For a full history of the Sandy Bay Croquet Club, please read Teapots and Traditions, authored by Peter McCulloch and Fritha Neilsen – the official history of the Club launched at the Centenary Dinner in April 2016.
In 1903 a croquet lawn was established as part of the Hobart Golf Links, which occupied an area bounded by Proctors Road, Sandy Bay Road and Alexander Street in Sandy Bay. A group of wives of members of the Golf Links formed the Hobart Croquet Club.
At the outbreak of World War I, there was increased demand for land in the area of the golf links for military use, and The Hobart Golf Club purchased 130 acres of land at Rosny, on Hobart’s eastern shore, where it established a new golf course in 1916.
The croquet ladies chose to separate from the golf club and relocate to a croquet lawn at the Beach House Hotel in lower Sandy Bay. On February 1916, the Mercury newspaper reported that a meeting had been held to reform the Hobart Croquet Club, and that the name had been changed to the Sandy Bay Croquet Club. Twenty five players handed in their names for membership.
In May 1918, the Sandy Bay Croquet Club approached the Council’s Reserves Committee with a request that a croquet lawn be laid down at Long Beach and late in 1918 the lawn was laid out on an area adjacent to the Queenborough Council’s nursery and glasshouse.
In September 1920, the Council authorized the expenditure of 50 pounds for the erection of a shelter shed to serve the croquet lawn and, in the following year, authorized gas to be connected to the clubhouse. The present clubhouse was erected by the Hobart City Council in 1963 and was enlarged in 1966. It has recently been renovated.
The first mention of a male member of the club is in the minutes of a meeting in 1945, although there is no record of a formal resolution to admit male members. Between 1945 and 1960 there were very few male club members, but in 1961 Mr. Seager was elected to the committee and it was he who drew up the first constitution for the club.
The initial club membership of 25 quickly increased to 40 but by 1930 it had decreased significantly, falling to just 16 during the depression. The construction of a second lawn in 1962 and a third in 1983, helped to increase membership and our current membership of over 90 reflects a vibrant and active club.