Born in 1926, Daphne Isobel Savage (nee Howells) joined The Ipswich Croquet Club in 1980.
A hand injury requiring microsurgery held back her progress in 1981-82, but in late 1982 she entered the Queensland Championship AC singles, the George Moore Trophy, where she was runner-up. She set up an area in her backyard where she practised at every opportunity with the help of her mentor, the late Henry Tite.
From then, until May 2015 Daphne practised at least twice weekly as well as mentoring new players or officiating in some other capacity at Ipswich Croquet Club. She also travelled regularly throughout Australia, sometimes for several weeks at a time, competing in both singles and doubles against elite players of that era, as well as managing and refereeing in countless events, including the elite Gold Coast tournaments.
She was the Ipswich Club Champion for three (3) years. Every year for many, many years, Daphne was selected in Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal events for each division in which she competed. She was extremely honoured when she won the prestigious Queensland Gold Medal event in 1990 making her one of only two Ipswich club recipients of the award. The other, Mrs Ivy Tite, Croquet Queensland President from 1976 to 1978 and a past Australian Croquet Junior Vice-President, was an accomplished and formidable player who won the Gold Medal in 1970. In 1985 Daphne was defeated by Bruce Fleming in the Ivy Tite Memorial Trophy event which was the last year for that competition. As well, she and Vera Boyle were thrilled to win a Gold Medal in the doubles event.
Daphne qualified as a referee in 1987 and continued in this position until 2013 when her health prevented her from continuing. However, to this day Daphne still receives enquiries from players regarding the clarification and interpretation of the Rules. A highlight of her refereeing duties was to be appointed as referee of an international game in 1993 and afterwards being presented with a British Association Badge in recognition of her contribution as Referee-in-Charge.
Daphne was an ACA Examining Referee from 1990-1996 and assisted in conducting referee courses throughout Queensland for many years.
Other duties included:
Daphne also became:
Daphne was President of Ipswich Croquet Club from 2006 until her resignation in September 2015 due to ill health. She received her Life Membership badge in 2000 in recognition of her services to the club as a player and administrator.
During this period Daphne, once again displayed limitless enthusiasm, spending nine (9) years of long negotiations on behalf of the club with the Ipswich City Council to realise a re-development that will serve the club and the community well into the future. This came to fruition when, in August 2016, the renovations to the clubhouse in heritage-listed Queens Park took place.
Throughout Daphne’s 92 years, she has fully embraced volunteering to assist in any capacity with community groups and sporting bodies. During this time her hard-working efforts and dedication to the task and the people involved, she initiated and implemented necessary changes that have greatly improved each project undertaken. A concise overview of some of her notable achievements follows:
Over a period of 11 years she was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary Committee, working in the tuckshop each week, on fund-raising drives and as treasurer for a short time.
Her desire to help where she could in the community became evident when there was a need for additional adult support with the local Brownie group. Daphne quickly volunteered and became a Tawny Owl in 1959 and subsequently helped many girls attain their badges over the ensuing years.
Daphne’s son Greg began playing Australian Rules football at primary school in the interschool Friday competition. As many teams from state and private schools played each week, the need for volunteers to help run the competition was vital. Daphne became the sole volunteer for the next three years enabling the sport to prosper in the schools. Then Daphne, along with her husband, became members of the Ipswich Cats Junior Australian Rules Football club and worked tirelessly for many years as the treasurer, canteen provedore and laundry manager, in addition to transporting children to and from games in various suburbs of Brisbane while assisting Mervyn with the secretarial role. Mervyn was awarded Life Membership posthumously in 1976 for his administration work on and off the field. Daphne filled the role of manageress on interstate trips with football teams, presenting an opportunity for her to instil the meaning of team work, acceptance of each other’s abilities and respect for each other and for property in young male adolescents.
Daphne had a 20-year association in administration with the Ipswich Ladies Vigoro Association. On the local scene, Daphne volunteered her time
At state vigoro level, Daphne willingly gave of her time by becoming a Queensland State selector for teams participating in the All-Australia annual competitions held in various centres throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. She was an official Queensland representative to the All-Australia Delegates’ Meeting and a selector for the Australian team. Daphne received Queensland Life Membership for her dedication and commitment to Queensland Vigoro.
In 1996 Daphne suffered a significant heart attack and subsequently required some rehabilitation intervention. She was the first person to attend the newly-opened Ipswich Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre and “Just Walk It” programmes so volunteered to fill the role of laundry convenor for eight (8) years. Through the support group, she undertook training and became a Patient Visitation Counsellor visiting patients in the cardiac units of the Ipswich hospitals where she provided helpful information for their recovery, rehabilitation and ongoing well-being. Daphne was presented with a Plaque of Appreciation for her dedication and willingness to assist in 2001 from the Rehab Centre.
(Nominated by Ipswich Croquet Club, inducted to the Croquet Queensland Hall of Recognition in September 2018)
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