour as he was a long serving Patron of the Association.

The Association courts on Chermside Road then became the official headquarters for Ipswich Tennis, with four courts being constructed. About 1948 another four courts were added to make this centre one of the most picturesque places to play tennis within Queensland. This centre could be developed more, as it is in a very ideal situation. These courts hold very fond memories for the older and even the younger players within and outside of the Association.

Ipswich first became affiliated to the State body (Q.L.T.A.) around March 1930. Ipswich has also been one of the biggest Country Associations in Queensland for many years with a registration of around one thousand players in some years.

Ipswich suffered during the War Years in 1942-1945 inclusive as tennis balls were hard to purchase, leaving tennis in dire straights as fixtures and tournaments not being able to be played. In 1946 the Association had a bank balance of £251-I- but at the start of 1947 the Association had a balance of £125/-/-. However Ipswich again suffered in another period, that being between 1963-1969 inclusive. Ipswich disaffiliated from the State Body (Q.L.T.A.) due to the State Body raising the affiliation fees, this denied the Association of running Open Tournaments or any inter city matches.

In early years Ipswich cancelled fixtures off for Rugby League and Cricket Test Matches, the other sporting bodies reciprocated when Davis Cup matches were played in Brisbane. Ipswich played in many intercity matches, some of the Associations have been Wynnum, Brisbane Metropolitan, Greater Brisbane and Toowoomba.

Ipswich also staged many exhibition matches in the early years by some of the top Australian and Queensland players, these matches were very keenly fought with Ipswich players competing. Ipswich has had a great Australian in Mr Harry Hopman, visit the Association for lectures and coaching. Ipswich also have had another top Australian Tennis player in Ipswich to do his schooling, this being Mr Roy Emmerson, although Roy did not play fixtures while living in Ipswich.

In the early sixties the affiliation fees for fixtures were Pennant to B Grade £1/l/- per team plus 7/- per player. In 1984 the affiliation fees were $4.00 per Player (Senior) per Season or $3.00 per Player (Junior) per Season.

Ipswich can also boast of a Junior Association which was formed in June of 1980. Their Headquarters at the time were at Joyce Street. This centre is named as the “Jack Routledge Memorial Courts” and was named after the late Mr J.H. Routledge for his untiring service of many, many years to Ipswich. This centre has only been officially opened since 19th July, 1970.

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