The club itself was formed in 1965 by a group of locals including Bill Parker, the publican of the Fencible Hotel, Buddy Corlett (husband of Yvette Williams, who was New Zealand’s first female Olympic Gold Medalist) and Lloyd McIver a local dentist, who was the clubs inaugural President.
Not long after the club was up and running, Geoff Norman joined the club and encouraged his three sons to take up the game. All three boys went on to represent Auckland and New Zealand at junior and senior levels. Ross Norman was four times New Zealand champion and World champion in 1986/ 87. Ross also won the British over 35’s championship. Grant and David, still playing ’A’ grade squash, have unfortunately left New Zealand to live in Australia. Ross is still currently living in England.
Past junior successes from our club include, the Norman boys, Steven Cleary, Kathy and Hugh Leaborn Will Evans and Paige Benioni. These juniors have represented Auckland and New Zealand through three decades. Panmure is the only squash club that can boast two New Zealand junior champions at the same time, Ross Norman and Kathy Leaborn in 1976.
In the past we had several successful women representing our club as well. These include Sharon Taylor, runner up in the over 35 world championships. Julie Strictet, Annette Owens and Philippa Beams, also represented New Zealand as Panmure members.
Will Evans started at the bottom (like most people) and through total dedication to the game of squash, in 1994 he reached “A” grade at the age of 14. For many years, Will represented Panmure at every possible event. At one time or another, he won all the junior titles he entered. In 1997 Will was nominated by Panmure Squash Club for the Mt Wellington Sports Person of the Year award. It was no surprise to the club that he won it.
In 2004 Paige Benioni at age13 reached “B” grade and followed in our previous successes by winning all the tournaments she entered nationwide. At our 2004 club champs, Paige took out the junior championship and also the overall women’s championship, beating women her senior for the first time. Paige continued on with winning national titles both in New Zealand and Australia. Paige reached “A” grade but has now gone back to a top “B” grade player.
Our club has 5 squash courts, men’s and ladies showers and changing facilities, gym, and a BBQ area on the covered deck overlooking the Panmure Basin. Our bar opens at 5pm Monday to Thursday and 2pm on Saturdays. The bar can be open on Friday and Sundays also if requested for a function.
Our membership at present stands at around 270 and is growing. Members are drawn predominantly from the suburbs of east Auckland. Each year we have approximately 18 teams that enter into the Auckland interclub competitions. Our club holds 4 tournaments each year as well as a number of other events such as club championships, fun tournaments and business house tournaments.
If you are not competitive, there is plenty of time for you to enjoy a casual game of squash as a member.