Keith & Lola Young joined South Hawthorn in 1955. Keith had been a keen footballer for many years, playing for Tooronga at an oval next to Tooronga Station, now a Freeway!!

In those days you couldn’t just walk into a club & become a member, you had to go on trial for a period of time. Keith was a strong player, but when he and Lola applied for membership, the club asked Lola to come down each Sunday to the social day to try out for membership. Ernie Johns ( President 1952-55 ) watched the prospective members to make sure they were of a standard acceptable for membership and after a months trial, Lola and Keith were accepted as members.

At that time, the doubles championships were seeded, with the strongest players at the club partnering the newest members. This meant Lola was partnered in her first year at the club by Norma Richards and they duly won the event.

Between them Keith and Lola served the tennis club for 17 years, before building a house at Lorne and spending their weekends there. Lola continued to play at South hawthorn and played on Thursdays for 50 years. I guess you would call that a permanent booking.

Keith was an engineer for Shell and Amaco, but still managed to perform the role of President from 1959-62, 1965-67 and 1971-74 and was committee member for many years, looking after the club and club house. In those days there was no caretaker at the club, so all court maintenance, gardening and other duties were performed by members, mostly at working bees. Courts were refurbished when needed, with all the work being done by members. This meant the resurfacing of the courts and re-laying of the lines. There were no plastic lines in those days, they were made of lead and came in reels and were held in place with 4″ nails. Imagine banging them into the ground.

Meanwhile the club had a very active social life, with an Annual Ball being held, with dancing, entertainment and presentation of trophies. Event winners were given an allowance to purchase something they wanted as a prize ( hence Lola holding the mini bbq in the photo ).

Lola managed the organisation of 17 club balls. The club used many venues, including the Glenferrie Ballroom on the corner of Glenferrie and Wattletree rds. One year the club had the event at Blackburn and not being a driver, Lola went by public transport to Blackburn to deliver the deposit cheque and organise place settings and decorations for the big night. Sisters, Sue Waldon and Pat Robertson were a big help in organising the balls. Sue and Pat lived across the road from the club and looked after the club keys and balls. After Lola retired from her club duties she passed on much of the social organisation to her daughter Rosslyn Green.

The club was also known for its card nights ( no tv back then kids !! ) sometimes attracting 20 tables of players for “Crazy Whist” nights.

In those days the club only had 4 courts and often competition teams had only 1 court for the day. This meant that sometimes matches went till late afternoon or evening. Afternoon tea was always served, with generally Ladies bringing the food and the Gentlemen paying the ball money. Often teams would finish on a Saturday evening and re-convene at the Young’s house (just down the road) for further discussion of the days proceedings. This left little time for anything else, with tennis club activities on Saturday and Sunday all day ( Lola played Wednesday and Thursdays as well ).

Meanwhile the children of members had a wonderful time, entertaining themselves in Anderson Park with the older children looking out for the younger ones.

It’s not surprising that Keith and Lola have many friends from South hawthorn and still have dinner every month with a group from the club including, John Shaw, Don Curnick, Lynne Curnick, Ken Curnick, Pat Shaw, Col Walden and Bev Goodall.

Keith was made a Life Member of the club in 1984 and still plays tennis twice a week at Bulleen Tennis Club at the age of 87.

The club struck a trophy in 2010 for the Men’s Doubles Championship. It bears the name the “Keith Young Trophy”.

Lola Young passed away on 11th April 2014.