Preliminary meetings were held in late 1924 to talk about setting up a new sports club in an area originally known as Fendall Town, named by Walpole Fendall who had emigrated from Yorkshire in 1850 and took up land north of the Waimairi Stream.
Those first meetings led to a General Meeting on February 11th, 1925, at which a decision was made to purchase 2¾ acres of land at 43 Burnside Road, for the sum of £2,200.00. This was followed by a meeting on February 19th, when it was decided that the Club should be "The Fendalton Tennis and Croquet Club". After more monthly meetings, The Club was finally incorporated, and the rules were passed at a General Meeting on October 12th, 1925.
A month later saw the purchase of boiler tubes, the erection of a water tank shed, and the acceptance of a tender to fit up and paint a farm shed as a pavilion. The Club was finally established in 1926 on three courts, and Mr G.E. Royds was elected its first President on January 19th of that same year.
Burnside Road, in those days, was not much more than a dirt trail. It actually passed through Burnside Farm land. The wider area was part of Fendalton until 1959 when the city council officially made Burnside a suburb. On 26 November in the same year, Burnside Road was renamed Memorial Avenue in the memory of all the air service personnel who had died in World War II, and as part of a major road upgrade between Fendalton Road and the airport.
The Club remained at that location for some 48 years — when a Special General Meeting (over which Mr O.H. Waters presided on July 2nd, 1973) resolved, due to a groundswell of membership opinion and the favourable findings of a sub-committee which had been established the previous year, to move the Club to a more suitable situation.
After negotiations with The Waimairi County Council and other sports clubs, preparations were soon underway to effect the much-anticipated relocation to the new site at Burnside Park.
The move was made in 1978 soon after the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary under the Presidency of Margaret Murray on the old site.
Initially, eight hard courts were laid at the new site, but after subsequent improvements, the complex now boasts an attractive, versatile club house and ten courts (six of which are hard courts with synthetic coatings, and four of which are in AstroTurf synthetic grass). Floodlighting covers seven of these, enabling play, coaching and Business House tennis in the evenings.
At the 81st AGM of The Fendalton Tennis Club, Inc. on July 15th, 2006, the rank and file membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of changing the Club's name to The Burnside Park Tennis Club, Inc. - in deference to its "new" location in Burnside Park. By this time it had established one of the largest junior memberships in New Zealand. Subsequent years have seen the club entering a rebuilding phase as focusses more and more on encouraging wider community participation.
Burnside Road, Christchurch
Re-laying of Courts 8, 9 and 10 (1996)
Fendalton Tennis Club Opening Day 1927
The first Club Championships were in January 1927 and entry fees were set for Singles and Doubles 2/- and Mixed Doubles 1/6 each. It was recommended Championship events be completed by June 30th, and Handicap events by December 31st.
Winners of those first Championship and Handicap matches were:
Men's Championship Singles JR Crawshw Jr (A Stewart Esq. Cup) — Ladies Championship Singles Miss M Wake — Men's Championship Doubles MG Somerville and Hale (TD Harman Esq. Cup) — Ladies Championship Doubles Misses M and ED Oxley — Ladies Handicap Singles Miss R Dallas — Men's Handicap Doubles EW England and Labbott — Ladies Handicap Doubles Mrs Fleming and Mrs Falconer — Combined Handicap Doubles Mrs EE Crawshaw and JR Crawshaw
From "Burnside Park -It's History, People and Sports" by Arthur Grayburn