A sporting group at Dubbo is set to mark its 100th anniversary this year with a celebration of its first century and building for a bright future.
Dubbo Croquet Club was officially formed in September 1921 as a dedicated lawn edged closer to reality.
The players who keep the love of the game alive today are gearing up for a big centenary month.
Known as the Muller Park Tennis and Croquet Club since 2018 after a move to courts in Dubbo's north, it is planning a celebration day on September 11.
Its membership of about 60 people are "quite excited" about the approaching festivities, club president Tricia Shanks says.
A display of croquet in photos, articles and memorabilia, a competition for period costumes and fancy hats, and fun croquet games are planned for the occasion, which is open to the community.
A luncheon, capped at 100 people, is also in the works - providing the COVID-19 situation allows it to take place, the president reports.
The local vintage car club will be in attendance and the city's band will perform entertainment in the afternoon.
Planning is coming along well.
"Today we were sprucing up the clubhouse and rolled the courts to get them to run nicely," Mrs Shanks said.
The club will hold "come and try" croquet days on September 8, 15 and 22 and welcomes everyone in the community to attend and try their hand wielding the mallet.
Today we were sprucing up the clubhouse and rolled the courts to get them to run nicely.Club president Tricia Shanks
Mrs Shanks has been enjoying immersing herself in documents showing the rich history of the club and the sport at Dubbo.
The wives of the Dubbo Bowling Club members were asked to choose between bowls and croquet to be played at its grounds, and the women chose croquet, she reports.
In 1908 the club decided to lay down a croquet lawn, but it was not until 1920 that the project was undertaken, and completed in 1924, at an estimated cost of 300 pounds, she said.
The first president was Mrs F Palmer, who held the position from 1921 to 1954, and was held in high esteem by fellow members, Mrs Shanks reports.
She has been in correspondence with Ros Walters and David Gavel, grandchildren of Mrs Palmer, about club history.
With challenges in their 100 years of playing the club is still going strong with our new home at Muller Park in Brisbane Street, North Dubbo.Club president Tricia Shanks
The croquet club survived World War II, keeping the bowling club going while its male members were serving their country.
"With challenges in their 100 years of playing the club is still going strong with our new home at Muller Park in Brisbane Street, North Dubbo," Mrs Shanks said.
The first specifically-designed synthetic turf courts were laid at the complex in July 2020, giving the club a boost and giving it a projected saving of about $20,000 a year in mowing and watering costs.
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