Jean, heartbeat of the club





The late Jean Patterson was a member of the Te Awamutu Croquet Club for more than three decades. As a player Jean advanced to become one of the club’s better players, winning five club championships in various grades. She was a regular player until health problems limited her involvement but she still loved to get along to the club either as a spectator or to give advice to new players. Jean was very active on the administration side of the club too, serving on the club’s general committee in various positions including five years as club president. She retired from this position in 2002 to pursue one of her long-term ambitions for the club. At this time the clubroom was the old Te Awamutu Dental Clinic, shifted to the park in 1979. Jean was determined that the club needed a new clubhouse and should have one. Discussions were held with the council, Te Awamutu Tennis Club and Bowls Te Awamutu but eventually it was agreed that the club would build its own facility. A site was agreed upon which was not popular with all members as it meant cutting down a number of well-established trees along the boundary. The club lost at least one member because of this. Jean never wavered — it might only be a small country club with around 40 members but as building convener she was confident they could build a purpose-built pavilion debt-free, and thanks in no small part to Jean, they did. As former Waipa¯ District Mayor Alan Livingston said at the opening, “Jean has prepared, presented, persisted, pushed and, very importantly, produced from various funding avenues. The outcome is a huge credit to her and a fantastic result for the club.” Following the opening ceremony on June 8, 2006, the first formal business was held in the new pavilion, the presentation of life membership to Jean. Jean has left a memorial to Te Awamutu and a fine pavilion for present and future members of the Te Awamutu Croquet Club.