It is with great sadness that we report the death of Gordon Smith, one of CNZ’s Life Members and one of the pioneers of modern golf croquet in New Zealand. Gordon passed away on Sunday 7 May.
Gordon began his croquet career in the late 1970s in Canterbury and had early success in 1981 when he won the South Island Men’s Championship, the South Island Level Singles and the South Island Handicap Singles all at the same AC tournament. He won the New Zealand Men’s Handicap Singles in 1985 and as a consequence of that win, won the Arthur Ross Memorial, which was then played as a match between the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Handicap Singles at the New Zealand Championships. Gordon remained a strong player for many years at New Zealand tournaments.
Gordon was one of the leaders of the development of Golf Croquet in its modern form in New Zealand. He was New Zealand’s first representative on the WCF Golf Croquet Rules Committee. He chaired that committee for some time and contributed significantly to the development of the Rules and also to golf croquet refereeing in New Zealand.
He was always prepared to contribute to the administration of the sport within New Zealand. During his time in the Manawatu Association, he served as its Association Referee and, from 2001/2 to 2005/6, as the Association’s President. He also took on national administration roles, first as a CNZ Councillor for 3 years from 2002 and then as one of the Vice-Presidents for a further 3 years from 2005.
Gordon and his wife Marlene later returned to Christchurch, where he served as the Canterbury Association’s President in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
Gordon was elected a Life Member of Croquet New Zealand in 2012.
Our thoughts are with Gordon’s family.