Widden Valley Tennis 1949

Widden Valley Tennis 1949

Featured Image: Acknowledge Richard Harris and ‘Insider Old Photos’, Lifestyle Page 113, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’, December 17, 2023.

I recall Richard (seated in the chair) having sent his wedding photographs to this newspaper some years ago. The photo brought back many happy memories for me although I only made my debut in the Widden Valley in 1967. Many of the would be-Davis Cup aspirants were well known to me, and many became my trusted friends throughout my professional life. I have written eulogies about Cliff Ellis and the Harris Brothers (x3).

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/cliff-ellis-industry-gentleman/

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/holbrook-stud-and-the-harris-family/

In addition, Glen Wahlen was the single teacher at Giant’s Creek Public School when his star pupil later became High Court Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of Australia.

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/the-harvard-man/

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/stephen-gageler-to-replace-susan-kiefel-as-high-court-chief-justice/

Richard Harris himself achieved a measure if fame as the breeder of champion racehorse Lord Dudley.

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/lord-dudley/

There might have been a budding Adrian Quist, John Bromwich, Ken McGregor or Frank Sedgman in the group but it’s a very long journey from Widden to Wimbledon. I know Cliff Ellis was partially instrumental in hosting both Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall in a demonstration match at Denman RSL Club in the early 1960s. George Ryder at ‘Woodlands’ was THE ‘mover-and-shaker’ then.

Ross Flynn (‘Oakleigh Stud’) is not included in the group because T L (‘Tom’) Flynn was yet to acquire both Emu Vale and Oakleigh Stud. Ross was a mean tennis ‘tragic’ and enjoyed many duals with his great mate Bill ‘Boozer’ Fittock from Aberdeen at the ‘Oakleigh’ homestead ant-bed court. The latter had beaten both Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall as juniors. However, Bill elected for a more congenial and relaxed lifestyle mostly committed to the licensed premises of his home town.