The Lakeshore Racquets Club was founded in 1974 by ten local residents who envisioned playing league tennis at their own club. Through connections, they were able to purchase a strip of 11 small lots along Lakeshore Drive. Sitting between the lots and the lake was a large provincially-owned property on which sat a warehouse owned by Safeway.
The mayor of Summerland at the time helped the society negotiate a lease to the land with the provincial government. The first lease was signed by then-Premier W.A.C. Bennett. The original lease required that the property be used as a public recreation facility and, hence, the LRC’s leagues and programs have always been open to the general public.
The club financed itself initially by issuing 500 debentures in the amount of $500. The balance of its funding came through a mortgage on the property purchased from Safeway. Three tennis courts were built and the warehouse was modified to contain a clubhouse and three squash/racquet ball courts.
The club quickly grew to a membership of about 100 with scheduled men, women and doubles tennis leagues and racquet ball and squash leagues.
The tennis courts are named after Joe Dobi, one of the club’s ten founding members. The LRC was largely the brainchild of Dobi and he was the driving force behind its creation. He is today survived by his wife Bess and the Dobi family continues to sponsor the Greenwood Cup, one of the longest-running annual tennis tournaments in the province.
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