The ‘old brigade’ of HB squash
By Bruce Drown
Some of squash’s “old brigade” whose influence led to the present set-up of the sport in Hawke’s Bay, are still very much to the fore as competitors and administrators.
In many cases they are still setting an example – and sometimes the pace – to the majority of current players.
Joe Hutchinson (H.B. club) now knocking 40, would, perhaps, in his way be the most colourful. Temperamentally his own worst enemy in earlier days, his explosive comments, both on and off the court, brought laughter and tension to many of his competitive exploits.
A past president of the club, Joe can take much of the credit for establishing the building fund which led this year to the completion of its four-court complex. Currently a non-committee man he still finds time to help learners, both men and women, in the coaching field.
Graham Wall (Havelock North) whose first love has always been rugby, has devoted many years to committee work for his club. Club captain in the first two years after the club’s inception, Graham in his friendly approachable way, always found time for all members of the club and was instrumental in establishing the wonderful social atmosphere existing in its club today.
While chasing a tight drop shot in the Watties tournament, Graham, in a state of exhaustion, managed to connect with the wood of his racket and found that he had hit a winning shot. His remark from the court that, if he was fit he would have reached the ball too soon, was well received by an enthusiastic gallery.
Isobel McLean a committee member of Havelock North has served continuously for this club, formerly as secretary-treasurer. Isobel is also a past member of the original Hawke’s Bay club whose premises in the old Napier Reservoir were the nucleus of the establishment of six clubs now in operation.
Owen Bold (Hawke’s Bay) who admits to 53 years of age, and a past New Zealand veterans champion, is still playing competitively in the top group for his club along with Doug Hogg and Allan Plested.
Jim Newbigin, a New Zealand class player at his best, is a man every player should know about.
He can take great credit for the formation of the Havelock North club. Inaugural president of the club, Jim took a short break from committee work for two years and returned to the chair to organise finance and plans for the recent extension to the club.
He has justly been made the first life member of the Havelock North club, was [as] its first club champion and on present form could be hard to beat again this year.