A SPECIAL presentation evening was held at Banbury Tennis Club on Friday to honour club treasurer David Smith – better known as Frank – who is retiring after 40 years of dedicated service.
Mr Smith, who helped found the club in 1973 from the remnants of the Alcan Tennis Club at Horton View, was presented with gifts including a commemorative medal, an engraved plate and a certificate marking his honorary lifetime membership of the club at the special ceremony attended by many club members and honorary members.
Mr Smith was an apprentice at Alcan and a work study engineer at AP motor engineers until his retirement 15 years ago. He said he was very proud to be honoured by the club.
“They organised it very well and quite a few club members were there, which added to it greatly because they were people I’d played with in years gone by,” he said.
“We’ve had many social functions in that clubhouse over the years like dances and discos and they’ve always amounted towards our fundraising.
“I would like to thank my wife Joan. You can’t do this job efficiently without the support of your partner.
“We have been together for 30 years and she has been very helpful with all aspects of the club, although not a member herself.”
Mr Smith has been involved in major projects at the club in recent years including securing a lease from Banbury Town Council in 2008 – the first time the club had any security of tenure over its Horton View facilities – a £30,000 project to renew the floodlights on two courts and a £9,000 project to clean and re-line the courts.
The 72-year-old said the club still maintains its founding ethos to play a high standard of tennis while welcoming all.
“The main business of the club has been playing competitive tennis. But we welcome a range of people from all walks of life,” he said.
There have been many highlights in Mr Smith’s 40-year membership but one that stands out is club member Claire Taylor’s match against Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.