The Tennant Times – 17th & 24th October 1975 (Published weekly by the Apex Club in Tennant Creek)
With the 1975 Softball season now nearing completion of its 16th year, this could be the time for some notes on the forming of the present Softball Association.
An inaugural meeting to consider the formation of a Ladies Softball Association, was held at the Tennant Creek Memorial Club on 20th March 1963.
Twenty local residents attended including two men, Mr Ross Thyer (Secretary Baseball Association) and Mr John Rhodes (baseball player) who chaired the meeting.
Following a discussion as to whether Tennant Creek was ready for such an association as the men’s baseball games held the main sporting interest in 1963. The ayes won and an election of officers was held.
The first president was Mrs Zel Thyer, previously a scorer with the Baseball Association
Vice Presidents were Mrs Daphne Muirson and Mrs Lena Abbott
Secretary – Mrs Linda Barber
Treasurer – Mrs Marianne Reilly
and a committee of five members – Jean Ross, Heather Rhodes, Beth Staunton, Joyce Pollard and Thelma Ford (scorer).
Mr Ross Thyer offered his services and was elected Official Main Umpire for the Tennant Creek Ladies Softball Association.
Three teams were registered –
Tomboys – colours black and white captained by ….
Coonawarras – colours gold and black captained by …
Kats (later named Tigers) – colours Green and gold
(if anyone can remember the captains please let me know)
The first game was between Tomboys and Coonawarras, with Kats as the duty team, and was played on the old football field on April 20th 1963.
First patrons were Mrs Hilda Tuxworth, Mrs Jean Baird, Mr Jack Hill and Mr Pat Ford.
The Grand Final was played on the 7th September 1963 and at the first combined Softball/Baseball Ball, held at the Memorial Club, the Association presented the Premier Pennant to Tomboys captain with the Minor Premiership Pennant going to the Coonawarras,
Two perpetual trophies were donated the first year, one by A and L Barber and one by Mrs Philomena Staunton.
In 1964 a perpetual trophy for inter-town competitions “The Nonie Ford Shield” was donated by Pat, Jack and Bill Ford in honour of their Mother and Grandmother, a pioneer of Tennant Creek. The first town to hold this trophy was Darwin, who won it from Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in Darwin in 1964.
In 1964 the “Saints” joined the Softball Association, their colours were navy and light blue, and in 1969 the “Lions” also joined their colours were purple and gold.
At the 1969 Softball/Baseball Ball Mrs Zel Thyer was made the first Life Member of the Association in appreciation of her valuable efforts on behalf of the Association since its formation. Other women honoured with Life Membership were Mrs Thelma Ford in 1971 (scorer and later Vice President for many years) Mrs Daphne Burton and Miss Janice Pilgrim. Members of the original committee still residing in town are Messrs Reilly, Staunton and Ford.
Kat player – Pam Edwards c. 1965