HISTORY OF NAPIER CITY PETANQUE CLUB INC
In 1995 Noel Hunt put a notice in the paper to try and get a petanque club going in the Bay. We first played on the beach at East Pier and members consisted of Noel Hunt, Derek and Olive Wright, Mary Hamilton and Dawn Gardiner.
We then played at McDonalds Winery, which had two pistes, and eventually had a meeting under the trees at the winery with over 20 people attending where Napier Petanque Club was formed. We also played at Kennedy Park and our membership grew very quickly to around 70 members.
In August 1996 Napier Bowling Club extended an invitation to us to take over one of their bowling greens and convert it to a petanque terrain. We were also invited to use their facilities. It was agreed to relocate and the club was officially opened there by the then Mayor, Alan Dick, in October 1996.
In May 1999 the bowling club officially closed so we no longer had the use of their facilities and had to bring large flasks of hot water for afternoon teas. The Hawke’s Bay Cricket Club allowed us to use their toilets, meeting room, lounge and dining room as long as we did not interfere with their operations.
Our existing kitchen and toilet was built in May 2003 with Napier Pipe Band letting us share their electricity. Our clubroom was built in March 2006.
In 2006 we became an incorporated society and our name was changed to Napier City Petanque Club Inc.
In 2011 we had a shade sail erected down the centre of the pistes as the umbrellas we had didn’t create enough shade, plus in a strong wind they were likely to take off!!!!
For many years Bill Billing was a constant on the committee holding various positions including president. Bill was a tower of strength and a great organiser with his wife Ngaire always helping in the background. Unfortunately he passed away in 2010 and is sadly missed.
Our first Hawke’s Bay Classic Doubles Champs was held Labour weekend in 1997. We have held it every year since in September or October and it has proved to be very popular.
Unfortunately, Noel Hunt had to leave and over time others have left and new people have joined.
As with all clubs, we couldn’t run it without the help of our members and we are eternally grateful to those who look after the upkeep of the grounds, the clubrooms, kitchen and toilet and the general running of the club.
We always welcome new faces to the club and if you are interested you can come along and have a go. We have practice boules for you to borrow and the first two of three visits are free to see if you like the game. Then, if you wish to become a member, the fee is $50 per year.
We would like to thank Napier City Pipe Band for allowing us to use their electricity supply, The Cricket Club for allowing us the use of their facilities in our time of need and Gardner Court Motel whose property backs onto the club for their assistance during the Classic Tournaments.
Thank you to Olive and Derek Wright for their help and especially Ngaire Billing for going through all Bills records to help put together the history of our club.