To contact the Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club
Call 0409 935 936 during business hours
Write to PO Box 127, Albert Park, VIC 3206.
To apply for join, read more on the Membership page.
Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club 1884-2016
“We are glad to see at last the younger members of our community, and some of the older ones as well have seen the necessity of forming a local tennis club. It is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, and one of the great advantages of the game is that it can be played by members of both sexes in the open air, and always under the observation of critical spectators.”
-- Report in the South Melbourne Citizen newspaper of Thursday, December 5, 1883.
There are bigger clubs. There are more famous clubs. There are even some older clubs – but not many. And very few tennis clubs, anywhere, have a setting as perfect as our place in the park.
Twin courts have been situated at the western end of St Vincent Gardens since 1884. The club is older than the AFL, manned flight, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the telephone. In its time, and in between all the tennis matches won and lost or never finished, members went off to war, endured the depression and stock market crashes, and saw governments rise and fall.
The club has seen many changes over the years: a name change (from South Melbourne Lawn Tennis Club to Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club); changes in court surface (asphalt to en-tout-cas to the present Classic Clay) innumerable changes in racquet size, shape and composition, changes in the colour of the tennis balls. As for fashion, long, short, then somewhere in between, white, coloured, then a mix of both.
But some things never change. The fundamental things apply. From the 19th century to well into the 21st century the essence of the club has remained the same: playing in the park.
-- Alan Attwood’s introduction to Playing in the Park, Joy Bandy’s history of the Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club.
Not many tennis clubs have a book written about them, but the APLTC does. PLAYING IN THE PARK: A History of the Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club by Joy Bandy is a wonderfully evocative history of the club, its beginnings back in 1884 and development up until now. Through historical pictures and well-crafted words, the book tells the story of the people who made this club what it is, the games and competitions through the decades, and how it was shaped by and, in turn, helped shape the communities of Albert Park, Middle Park and South Melbourne. PLAYING IN THE PARK is both an accurate historical record and an entertaining read. The author, Joy Bandy, is a long-term playing member of the club and is regarded as the backbone of the mid-week ladies’ pennant team, having played with that team for three decades. Joy has also served her time on the committee and still contributes her time and energy to events and activities around the club, as well as finding time for social tennis.
To buy the book about the club in the park, drop in on a Sunday morning when the social game is on as there is always a committee member or two or three who will help.