Yes, it's been a while since I've spotted a mystery in my neck of the woods and whilst Parkville isn't Flemington it's certainly very close.
Sapphire's Saturday morning tennis team has to use the Parkville Club (or 'Glub' as the sign seems to say, in Sapph's view) as their home-away-from-home due to having too many teams in the competition.
What initially amused me was that the Mens Board just had 'F Harvey' as the annual champion whereas the sheilas had "Mrs" or "Miss" next to each.
Then I noticed that Mrs A Gooch had won every year from 1957 to 1963 which is a huge achievement.
But wait, there was more. Presumably after squeezing out a few kids, Mrs A Gooch wasn't content to rest on her laurels, no sirree Bob. She came back from semi-retirement and won again in 1970 - thirteen years after her first win.
The walls of the ancient club house - lined in 1960s caravan laminate - were getting even more interesting because Mrs A Gooch had lived to fight on another decade, winning again in 1980.
What was Mrs A Gooch's first name?
If we assume that she won her first competition as a twenty year old (she was a 'Mrs' then) in 1957; she came back to win it as a 33 year old and yet again as a 43 year old. Forty three years old and she still kicks hardcourt arse in the A grade Melbourne comp!
The only photo I could find of this incredible woman -
Who - Ann? Agatha? Alice? Agnes? Audrey? Ailsa? Arlene? Alma? April? Alberta? Amy? Ava? Abigail? Alison? Astrid? Amanda?
- was this one from 1959. She's front row, furthest right and up close (impossible to take because the flash kept bouncing off the glass) is wearing a groovy pair of specs, with presumably her husband Mr K Gooch (Ken? Kevin? Keith? Kingsley? Karl?) standing right behind her. It looks as though she's a natural blonde but decided that a slick of red lippy would look good for the victory photo.
What on earth did she do to have her achievements ignored? Shag all the winners on the mens' boards from 1957 through to 1980? Embezzle the tea kitty fund? Take performance enhancing drugs?
What did our splendid young - and ageing - Alexis Anastasia Aurora Aleezah Gooch do to be snubbed so cruelly? Independent hold-outs Windsor, Oakeshott and Katter should add this to their list of demands before a stable Australian government is formed!