Words cannot do justice to describe all that Golf Croquet owes to Alan Oldham. He worked quietly behind the scenes, helping, advising, always ready to share his wisdom. I first met him as a fellow member of the Golf Committee and he became a wise and always-available friend. When I had problems, he supported me and gave me the strength to believe that I was doing the right thing and that it was necessary to do it. His encouragement to me meant that the Guide to Golf Croquet came to fruition, that Golf Croquet Coaching got off the ground and that I ran the first B-class Golf competition. I appreciated that he would often attend events personally to show his endorsement. I am sure others have equally memorable personal memories.
Alan Oldham was interested in the development of Golf Croquet in the north of England and latterly was referee each year for the Yorkshire Open: for the first time this year he was to referee the Ripon Spa Women's Open Championship, giving it extra stature. He will be sadly missed because he was such an extremely fair and knowledgeable referee. Recently he made great input into the new Golf Croquet Rules which was a mammoth task. His efforts were mostly unappreciated by players and he bore unjustified criticism stoically.
I doubt that the majority of CA players are aware of Alan's great contribution to Golf Croquet but, for those of us who have benefited from his wisdom and advice and recognize his great contribution to this minority form of Croquet, we shall try to build on the foundations which he has laid until we see Golf Croquet taking its place as an equal partner with Association Croquet.