Victoria, the Queen of Croquet, came roaring back onto the scene May 21-23, 2022 after two years hiding in the Covid Triangle. Twelve entrants from as far away as Oregon gathered in Victoria to test their memories about Association Croquet over the Victoria Day long weekend. The entrants split into two blocks on the basis of experience, with the less-experienced players participating in a free workshop as part of the tournament benefits.
The competition was good, with every game a battle. In the A Block finals on Monday, CP’s Chris Percival-Smith beat former CPer Michael Dowling, who now heads up activities at the Happy Valley Croquet Club in Metchosin. In the B Block final, Victoria LBC’s Lorne Oakes beat former CPer Steffen Preusser, also now at Happy Valley.
The B Block competition brought back a player who’d been gone from croquet for years — Mike Kernaghan of Mission — and the tournament as a whole pulled in Saturna Island players James White and Tony Simmonds. The mix suggested that AC croquet is alive in BC and ready to continue growing.
The Victoria Day event was strongly supported by Canadian Pacific LBCC and the Victoria LBC, both of which gave up lawn time and volunteer effort to make the weekend a success. Of particular assistance were the presidents of the two clubs, Lorne Carnes and Kathy Moi, as well as Victoria’s Annie Boldt and Rosemary Verren-Delbridge and CP’s Toshik Bukowiecki and Lucille Proulx. Chris Percival-Smith directed the event.