Pakuranga Tennis stalwarts’ lifetime commitment

Joy Charman (pictured) and husband Jack have left an incredible legacy with Tennis Auckland (formerly Auckland Lawn Tennis Association), Blockhouse Bay and Pakuranga Tennis clubs.

Pakuranga Tennis Club celebrates its Centennial next year and is sharing a number of stories over the coming months marking the milestone

When researching 100 years of an organisation’s history, many highlights and commitments of individuals come to the fore.

Two such individuals who, it could be said, committed far more than their fair share to tennis in Auckland were Joy and Jack Charman. Joy was a multi-term past-president of the Pakuranga Tennis Club and, together with husband Jack, made a truly unique family commitment.

Joy first mooted the idea of a tennis club in Blockhouse Bay in 1956 and became their first president, with Jack taking over the reins two years later, remaining in the position until 1974. The club began life at Lynfield College until enough money was raised to build five courts on the present site. Joy and Jack worked tirelessly on fundraising efforts to achieve this and the club finally opened in 1964. Both were awarded Life Membership in 1971.

Concurrent with these efforts, both became involved in the Auckland Lawn Tennis Association, now known as Tennis Auckland.

Jack served on the committee of the association from 1958-1980, being appointed president in 1979 and a Life Member in 1982.

Joy assisted with a number of roles including the kitchen catering for functions for what was then known as the Benson and Hedges Tournament. Other responsibilities included Billeting Officer on the Entertainment Committee and the first Convenor on the Ladies Auxiliary. Joy was Jack’s offsider on the association until after 10 years she was made a member of the Tennis Auckland committee in her own right, going on to serve for 25 years. She was made president in 1992 and a Life Member in 1986

The Charmans moved to Pakuranga in 1975 and, naturally, joining a local tennis club was a priority. Although the Pakuranga Club was well-established at this stage, there was ample opportunity for Joy and Jack to express their love of tennis and administrative flair.

Joy’s first initiative was to inaugurate an annual tournament between the two clubs she had been involved with. As Jack was a returned soldier, Joy thought it fitting to donate a trophy recognising our returned soldiers and to be played on Anzac Day. Called ‘The Friendship Trophy’, teams of eight men and eight women played at each club in alternate years. Over the years, the honours were split evenly and it became a tangible way of expressing the comradery and remembering the history between the two clubs.

A major expansion to the clubhouse took place in 1987 and both Joy and Jack were actively involved. A building previously the Otahuhu office of John Sheers (whose wife Val was a club member) was transported to the club’s site and erected on a concrete block base to form a handsome two-story facility with viewing decks on either side.

Joy had a particular passion for encouraging junior tennis and in 1985 she instigated an annual tournament for age groups, this year’s event being reported in a <ITALICS>Howick and Pakuranga Times article of April 7, 2021. Played between the members of local east Auckland clubs, the Trophy has had tremendous success in encouraging junior tennis in our area.

Joy took an active involvement in Pakuranga’s management committee serving two terms as club president from 1985 and again from 1991 to 1994

Regrettably, Jack died while playing at Pakuranga in 1991 and Joy died in 2016 but the legacy of their total commitment to Tennis Auckland, Blockhouse Bay and Pakuranga Tennis clubs lives on to this day.

To celebrate the 100-year history of the Pakuranga Tennis Club, it is planning a weekend of activities, including a formal dinner, on February 11-13, 2022.

Past and present members are encouraged to contact the club secretary at paktennis@xtra.co.nz with name, email and postal address to receive news and details of celebrity events.