The purpose of the Badminton Museum of Ireland is to preserve the great heritage of Irish Badminton and to make the general badminton public aware of it.
In this issue we are showing two items from 86 years ago and 56 years ago.
The historical item covers the Ulster Open Championships and that is appropriate as this seasons event has just been held. This was the first event played in a new Hall, built especially for Badminton. Although not specified in the article this was the Sans Souci Hall that was to hold many major events in the ensuing years. I am trying to establish when the Hall ceased to be used. Ulster Branch, of course, subsequently built another Centre, The McCallum Hall, which hosted all the major events for a number of years. This Hall also subsequently fell into disuse. In looking at the entry for this seasons event one might feel that that the Ulster Branch President could have borrowed his predecessor’s speech of 86 years ago.
In relation to the Irish Open Championships mentioned under the heading “the All-Ireland Championships” it is interesting to see Devlin and Mack, probably Ireland’s greatest ever partnership, on opposite side in the Mens Doubles final. George Thomas, the presenter of the Thomas Cup, had a remarkable connection with this event. He won the Mens Doubles on thirteen occasions with seven different partners. He won the Mens Singles on six occasions and also won the Mixed Doubles seven times.
The gallery section shows a photograph of the Leinster Executive Committee and competitors at the playing of the first Tournament in the new Headquarters at Whitehall Road. If the Executive members are looking pleased they have every right to be. The work involved in getting the Hall completed from scratch would have been huge. It would be nice to be able to identify the players so I would be glad to receive any information through the website. The Midland Branch Tournament was for many years the biggest event in Europe in terms of number of entries. The scheduling of the event over a period of three weeks was always done very efficiently by the experienced Tournament committee. The event was always a fitting climax to the playing season in Leinster.
Dick O’Rafferty, Curator, Badminton Museum of Ireland