Formed in 1955
Parramatta Auburn (formerly Parramatta Granville) was one of the original six groups of Women’s Basketball as it was known in the early days.
From our early beginning in 1955 Parramatta was the stepping stone for basketballers in the western area. On 16th March 1955 Mrs Pat Weston was elected Vice-President of the Parramatta group. Betty Farlow, who had run a competition in the Parramatta area prior to 1955, wrote to N.S.W.W.B.B.A advising that 18 teams had played in 1954 on courts at Rydalmere Mental Hospital and Parramatta Mental Hospital. After negotiating with the Parramatta Council for a suitable area for use by the Association, it was reported on the 7th April 1955 that Colquhoun Park was available.
The foundation executive were; President Pat Weston, Secretary Eva Drew and Treasurer Dora Mulvey. In these early days the Drew family was the backbone of the Association. Apart from Eva being Secretary, Mrs Drew, along with Mrs Redman, ran the canteen from a tent and Mr Drew looked after the grounds and marked the courts. Winners of the first competition held in 1955; B1 Auburn United, C1 St Michaels, D Grade Jantzen. These winners played off against the other N.S.W Group winners with the following results; C1 St Michaels Premiers, D Grade Jantzen and Newport Joint premiers.
In 1956 Parramatta had 32 teams participating. The courts at Colquhoun Park were situated beside as canal in the early days this was not fenced and when it rained the canal flooded and the weatherboard shed, which council had built, would flat down the canal. When the rain stopped and the round could take the weight of council vehicles, the building would be retrieved and put back in place on the brick piers.
A meeting was called by N.S.W Association on 2nd May 1956, to discuss a letter received from Parramatta Granville seeking permission to become an affiliated Metropolitan Association they would be furthering the interests of basketball, and would create more interest in the district. It was resolved that permission be granted to Parramatta to become an Associated Metropolitan Association. In view of this decision it was felt that something should be done by N.S.W to help Parramatta. It was recommended that as a gesture to help Parramatta N.S.W would donate a court marker. Pat Weston had commenced a separate affiliated junior association in the Parramatta area and 10 teams were competing.
Eventually council moved the little “shed” as it was affectionately known, to a better location. Whilst it did not float away it was continuously vandalised – despite being locked up like “Fort Knox”- truly there were so many locks and they all had different keys.
Each year the Association membership increased and it wasn’t too long before the 15 grass courts at Colquhoun Park had reached saturation point. Despite many meetings with Parramatta Council and the local 527 Parks Committee it became increasing obvious that more ground would not be made available for more netball courts.
In the off season you would see many of the members and their families planting grass runners and moving barrow loads of topsoil and, of course, the watering. Peggy Riley used to pack a picnic lunch and spend the day at the courts moving the hoses around or she’d drive to the courts put the hoses on, go home to do some housework, go back to the courts move the hoses, this would be the pattern for the day.
Parramatta teams always attended carnivals and did extremely well. In the mid 1970’s the wheels were set in motion to acquire facilities at Wyatt Park, Auburn. At this time the N.S.W.N.A was looking for a netball home and Auburn was one of the areas of consideration. A submission was put to Auburn Council for a netball complex at Wyatt Park and the construction of all-weather courts. Fundraising was easy in those days as the players realised that with all-weather courts they could play each week rather than just the seven games they played the year before.
In 1979 Parramatta Granville became Parramatta Auburn and moved to Wyatt Park, Percy Street, Auburn where there were 11 all-weather courts, floodlit, a clubhouse and it was anticipated that an additional six courts were constructed shortly after. Today netball has grown immensely and with increased numbers there have also been increased Associations developed throughout the Metropolitan area to accommodate the numbers.