About this time every year, the tennis community in Queensland would look back on a successful year and start preparing for a busy summer of tennis.
But this is not a normal year by any measure and Tennis Queensland would like to acknowledge all of the unsung heroes who played their part in keeping the sport thriving in a challenging 2020.
Whilst it’s a dangerous path to single out any volunteer, it is justified to honour John Kenneth Peach.
The Tennis community lost one of its greatest unsung heroes this year with the passing of John, aged 81.
Alongside his wife Pat, John dedicated his life to the growth of tennis in Rockhampton for 40 years.
John was a top country tennis player, winning many events including the Rockhampton Closed Singles title which was littered with champion players like Ollie Smith, Norm James & Kenny Lawn.
John also played in an exhibition match with Rod Laver which was a highlight of his tennis career.
John was a long standing President of the Rockhampton Junior Tennis Association (RJTA)between 1980 – 2020, becoming a life member with Pat during that time.
John and Pat were also involved in conducting the RJTA and JDS Circuit tournaments since their inception some 40 years ago as well as being valuable members of the organising team for the Head State Age.
Roberta Joyner, a volunteer colleague of John’s at RJTA paid this tribute.
“John’s commitment and passion for the sport he loved, particularly Junior Tennis has been second to none.
Prior to the Rockhampton Regional Tennis Centre in 2010 being built the RJTA lead by John & Pat looked after the maintenance of the back 10 courts 16-25 with several court upgrades during that time. RIP John Peach Your contribution will never be forgotten.”
John was also a valued member of the Regional Assembly for several years.
Rhett McKinnon has this tribute on behalf of the RA.
“John was a big advocate for getting the Rocky players to play all throughout the region. Always volunteered at regional events and always supported the regional teams events will a few teams of Rocky juniors.”
He was extremely organised, a great leader and very well respected throughout the region. He was a fantastic tournament director and his quote he would always say after calling player’s names was ‘you’re right to go’. The motto his committee created at Junior Tennis was Quality Tennis at an Affordable Cost.”
John and Pat both received a Tennis Queensland Geoffrey E Griffith Order of Merit for their services to Tennis.
John is survived by his wife Pat, daughter Kris, son John and daughter-in-law, Cathy.