The South Hawthorn Tennis Club has a long and proud history. From it’s beginnings in the 1920’s there have been many people who have contributed to the club as players, administrators and social members. These pages will try to keep their memories alive and recognise the efforts they have made to make the club what it is today. Before the tennis courts were constructed Anderson Park was used as a paddock for council horses, so we have come a long way to the beautiful park we have today.

In the style of “Wikipedia” we welcome contributions or corrections to the content of these pages and we thank the people who contribute the memories, stories and photographs that make up this history. Please send any information to info@shtc.org.au


Club members 1932 ( note the playground in the same place it is today )


William Robert “Gordon” Longmuir was one of the founders of South Hawthorn Tennis Club. He was Secretary from 1928-33. He was president from 1933-36 and 1940-48. Throughout his life Gordon was a contributor to the community and was never afraid to take on a leadership role.

Gordon Longmuir was raised in Brunswick and attended University High. He met his wife Gladys at St Augustines in Brunswick where they were later married. He was a builder by profession and he and Gladys settled at # 7 Constance St just next to Anderson Park. Being a keen tennis player he must have looked longingly at the land in Anderson Park and seen the prospect of building a tennis club there. He and Gladys had 3 children, Robert “Bob”, Joyce and Ian.

He had a building yard in Burwood Rd Hawthorn just across from the Town Hall, where Swinburne is now. Timber and building materials were stored in the yard and trucks used to drive in from the back, load up and drive out onto Burwood Rd and on to one of the more than 300 projects completed by W O Longmuir and son, in Hawthorn and the surrounding areas.

Through his life Gordon was always willing to put his hand up when volunteers were called for. Apart from his roles with South Hawthorn, he was President of East Suburban Tennis Association, President of the Masters Builders association, Commissioner for the Board of Works and Councilor for Hawthorn. In 1946-47 he was Mayor of Hawthorn.


He was a well respected man, who was happy to contribute if he felt he could help. In his very first meeting as a councillor for Hawthorn the newspaper reported the following,

“Cr. Longmuir, who was recently elected for the Auburn Ward to fill the vacancy caused through the death of Cr. J. A. Gray, M.L.A., bombarded the Hawthorn Council with a barrage of requests on his first appearance. Declaring that he might not be in the Council very long, (being due for re-election in August), Cr Longmuir said things had a nasty habit of being deferred.

Amongst the requests he voiced, were improved train services for Gardiner and Tooronga, increased Police protection for South Hawthorn and the clearing of unmade rights of way.

The various matters were referred to suitable committees for consideration.

When told that the Council had tried unsuccessfully to obtain increased Police protection and that the matter was not a municipal one, Cr Longmuir replied: ‘I realise it is not a municipal matter, but it affects the rate payers and you will never get anywhere unless you continue to agitate’.”

At a later meeting Gordon was quoted as saying that “the channels (gutters) on the Hawthorn side of Burke Rd were a disgrace to the municipality, when they were compared with those constructed by Camberwell council on the opposite side.”

Clearly Gordon Longmuir didn’t pull any punches.

Meanwhile Gladys Longmuir didn’t just stand by idly watching her husbands activities. In January 1947, as Lady Mayoress, she chaired a meeting of 200 women at Hawthorn Town Hall at which, “speakers commended an article by Mrs Gladys A Hain, published yesterday in The Argus, in which Mrs Hain deplored the apathy of women voters and called on them to take a greater interest in public affairs.” The meeting was called as a protest against striking gasworkers and against the Government for “its inaction and apparent indifference to the plight of the community.” It also urged a reduction of taxation as a means of overcoming industrial troubles.

Times were very different then, before the war the club was not allowed to use the courts on Sundays and for many years after the war, play was only allowed in the afternoon. The club applied to Council in 1939 to allow tennis to be played on Sundays, but was refused.

During the war Gordon was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and was stationed in Brisbane, where the family lived for 18 months.

After a long illness Gordon Longmuir died in 1956 at the age of 54.

In memory of his contribution to the South Hawthorn Tennis Club the courts were named the “Longmuir Courts”.

Gordon’s son Bob Longmuir, took over the building business and was also a keen tennis player as well as a committee member of the club. He was Secretary in 1952.

Gordon’s daughter Joyce Longmuir attended Auburn South Primary and remembers during the war there were trenches and shelters on the oval behind the classrooms. Local children had to go to the Town Hall to be instructed on how to use gas masks. Joyce went to Brisbane with the family before returning and finishing her schooling at MLC. Along with Elsie Williams, Joyce was the first Junior member of South Hawthorn Tennis Cub.

Joyce married Ross Teele and both were members and keen players for South Hawthorn. A typical weekend for the Teele’s might involve Joyce traveling by tram with her three team mates ( Jill Hamilton, Val Birch and Norma Richards ) to play State Pennant tennis at clubs such as Brunswick.

They then returned to South Hawthorn for social play in the afternoon. Perhaps on the Saturday night the club might hold a dinner and Square Dance for the members, the wooden floors in the clubhouse were ideal for dancing.

On Sundays the morning was spent at church, before Joyce and Ross were back at South Hawthorn for tennis in the afternoon.

Gordon’s Grandson and Bob’s son, Graeme Longmuir was President of South Hawthorn Tennis Club from 2006-10 and Graeme’s wife Julia served on the committee for several years in the mid 2000’s.

Gordon Longmuir was made a Life Member in 1949.