Congratulations to Eileen Ferguson, Life Member of Fencing SA, for receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) - for services to croquet, Eileen has been involved in croquet for over 40 years, and has served on the boards of the Salisbury Croquet Club and the South Australian Croquet Association.
Eileen’s service to fencing began when her two sons took the sport up. For many, many years she served as the treasurer for Northern Districts Fencing Club. At the club there was a particular corner at the kitchen counter where she could be found collecting the weekly fees from members every week.
Back in those days, equipment requirements were not as stringent as they are now and she took up manufacturing jackets, plastrons and breeches for local fencers as there was no internet to make purchasing from overseas manufacturers easy. She was also known to manufacture lamés as well, when she could get hold of the material. Fun fact: she had enough material left to make her grandson Clayton his first lamé. At one point, several clubs had their racks stocked with her hard wearing canvas jackets.
During this time, she also fell into helping organise the Fencing SA canteen at national tournaments when they were held in Adelaide. The most memorable of these were the many, many D H McKenzie tournaments held in Adelaide at Seymour College prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her bacon and egg sandwiches became the stuff of legend as a result and were the most popular item on the menu. It was this dedication over many years that led to her being awarded life membership of Fencing SA.
Eventually she retired from actively volunteering with fencing, but she has never been too far from the sport. With a son, daughter in law, and two grandchildren still involved it would be hard for her not to stay in touch with it (most recently she manufactured a couple of fencing bag covers for Darren and Nadine's travel!)
Eileen is pictured below presenting a medal to her grandson Christian at a Fencing SA event.
Words and image courtesy of Darren Ferguson