The Tanunda Kegel Club was established in 1858 at Mr Paul Fischer's tea gardens, at the southern entrance to Tanunda. Mr Fischer, who was a baker, had bought the property from Mr Thomas Brock in 1855. The land when first bought was a small farm, but Mr Fischer had transformed the farm into a tea garden. He planted many ornamental trees and creepers through out the property, making it a perfect place to relax with a drink and play some skittles. It was a truly restful and relaxing atmosphere.
Sunday was when the tea gardens came to life. The kegelbahn (German for skittle alley, pronounced Kee-Gal Barn) and the rifle club (which was also located inside the tea gardens) were fully operational, and refreshments were availiable for purchase (5 cents for a cup of coffee or tea) Mr Fischer owned the tea gardens until 1873 when he sold them to Mr Wilhelm Menner. In 1922 Mr Bert Heinemann purchased them. In 1929, the Kegel club was forced to relocate, and Kegelbahn at the tea gardens was no longer. Seventy years of tradition had come to an end.
The kegel club has been a very important tradition in Tanunda for approx. 150 years, and is recognised by the National Trust as being a 'historical' landmark.
Tradition changed at the Kegel club in 1973, when the Tanunda Ladies' Kegel Club was formed. The original German men that played considered it improper that Women should be allowed to play. With the changes in the beliefs in society, women were finally allowed to play. The foundation members consisted of Brigitte Dumin, Eleanor Ehrat, Erika Gattermayr, Phillis Hoerisch, Elizabeth Nicolai (currently the President of the Kegel Club), Gwen Prince, Patricia Rath and Brigitte Wendel.
On June 18th, 1983, the Kegel club was broken in to, and subsequently set on fire. The fire guttered the pin end of the alley, which required rebuilding. This was terrible news for the kegelers, who had to endure a lengthy layoff from Kegel. A few months later the alley re-opened. In June 2001, the Kegel club had major renevations carried out, which included the ripping up of the old alley and the building of a new one. The old track was taken by club secretary, Harry Schulz, and stored in his shed.
The kegel club currently has around ten male members and ten female members. A remark that was made in 1931 by Mr Heuzenroeder that the written conditions of membership revealed that the playing fees to be paid were not heavy is still true now - in 2002. Practically everybody who believes in sociability and good fellowship can become a member.
©Copyright 2002 Tanunda Kegel Club.
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