Living through the ‘golden age’ of Australian tennis, Mrs Pam Wearne, now a resident of Resthaven Mitcham, shares some of her fondest memories of her extraordinary career.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Mrs Wearne grew up with a passion for playing tennis.
‘I have played tennis for as long as I can remember. I had the knack for it, which led me to pursue it professionally,’ says Mrs Wearne.
‘Back then, my era was known as the ‘golden age’ of tennis. I remember watching Frank Sedgman, Ken Rosewall, Don Tregonning and Lew Hoad win on the world stage.’
Mrs Wearne won the South Australian Lawn Championships in the 1950s, and represented Victoria in many Wilson Cup Interstate competitions, with some memorable trips to South Australia during that time.
‘In 1953, I reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open), where I fell victim to American player, Maureen Connolly (known as Little Mo), who went on to win the Grand Slam that year.’
‘This performance sent me to thirty-five in the Australian rankings for 1952-53 – something I’ll never forget.’
Mrs Wearne and her husband relocated their family to Adelaide in 1966.
During that time, she became a tennis coach, teaching many South Australian children how to play tennis.
She was also the tennis coach for more than twenty years at Methodist Ladies College, which later became Annesley College.
‘I was more than a coach to those girls, not only giving them a grounding in the game, but teaching them tennis etiquette and sportsmanship – which is important to learn, even if you never play the sport again.’
Pam continued playing at a high level throughout this time and was the number one ranked tennis player in South Australia for several years, winning two Boyce medals for outstanding play and sportsmanship.
You may see them worn proudly around her neck!
‘In 1981, I was selected to represent Australia in the over 50’s Maria Bueno Cup in Austria.’
‘I was the runner up in the over 50 Doubles World Championships, so I finished my career feeling content and accomplished.’
Mrs Wearne keeps herself active in the community at Resthaven Mitcham.
Established in 1935, Resthaven is a South Australian not-for-profit aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church in Australia.
Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of older people and their carers, opening doors to the full range of aged care service options available. Services are provided throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Riverland, Fleurieu Peninsula, lower Barossa region and the Limestone Coast of South Australia.