The Bondi Waverley Squash Club Limited
Squash Racquets first came to 8 Denison Street in 1958 with the opening of Croft’s Squash Courts. Croft’s, named after local property developer Doug Croft, it is believed to have been the second squash court complex in the Eastern Suburbs. Croft’s continued to operate up until 1963 when Croft applied for the Club to be registered as a public company.
On the 26th August, 1963 Bondi-Waverley Squash Club Limited was incorporated and membership was opened. Croft also applied for a liquor license at around this time. With the assistance of the late Sir William McMahon, the club was successful in obtaining a license to sell liquor on the 18th February 1965. A stand alone squash club with a liquor license was unheard of and – other than us – still is!
To lift the playing standard, Croft arranged for Mahommend Dardir to become the Club’s resident coach. Dardir was the professional champion of Egypt from 1951-1958 so it was no surprise that the Club provided a great number of players to the Australian team. These included Ken Hiscoe who won the British Amateur in 1962, Ted Hamilton (also a well-known singer and actor), Dick Carter, who was a finalist in the 1965 British and won the New Zealand title that same year and Bill Reedman who was twice runner-up for the British.
A great number of women have also represented the Club over many years. These include Jenny Irving, No 2 to the world champion, Heather McKay along with Thea Moore, Debbie Holland, Helen Sciacca, Marg Willard, Maria Hatch and the late Yvonne West and many others.
In the early years, our Saturday evening entertainment was always of a high standard due to our music maestro, Gus Merzi. Gus ran the ABC’s Jazz Department and was always on the lookout for new talent. As a result, Club members previewed The Bee Gees, Helen Reddy, and Sandy Scott. Another regular was Johnnie O’Connor, who would just turn up. Getting our own Ted Hamilton off the stage was always an effort.
2004 saw the introduction of the Squash Matrix software into the NSW Squash Competition system. The software, which allows players to map their ranking and also follow opponents scores and statistics was a huge hit and revolutionized how the way some players prepare for matches. Major refurbishment was also carried out to the downstairs bar area during that year. Ceiling lights were added to the bar for added ambiance and new tables and stained chairs were purchased. The gaming room was similarly reorganized and painted in order to house the six gaming machines.
2011 saw the revival of the Bondi Waverley Open, for the first time in many years. The event has been well patronized with over 100+ players contesting the various grades.
The Squash Club continues to provide a first class squash facility with an excellent bar.