AYC Pennant

Ean Cannell

Ean Cannell  1932 – 2014

A tribute to Ean Cannell delivered at the AYC Annual end of season dinner and awards night 2014 by Campbell Palfrey:

It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to say a few words about Ean.

I met Ean in the early seventies, as a tennis player at Geilston Bay and as a member of the AYC Committee that would take over the lounge room for meetings banishing the family to the kitchen.

Ean had joined the AYC in 1953 and was President from 1959 – 1986. This was a time when the work was all done by hand and many long meetings were required to get the roster up and running for 70 to 80 teams.

Ean always took a very considered approach to rule and rosters. He presided over the time when many of our current rules were established to ensure fair play, also at the time that the pennant was transitioning to Club based and when the best players in the south generally participated.

These were the times when rules covering issues such as point limits and qualifying for finals were introduced or refined, on many occasions teams were asked to redistribute players to ensure a competitive pennant.

Ean was installed as a life member in 1972 at the Polish Hall in front of 240 players and friends.

He was also involved with National Fitness Council, the AYC parent body.
The National Fitness Council had been established as a federal government initiative to improve physical activity levels in the 1930’s, the AYC provided opportunities for those not already involved with established Clubs, some of you may remember playing for Young Liberals, Alexander, or Northern Suburbs.

Ean played in the pennant for 50 years, happy just to be participating and was one of the few players who participated across every division of the pennant during his time. He had many successes on court including winning the A grade doubles on a couple of occasions. He often partnered his beloved wife Pat.

For many years Ean ran a small hobby business, Racquet Sports, selling racquets, balls and other tennis equipment and stringing racquets from a small room under his house alongside his wine cellar and motor bikes. He served the needs of many local tennis players.

 This was long before Stringlab or On-line shopping and tennis players would be seen visiting the 8th floor of the State Offices and returning with a new tracksuit, some tennis shorts or a new racquet. The city office of Racquet Sports was relocated to the Trust Bank building when the Planning Commission moved. Ean was very keen that the art of stringing not be lost to the commercial side and taught me to string when he was beginning to find it difficult.

As a player Ean was an active member of the Geilston Bay Tennis Club and played regularly, not only in the AYC pennant, but also in the now extinct Saturday afternoon pennant and South Eastern Districts Tennis Association events along with many Club social and competitive events.

Ean was highly intelligent and always respectful of those he was dealing with, truly a gentleman. While, sadly, he passed away in January, we have all benefited from Ean choosing to give up his time for tennis.

Thanks to Mike Hodge, Ros Williams and Campbell Palfrey for providing the above.