The members of the Southern Highlands Croquet Club have paid their respects following the passing of one of the club's founding members and maiden president in Nancy Dane.
Nancy was a Club member for seventeen years from 21 July, 1991 to 30th June, 2008, and held Executive Positions and served on the Committee within the Cub for thirteen of those years.
She served as president from July 1991 to June 1993 and again in July 2002 to June 2004.
She also served as vice-president from July 1993 to June 1994. She was club secretary from 1995 to 1998 and again in 2004-2006 and also regularly served on the regular committee until 2008.
From the Club's beginning Nancy had a vision and she worked tirelessly to this end.
As President Nancy lead the negotiations with council to obtain a suitable site for the club, with members initially playing at Craigieburn (now Peppers Craigieburn Bowral) and from July 1992 at the Mittagong Bowling Club, which has since closed and demolished.
Land was eventually allocated by Council at Exeter in 1993.
As a new member, I was told how Nancy had lead the then members into what was to be the deciding Council meeting dressed in their white uniforms and carrying their croquet mallets. Caused quite a stir apparently.
Nancy, as well as working with other members to prepare our current site took on the added responsibility of researching the best grass for our lawns, this she had to do without the aid of the internet.
We should all be thankful for Nancy's efforts, as over many years - the club has been complemented on our lawns by visiting croquet clubs.
Members played on the Exeter Park oval until work was completed. The croquet lawns were officially opened on 30 March, 1996 by MP Joanna Gash, a former Wingecarribee Shire councillor who had strongly supported the club.
With the club lawns secured, the committee was able to schedule play days and competition days to suit the members, host inter-club social visits and competition as they wished and overall improve the playing experience and social aspects for members.
Nancy continued to work tirelessly for the club after the lawns were opened. Over the years drainage of the lawns was improved, shade covers installed, lawn seating provided, storage sheds built, a lawn mower purchased and our Bank Contingency Account was started to save funds for unforeseen expenditure or emergencies.
When Club membership declined in the early 2000's the Contingency Account saved the club from closing, by enabling the Club to meet its outgoing expenses.
Nancy resigned from the Club on June, 2008, but always maintained a keen interest in the club through former and current members.
Nancy had always envisaged a "Club House" something out of reach during her time with the Club. She was thrilled when she received an invitation to the "Grand Opening of the Jim Skillen Shed on May 18, 2019 as an honoured guest which she accepted with great pleasure.
Her vision for the Club had been realised.
It is understood that Nancy died peacefully at home.
We, the members of the Southern Highlands Croquet Club have much to thank Nancy Dane for as we continue to enjoy her legacy today
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