A tribute to Pam Arliss
Pam Arliss died peacefully on 20th September 2022. Pam joined the club in 1989. Pam will be known to those of us who have been members for a long time as an accomplished player and she did a considerable amount for the club, especially on the catering side.
Jonathan Isaacs looks back at her connection with croquet and the club:
Pam’s involvement with Croquet started in the Summer of 1989 when Bill arrived back from a business trip to Bangkok to be told by Pam that they needed to do more together and that the Croquet Club had an Open Day and they were going that afternoon. Bill obeyed! later that day, even with Bill’s jetlag, they fell in love with the game and joined the club immediately.
Bill and Pam both proved to be very good players and soon started playing and winning tournaments around the country often as a doubles partnership.
Pam also took on an active role in the croquet scene becoming a both qualified CA coach and referee.
In addition to all her on court activities, she became a leader in the canteen producing many excellent buffets and delightful cakes.
Pam went “International” in 2002, when Bill was awarded a place in The GC World Championship at Palm Springs. Apart from accompanying Bill, Pam ended up refereeing a number of matches at the Championship including faulting the then reigning Egyptian World Champion!
A group of us had the pleasure of accompanying Pam & Bill on their 50th wedding anniversary when the CA had been asked to arrange a croquet tournament of top players to showcase a new cruise liner - Celebrity Equinox which was moored at Southampton. The Players and Organisers having completed the tournament on the 15th deck, under the gaze of the International press, we were given a free overnight cruise. This proved to be a lovely way for Pam and Bill to celebrate their 50th anniversary in the company of the croquet community.
By 2012 Pam was having problems with her ankle and eventually had to give up play. However she still continued to help the club by making numerous tray bakes and assisting Bill managing federation tournaments.
More recently her health went downhill but she still used to visit Southwick to watch play on her mobility scooter or from the club car park.
Pam was a truly thoughtful person, always having time for other people, remembering the highlights in their lives.
Above all she was Bill’s “Rock” and will be sadly missed.
Many other members or past members will remember her as an active club supporter in getting new members; as Gerald and Pam Gooders put it:
When we were reaching retirement, about 25 years ago, we were looking for something we could do together. I suggested bowls but Pam suggested croquet. On our way to the Holmbush Centre we called in to the Club and Pam was the first person to welcome us and before we knew it, we had mallets in our hands and were introduced to Don Mears as new members. It has been a big part of our retirement and we will always remember Pam's friendly welcome.
As Jonathan indicated, Pam had to give up playing for health reasons but continued to support club activities and attended many social functions.
The wider croquet community in the South East will remember her for the help she gave Bill in running the Federation tournaments. And for many who played in those, the abiding memory of Pam will be of her with the hooter in one hand and a cigarette in the other!