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.
The Historical Item in this issue gives a detailed report on Ireland’s first home loss to Scotland. It is interesting that the date of the match had been altered because of King George VI. This also occasioned the Irish Open Championship to be confined to a one day event. However the event was honoured with the participation of the All England winning Choong brothers. One wonders would the International Match date have been altered if Dublin was the venue.
The Gallery item shows players who played an Exhibition match in Terenure Centre in 1961. This was a wonderful line up of International. Midland Branch organised many such Exhibitions which played to full houses. These were held around the country and not just in Dublin.
We have just received news that Bobby Harris has passed away in Australia where he has been living for about 40 years. Bobby played 21 times for Ireland between 1961 and 1968. He was National Singles Champion on 6 occasions. Those who recall Bobby will remember his fierce determination on the Singles court. Although slight in stature his chasing down of shuttles was a major attribute. It is fair to say that he did not have too much regard for orthodox fitness regimes and this made his success more admirable.
For most of his career he was a member of Pembroke Badminton Club and was a member in the true sense. He played in the club on a regular basis and was quite happy to be on the pegs system by which games were arranged. Thus many less talented players had an opportunity of sharing the court with him. Bobby always enjoyed the social side of the game which made him a popular member in the club. The writer has many memories of Bobby but one match sticks in my mind. Bobby played Chick Doyle in the Final of the 1961 Co.Louth Open. Chick was a seasoned international player while Bobby was still uncapped. Bobby lost very closely in a really thrilling three setter. On the following Tuesday the pair met again in a cup match in Dublin between Pembroke and Ailesbury and this time Bobby came out on top and shortly afterwards was selected to play for Ireland. At a time when Badminton was principally a winter sport he spent his summers playing senior cricket Leinster C.C. He was a bowler with a huge amount of heart and as with Badminton was a real member of the Cricket club. Bobby and his wife Anne (Price) emigrated to Australia about 40 years ago and he very much enjoyed the opportunity to see top class cricket between his golf and bowling commitments. We extend our sympathies to Anne and all his family and friends in Ireland