Garth Beresford (1937 - 2017)

Garth was married to Anne and together they played a major role in South African and Gauteng croquet.

Greta Snaith tells me that Garth and Derrick Snaith were together at Parkview Primary School before going their separate ways and building their careers but they reconnected years later at the then Bruma Lake Croquet Club which went on to become Observatory, Croquet Club where they were joined by Hans and the Paton brothers, Patterson Park and eventually Golden Mallets which on the day I write this, decided to close its doors.

Garth and Derrick, with help from Hans, started Zoo Lake Croquet Club around 2000 and this went on to became one of the strongest Golf Croquet Clubs in Gauteng. Maria and and I joined in 2002 and Garth introduced me to the game and to Association.

As an engineer Garth had a fine sense of what was right and what was wrong and it was no surprise that he took on the Chief Referees role for SACA and was elected as a member of the World Croquet Federation Rules committee. He contributed to their deliberations and to the development of the 2013 set of rules. He told me that, like many players, he never understood how a player could crush against another ball. He was responsible for me eventually taking over as Chief Referee when he felt he had had enough.

He had a comprehensive work shop and woodworking tools and ability. He made much of the equipment used in those early days.

When travelling to Zoo Lake from his home in Boksburg became too strenuous and he was comfortable Zoo Lake was in good hands, those of John Rowlands, he found premises in Boksburg and started the Boksburg Club. When this moved to Avion Park he continued to take an interest in the activities of the club.

Garth was always available when I had queries or needed help with difficult situations. His contribution to South African croquet was immense, never done in search of glory and always most humbly.

Our thoughts are with Ann and the family and our sense of loss real. You will miss him but so will we.

Henry Watermeyer

John Kirsten (1944 - 2016)

15 April 1944 – – – 28 January 2016

Johan was born in Graaff Rienet & was the eldest of 4 children. He attended Volksskool where he excelled at sport. He was a headboy. After leaving school he enrolled at the Graaff Rienet Teachers’ Training College for 4 years, where his father was Deputy/Vice Principal. It was here that he met & fell in love with Noeline. They were married shortly after qualifying as teachers.

In 1967, they accepted teaching & hostel posts at the Secondary School in Engobo in the Transkei. In 1971 they joined the staff of the Port Alfred High School, where Johan eventually rose to become Head of the Primary section & Noeline became Head of the Kindergarten. He retired in 2005. They had 2 daughters, 2 grandsons & a granddaughter.

They joined the Port Alfred Croquet Club in 2000. He served on the Croquet Committee for several years; was assistant (& later chief) groundsman for the Croquet section; served on a Bar Team for many years, later becoming Bar Manager, a position he held until 2015. He supervised & paid the Club’s Car guard & general factotum. He played very competitive croquet & took part in several Provincial & National Tournaments around the country, winning more than a few titles!!

In 200I/2 he was part of the ‘founding team ‘ from Port Alfred, of the St Andrews Croquet Club in East London. He was Tournament Manager of the EP Highlander Croquet Tournament (now called the Allan Wilson Golf Croquet Classic) for several years. He also managed the SACA Nationals & SA Masters’ Croquet Tournaments here in Port Alfred, as well as managing SACA Nationals in East London.

In 2003, he joined the Bowls section of the Port Alfred Bowling & Croquet Club & won the Novice’s Singles in 2003 & 2005.

His passing has left a huge hole in many people’s lives, especially at the Port Alfred Bowling & Croquet Club. Rest in Peace Johan, you will be sorely missed. Hamba gahle!

Henrietta Heim

13th December, 2015 Last weekend the croquet community lost, in sudden death, one of the great contributors to the game in the province.
Henrietta Heim was not only Secretary to the Cape Provincial Association for many years but ran most of the provincial championships with grace and patience.
She was also the tournament manager at the relatively recent national championships held in Somerset West.
Although primarily the secretary at Fish Hoek Croquet Club previously, Henrietta was always available to help with an encouraging word and was well informed in all the aspects of our game.

Henrietta will certainly be missed and our condolences and best wishes are with her family.

Peter Millson (1925 – 2014)

Peter Millson is one of the better known names in croquet in South Africa – both for Golf Croquet and Association Croquet.

He is known not only for his prowess as a croquet player (across both disciplines of the game) as many Somerset West club and SACA national croquet competition trophies will attest but he is also known as a “top performer” in terms of the good of the game – at all levels.

Peter Millson represented all that is good about the game of croquet. He was competitive, fair, decent, fun (with added British humour), always generous, a thinking man and a wily player. Peter, along with most of the players of that era, carried the torch of chivalry – regardless of the score line !

He was a great friend to have and for those fortunate to know him well he was a great mentor (on and off the lawns).

His passion for the game and the people that he played with (and against) never wavered. He was one of the true gentlemen that helps make the game of croquet stand out from other sports. He and his reputation will be missed by many for many years to come.

I hope that there is a Heaven because people like Peter deserve to keep on playing the game he excelled at for so long – forever. Grahame Tomes