MacPherson Robertson

Hall of Fame
Sir MacPherson Robertson KBE

Born: 1860
Died: 1945
Inducted: 2006

 

MacPherson Robertson was born in 1860 at Ballarat, Victoria.  His father, David, was a carpenter who had gone there attracted by the prospect of gold rush wealth.  When gold lost its steam, David persuaded his wife, Margaret, that they should move to Rockhampton in Queensland to build a new hospital as the main contractor.  However, with the money in his pocket, David departed for Fiji on a wild urge and left Margaret to return to Leith, Scotland, with four small children and one on the way.

It fell to MacPherson (“Mac”) to go out to work to support the family at the age of nine.  He rose at 3 a.m. to deliver newspapers over a ten-mile route and, by 6 a.m., he was lathering faces at a barber shop until 9 a.m.  He then attended school until 3 p.m. and went back to lathering faces until 9 p.m.  Unfortunately, even this prodigious work load did not bring in sufficient income and so Mac had to give up his education in order to work full-time.

A few years later, Mac’s father brought the family back to Australia.  Mac made up his mind to succeed in life and be able to be responsible for his entire family.  On arrival in Australia, he apprenticed himself to a confectioner in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and began a long journey which would see him become the most successful entrepreneur and highest taxpayer in Australia.

Aged 19, Mac set up a small factory in his mother’s bathroom with a “nail keg for a stove, a tin cup for a kettle and some sugar”.  His total capital was about two pounds (or about $200 in today’s money).  He made his confections on Mondays to Thursdays and sold them around Melbourne on Fridays and Saturdays.

Originally, his called his business the Mac Robertson Steam Confectionery Works.  By 1925, MacRobertson Chocolates employed 2,500 people.  Mac had built so many factories in Fitzroy that the block became known as “White City” because he had all his buildings painted white.

Although unions were trying hard to bring manufacturers under their thumb for exploiting workers, his factories never had a strike.  He often said that he should have liked to have done more for his workers but the union made it too difficult.  Nevertheless, he instituted an innovative pension scheme.  His annual turnover rose from £300 in 1880 to £2 million in 1925 ($200 million in today’s money).

He was not one to indulge himself with fine homes, yachts and beach houses, as other successful businessmen were prone to do.  Instead, he had an obsession with keeping fit both physically and mentally.  He punched a boxing speed ball each day to maintain his physical fitness and played croquet to gain relaxation from business concerns.  He enjoyed its strategy and believed that it reinforced his successful business psychology.

After the First World War, Mac saw the new entertainment of cinema as a new outlet for his lollies and chocolates.  He enlisted veteran servicemen to take up these concessions.  Most of the young veterans had no idea of running a business and some failed, owing Mac money for his stock.  He realised that he would have to train them and his other concessionaires in business management.  He realised the benefits of a thinking sport like croquet and encouraged them all to take it up and play it whenever they were free.  Croquet proved to be a wonderful teaching aid for training these young men m in self-discipline and risk management and other attributes conducive to business success.

In 1925, wishing to do something spectacular to create more media interest in his products and to encourage his newly-recruited croquet players, Mac established and sponsored the MacRobertson Shield between Australia and England.  The “Mac”, as the Shield is popularly and appropriately known among croquet players all over the world, remains the most iconic, historic and significant competitive croquet event in the international calendar.  New Zealand joined the competition in 1930 and the United States of America in 1993.  It is the Ryder Cup of Association Croquet and selection to represent one’s country in the Mac remains the pinnacle of a croquet career.

In 1927, Mac co-founded MacRobertson-Miller Aviation Co. and sponsored an around Australia Expedition by two motor lorries in 1928.  Then, in the early 1930s, Mac sponsored a British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition under the leadership of Douglas Mawson.  This gave Australia a physical presence on the Antarctic mainland and, in recognition of his patronage, Mawson named a large tract of the continent as MacRobertson Land.  Mac was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Geographic Society in 1931, was knighted in 1932 and appointed K.B.E. in 1935.

Despite the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Mac was able to buck the trend and hire even more employees because his “Old Gold” Chocolate Box and Columbines were so well sponsored and advertised.  Mac was an active and generous supporter of charities and unemployment relief but was often disappointed at the wretchedness and demands of some of the poor together with the stupidity and avarice of federal politicians.

This experience led Mac to re-evaluate his charitable actions and financial support to the individual poor.  He concluded that his generosity often simply encouraged others to ask for a free handout as well and that some of the poor were idle and demanding while despising and abusing the prosperous and hard working.  He decided to cease making indiscriminate donations to the individuals and instead concentrate on projects that created wealth for the nation.

In 1933, he donated £100,000 to Victoria for its centenary celebrations.  He was asked what he thought should be done with the money and suggested building a Girls High School; a much-needed bridge over the Yarra River at Grange Road; a fountain in front of the Shrine of Remembrance on St. Kilda Road and an Herbarium in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.  His point was that these building projects would help to provide employment.

In addition, with part of his donation, he decided to advertise Australia and Melbourne by organising and sponsoring the great London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race.  This was then the most gallant and gruelling air race of all time and bought Australia unprecedented publicity.  The top aviators of the world competed and the publicity and status of the event assured the future participation of Australia in international commercial aviation.

However, the federal government responded to this generosity by demanding £42,000 of the £100,000 as tax.  At the time Mac was the highest taxpayer in Australia and one of the biggest employers.  Nonetheless, Mac decided to pay the tax and investigate this extraordinary example of inequity and by bringing it before the highest court in the land.  As a consequence of his action, donations to prescribed charities became tax deductible.

Sir MacPherson Robertson loved Australia and patriotic Australians.  He made “rich” a proud and honourable accolade.  It is said that, whereas Ned Kelly is the patron saint of the Australian poor, Mac is the patron saint of the true Aussie Battlers who are prepared to learn, work hard, persevere and never give in.

He was one of the greatest entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Australian history and his contribution to international croquet will never be forgotten. 

Walter Jones Whitmore

Hall of Fame
Walter Jones Whitmore

Born: 1831
Died: 1872
Inducted: 2013

Walter Thomas Jones Whitmore was a founder of the All England Croquet Club and the first to develop croquet laws which would be consistently and widely used.

Jones Whitmore discovered Croquet in 1860 and this became a consuming passion.  He laid lawns at Chastleton House and realizing that there were no standard rules (croquet set makers produced their own), he set about creating both rules and tactics.  In conjunction with The Field magazine, he took the major role in compiling the rules and these were published in 1866, and were known as ‘The Field Rules’.  The croquet historian Arthur Lillie noted his success in ‘transforming the game from the silliest of open-air games to the most intellectual one’.  He continued to write articles on the game for The Field, which then formed the basis of his book ‘The Science of Croquet’ published in 1866.

Jones Whitmore organized the first croquet tournament at Evesham in 1867 which he won and from then on styled himself as the champion of croquet.  His zeal with regard to the laws of the game remained unabated and in 1868, the rules were revised by a committee of three, of which Jones Whitmore was the most influential member.  In that year, Jones Whitmore was instrumental in the founding of the All England Croquet Club (AECC), of which he became secretary.  The Club, however, did not have a ground and Jones Whitmore started to search for one. The search drew a blank and in 1869 he was dismissed as secretary in 1869 but refused to go down without a fight.  He created another All England Croquet Club, later called the National Croquet Club (NCC).  The original All England Croquet Club continued to develop and in 1869 found a ground at Worple Road in Wimbledon which remained the Club’s headquarters, and that of lawn tennis, until 1922 when the Club moved to Church Road, where the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (“Wimbledon”) is situated today.

Although the AECC and NCC were separate entities, they co-operated on revising the laws in 1870 with Jones Whitmore in the Chair.   In 1872 Jones Whitmore refused to become involved in further revision of the laws and confined himself to the role of elder statesman.

Born Walter Thomas Whitmore Jones on 13 March 1831 at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire, Jones Whitmore was educated at Bridgnorth Grammar School and in 1850  attended St John’s College, Oxford University.  He left two years later without taking his degree and joined the civil service. Jones Whitmore was critical of both the civil service in general and of his superiors in particular, remarking: ‘he is so supremely ignorant on the subject that I consider him as under me’.  He left the War Office to try his hand as an inventor of games and other inventions such as The Railway Carriage Signal (1864 Patent No 1969), and the Bootlace Winder ( 1864 Patent No 619).  He had a marked tendency to tell others what to do: he drew up treatises on reform of the Civil Service, how to fortify the country and even told his sister Louisa how to improve her complexion, when to wash her face and how to brush her hair.  He persuaded Longmans to publish two volumes of his poetry which, like his games and inventions, was not enthusiastically received.

In 1867 he changed his name from Whitmore Jones to Jones Whitmore, tired of his friend Willie Dickins regularly pointing out on their walks down Regent Street the name Dickins & Jones above a drapery.

In early 1872 he became unwell with what appeared to be a chest infection but was in fact cancer and he died on 27 July 1872.  Walter Jones Whitmore was unmarried.  Chastleton House is now owned by the National Trust and the croquet lawns are still in use.

Walter Peel

Hall of Fame
Walter Peel

Born: 1847
Died: 1897
Inducted: 2013

Walter Peel was involved in the early development of croquet as an organised sport in the late 1860s and early 1870s.  As a young man, he was a leading player and something of a prodigy, winning the Open Championship in 1868, 1870 and 1871.  Peel was partial to the practice of croqueting his partner ball through its next hoop and this became known as “peeling”, a term which is now a fundamental part of modern Croquet.

Croquet had been governed by the All England Croquet Club since 1871 following its merger with the National Croquet Club.  The AECC had occupied grounds in Wimbledon since 1869 and allowed the introduction of Lawn Tennis in the early 1870s.  The new game became popular and led to the AECC changing its name to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877.  Interest in croquet declined as the interest in and profitability of Lawn Tennis rose and croquet was finally expelled from the All-England Club in 1885.  This led to a very marked reduction in the level of tournament croquet in England until 1895 and, at this point in the game’s history, Peel made a second and ultimately much more significant contribution to croquet.

Peel had succeeded to his grandfather’s estate in Gloucestershire in the early 1870s and his appearances in tournaments then became rather spasmodic.  Nonetheless, he retained a nostalgic interest in the game and, encouraged by the success of a tournament held at Maidstone in 1894 and a modest revival of interest in croquet at Wimbledon, he decided to attempt to band together all croquet players in England in a single body to be called the United All England Croquet Association.  In June 1896, he circulated all the leading players of past and present with his idea and received an enthusiastic response.  In August 1896, a committee was elected and Peel became the first secretary of the new body which was renamed the Croquet Association in 1900 and has remained the governing body for English croquet ever since.

Sadly, Peel died on 27 October 1897 when aged only fifty and so did not live to see the dramatic revival in croquet’s fortunes in the Edwardian era.  However, his brief second contribution to croquet was greatly appreciated and, following his death, he was honoured by the inauguration in 1898 of the Peel Memorials which are separate handicap tournaments for men and women.

Jack Osborn

Hall of Fame
Jack Osborn

Born: 1929
Died: 1997
Inducted: 2007

Jack was the founder and inaugural President of the United States Croquet Association.  Having founded the USCA in 1977, he stated that his ambition was to be able to go from city to city in every week of the year and play croquet.   He lived to see the USCA grow to have 3,500 individual members and over 80 sanctioned tournaments played annually around America.

When the USCA was founded, the croquet most Americans were familiar with was the nine-wicket, short mallet, two-stake game which had been popularised in the 19th century and played in millions of backyards since.  Jack’s first mission was to convince the American public of the merits of the USCA six wicket game played on a closely-mown court with the same substantial cast iron hoops and heavy balls and mallets used in tournament croquet in other croquet-playing countries.  Initially, he was convinced that this was the only game to promote in America but later he came to recognise the merits of the more aggressive and dynamic “International Rules” game, as Association Croquet is usually called in the USA, and was delighted to see the USA admitted to the historic MacRobertson Shield competition in 1993 where it meets teams from Australia, England and New Zealand every four years.

Jack was an excellent and tireless ambassador and for the sport of Croquet, both in the United States and overseas.  As USCA President, he implemented the advice of John Solomon, the doyen of English croquet, that the first essential step for a new national croquet association was to agree a single set of rules.  He also co-wrote two books on the game, including From Backyard to Greensward.

In a speech not long before his death, Mr. Osborn said:

"The game of croquet, to which I have given such a large portion of my life, fuses so many different elements: competition, a fine eye, a sharp mind, a firm stroke, a large amount of patience, ability to plan ahead and, by no means the least, a control of one's temper.  Few of us have had all these qualities in hand in every game.  But they are there to strive for in all games.  Yet beyond all of these, our game provides that finest of outcomes: comradeship.  It is that which brings us together.  And it is that which I have always enjoyed, wicket by wicket."

 

Brice Jones

 

Hall of Fame
Brice Jones

Born: 1940
Inducted: 2013

Brice Cutrer Jones served in the United States Air Force in the Vietnam War in the 1960s.  After leaving military service, he went to Harvard Business School and emerged with an ambition to become an entrepreneur in the wine business.  He founded the Sonoma Cutrer Winery near Santa Rose, California in 1973 and built it up into one of California’s best-known Chardonnay producers.

The winery was a state-of-the-art construction and included two manicured grass areas suitable for four tennis courts.  Jones was already thinking about hosting charity events at the winery based on the opportunity for patrons to watch a sporting event which featured top players.

In the mid-1980s, he met John McCullough, an English croquet player, who was travelling through California.  Having listened to John, Brice decided to turn his grass areas into two first-class full-size croquet courts.  In August 1986, the first international croquet singles event in the history of Association Croquet took place at Sonoma-Cutrer and represented a landmark in the development of the sport.  The highlight of the week was Saturday which used the final as the backdrop for a lunch and charity auction.  The auction was extraordinarily successful and, by the late 1990s, was regularly raising $1 million for the Make-A-Wish children's charity.

Players were offered lavish hospitality, accommodation and transport from all over the world in return for a modest entry fee and Sonoma-Cutrer almost immediately became a must-do event for all top croquet players.  The opportunity to meet fellow players from all over the world was enormously attractive and the new tournament played a significant role in boosting Association Croquet as a genuinely international sport and in developing the growth of Association Croquet in the United States.

There can be no doubt that Brice’s early and continued efforts for many years on behalf of Association Croquet encouraged the emergence of a cadre of international quality United States players who could begin to challenge England, Australia and New Zealand.  The annual Sonoma-Cutrer championship represented international singles competition at the highest level and was the only chance for many US players to gain this type of experience.  It was undoubtedly a powerful factor which supported the admission of the United States to the MacRobertson Shield competition in 1993.

Brice remained firm in his commitment to the event and Association Croquet even after he sold a majority stake in the winery in 1999 to a major drinks company.  The Sonoma-Cutrer event continued until 2004 when the new owners decided to discontinue it.

Andrew Hope

Hall of Fame
Andrew Hope

Born: 1946
Inducted: 2006

The birth of a World Croquet Federation had been mooted several times but, in 1985, it was Andrew Hope who, as Chairman of the Croquet Association Council, decided that the time was right for a thorough exploration of the possibilities.

He took the initiative in contacting the Australian and New Zealand Croquet Councils and suggested that a meeting between representatives should take place at the end of the 1986 MacRobertson Shield Tour which would be held in England.

The meeting took place on 17 July 1986 and Andrew took the chair.  Representatives from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States also attended by invitation.

Andrew had prepared a draft constitution assisted by Stephen Mulliner.  This was discussed in detail and a number of issues raised, including the stated objectives, eligibility for joining the WCF, voting rights, officers and committees, subscription and frequency of meetings.

It was agreed that a steering committee should be formed with the responsibility of producing further drafts of the constitution and preparing the way for the formal establishment of the WCF.

The WCF came into formal existence at its inaugural general meeting at the Hurlingham Club in London on 15 July 1989.  It owes much to vision and foresight of Andrew Hope, whose steadfastness and patience overcame all the difficulties that were encountered.

Andrew continued his work for the WCF by acting as its Treasurer from 2001 to 2010.

Tom Armstrong

Hall of Fame
Tom Armstrong

Inducted: 2006

Tom Armstrong has worked tirelessly since 1965 to promote croquet in Australia, particularly in South Australia.

After viewing the success of the England MacRobertson Shield side in Australia in 1969, Tom decided to introduce croquet to students at several Adelaide secondary schools.  A regular weekly inter-school competition began involving up to 100 teenagers.  From this competition, ten new players joined croquet clubs with several continuing on to win various tournaments.

Tom was responsible for players such as Neil Spooner, Barrie Chambers, Mark Prater, Bill Smith and many other state and national representatives joining the ranks of croquet players.

For many years Tom and his wife Jean would travel to Queensland in the winter months to coach and assist with the recruiting of players for Maryborough and Bundaberg.

Tom has given his time freely to anyone who took the slightest interest in the sport of croquet. The folklore at Brighton in Adelaide's southern suburbs says that nobody who stopped to peer over the fence at the local club ever escaped the smooth-talking Tom Armstrong.  As far as the number of players introduced to croquet by Tom, the number is well into the thousands.  Many were short term players, but many more were to become long-term members at various clubs.

Ashley Heenan

Hall of Fame
Ashley Heenan OBE

Born: 1925
Died: 2004
Inducted: 2006

Ashley Heenan was the first President of the World Croquet Federation and a leading figure in New Zealand croquet for over 40 years.

Born in 1925, Ashley was schooled in Wellington and attended Victoria University, prior to two years’ study at the Royal College of Music in London.  He had joined the New Zealand Broadcasting Service at the age of 17 and returned there in 1951 working with touring overseas artists for the NZBS Concert Section.  He worked as Music Assistant to two conductors of the National Orchestra, later becoming the first Musical Director of the Orchestral Trainees, a job he retained for over 20 years.  This group was renamed Schola Musica - and many an experienced orchestral player emerged from its ranks.

During a busy administrative life, Ashley Heenan was able to sustain his own urge to compose.  Much of his early output was film music, frequently with an indigenous flavour.  Most would agree that his musical score for Baxter’s Jack Winter’s Dream was his most significant.  But it was part of a large list of compositions.

Ashley lived almost his entire life in Wellington, but his influence radiated widely.  He conducted the NZ National Youth Orchestra on a tour of Britain and the Far East; for more than a decade he headed the NZ Composers’ Foundation; he was New Zealand’s first Writer-Director of the Australasian Performing Rights Association; and, shortly before his death, he saw the publication of God Defend New Zealand: a history of the national anthem. This acclaimed and highly readable work was, perhaps surprisingly, the first substantial account of the history of the country’s national anthem to appear in the 125 years since its composition.

His services to music were recognised with honours from the NZ Phonographic Industry, as well as the Citation for Outstanding Services from the NZ Composers’ Association and the granting of an OBE in 1983 from Her Majesty the Queen.

Given the above, it is hardly a surprise that his other interests included the collection of first editions of Tchaikovsky and Bernard Shaw.  However, apart from his croquet, he had even wider interests, namely as a qualified pilot and a rugby referee.

Ashley Heenan’s croquet career lasted over 44 years. He won his first title - the New Zealand National Tournament - in 1945.  As a young boy, he attracted wide publicity to croquet at a time when youth in the sport was quite unique.  His victory in the NZ Opens of 1946 was featured with a full front-page photo in the Wellington Sports Post.

He won the NZ Open Championship on four further occasions, in 1948, 1958, 1959 and 1964, a record only excelled by Arthur Ross and not exceeded until 1977 by his own pupil John Prince.  In 1958, he had the rare distinction of winning in all four events of the NZ Championships for which he was eligible.  In 1959, he was again finalist in all four events, and won three.

His lifelong relationship with Arthur Ross, who was also his father-in-law, had a significant influence on the direction followed by New Zealand croquet between 1945 and 1964.  Between them, they engineered the tactics that won the 1950 MacRobertson Shield for New Zealand.

However, after that his international career was somewhat restricted by the demands of his musical career and he was unavailable for the tour of England in 1956.  His standing as a player was such that Maurice Reckitt recorded in the Gazette his opinion that his unavailability was the difference between NZ winning or losing the MacRobertson Shield.

During this period, Ashley published his own highly successful magazine, The Croquet World, and was invited by the NZCC to be editor of the flagging New Zealand Croquet Gazette, then on the verge of demise.  He was editor from 1957 to 1961, when he became NZ Referee, a position he also filled with distinction.

In 1957, he was appointed to a constitutional revision committee of the NZCC that made several innovative recommendations that were consequently adopted.  In 1960, as chairman of the NZ Laws Re-Draft Committee, he spent a week in Sydney with Ian Baillieu, working on the finalised draft of the proposed new laws.  Baillieu later acknowledged the part Ashley played in resolving the seemingly insuperable differences between the CA and NZCC to produce the laws as we know them today.

In 1963, he was appointed Captain of the NZ MacRobertson team, but was forced to withdraw when awarded a UNESCO Travelling Fellowship.  On returning from his tour, he played in the 1964 NZ Open Championships, winning the Open and, with his protege John Prince, the Doubles Championship.

The demands of music saw him withdraw from the national scene and, until 1979, his croquet was limited to local club and association events.  Following the death of Arthur Ross, and with some persuasive encouragement from John Prince, he once again began competing in national tournaments.

In 1979, he embarked on what virtually became a second career in croquet.  In that year, he was elected editor of the NZ Gazette for a second five-year term.  In 1984, he became a North Island Vice-President and, in 1985, he was appointed to the role of NZCC President.  He retired from this office before completing his term, feeling that the incoming President should have a year in office before the 1990 MacRobertson Tour and that the new constitution should come into effect with a fresh hand on the helm.

During his period of office, he saw reform of handicapping, laws and the constitution of the NZCC.  He established relations with the Assembly of Sport, the Hilary Commission and initiated new ventures into international sport.  His interests in International Croquet contributed to closer relations with Australia, England and the USA.

In 1986, he managed the NZ MacRobertson visit to England, where the team accorded him the honour of playing in the last test.  It was on this visit that the proposed World Croquet Federation project was initiated.  In July 1989, he was unanimously elected the first President of the newly-formed WCF, the nomination appropriately being put forward by his life-long and close friend, John Solomon.

The measure of his wide interest in the game can in part be found in the list of trophies he has presented the NZCC through the years.  He also designed the NZ Champion Pocket and Medal.  During the 1950s and 60s he spent much time touring the country, often in company with Arthur Ross, and, later, the young players John Prince and Tony Stephens in order to play exhibition games and give demonstrations and coaching lessons.

As with music, he brought to New Zealand and to world croquet a sense of purpose that it sorely needed.


Ashley Heenan’s playing record

New Zealand Championships
Open Championship:        (5) 1946, 1948, 1958, 1959, 1964
Men’s Championship        (4) 1946, 1951, 1958, 1959

Rhys Thomas

Hall of Fame
Rhys Thomas

Inducted: 2014

Rhys Thomas has worked diligently in numerous aspects of croquet for many years, particularly concentrating his efforts towards establishing and developing the USCA’s role in the international croquet community.

Rhys first discovered American six wicket croquet in Aspen, Colorado, in the summer of 1981.  Seven years later, ensconced in Hollywood, he discovered the manicured lawns of the Beverly Hills Croquet Club in Roxbury Park.  Learning quickly under the tutelage of National Seniors champion, C.B. Smith, Rhys rose to championship caliber, launching a long career playing, managing and promoting croquet events, both nationally and internationally.

Rhys was a member of two USCA Solomon Trophy teams and represented the United States at five World Championships, both WCF and WCC.  He was also the coach and manager of the 1996 USA MacRobertson Shield Team.  That year, he relinquished his USA team eligibility to accept the chairmanship of the USCA’s selection committee, a position he held until 2003, when he was appointed chair of the USCA’s International Committee.

Between 1996 and 2011, Rhys worked with others to improve USA’s performance in international croquet competition.  This included the creation of the Selection Eights, inspired by Jerry Stark and dedicated to W. Ellery McClatchy.  Throughout that period of time, Rhys also acted as the United States representative to the World Croquet Federation, serving on the WCF Management Committee from 2003 to 2011.  In 2005, he was instrumental in establishing the WCF Hall of Fame.

Among his most important international achievements, Rhys lobbied tirelessly on behalf of the USCA for equal representation and improved player allocations at all WCF World Championships.  This resulted in a deepening of the USA player pool and directly contributed to the first USA test match victories in the MacRobertson Shield.  The culmination of these efforts came in 2009 when a USA team defeated Great Britain to win the Solomon Trophy for the first time in croquet history.  This was a home victory at Mission Hills in California but USA repeated this feat in 2011 in England.

Domestically, Rhys has managed four USCA National Championships, in American and Association rules.  In 1997, he organized and managed the Solomon Trophy at Sherwood Country Club, where he served as Director of Croquet for 17 years.  In 2003, Rhys helped organize the first MacRobertson Shield held on United States soil and served as the Tournament Referee.  He is also a USCA National Class I Referee.

Notably, Rhys’ volunteer management accomplishments were achieved while he played at the highest level of championship croquet and worked full time as a professional writer.  He is the author of one published non-fiction book, three unpublished novels, numerous newspaper articles, several screenplays, and hundreds of hours of documentary films for which he has garnered a handful of awards, including an Emmy nomination.

Creina Dawson

Hall of Fame
Creina Dawson

Inducted: 2014

Creina Dawson has been one of Australia’s most prominent players, administrators and general contributors over the last forty years.

As a croquet player, Creina has achieved outstanding results at local, State, National and International level.  She has won the Association Croquet Women’s Singles in Australia, England and New Zealand and won the Australian National Golf Croquet Handicap Singles in 2008.

Creina has represented Australia in the Trans-Tasman Test Series against New Zealand on six occasions.  Five were in the Women’s Trans-Tasman Tests held from 1988 to 1997 and the sixth was in 2004.

At State level, she is a Player Life Member of the South Australian Croquet Association by virtue of being an Association Croquet State Team member on at least ten occasions.  Since the inception of the Golf Croquet Interstate Shield, Creina has represented South Australia on five occasions.

As an administrator, Creina served as the ACA Events Manager and Vice-President before becoming President of the Australian Croquet Association from 2003 to 2005.  She also took on the role of ACA Secretary for part of 2005 to 2006.  Creina has served on numerous committees over the years, including National Handicapping Committee and has organized and participated in the Jean Armstrong Shield, which is a competition attracting twelve women players from all states and New Zealand, since its inception in 1998.

At club level, Creina has always been a willing mentor for new club players and makes herself available at all times for Brighton Club’s inter-club local competition teams in both Association and Golf Croquet.  Her croquet career is an excellent example of all-round achievement and a major contribution to the games of croquet.