Aerial1 1646X680 C19

Our Most Dedicated Member - Olivia Gibbins (1921-2017)

(written by Banuji Guneratna; updated by Meg Fletcher in 2017)

Olivia2013 1 250 Olivia Gibbins was a member of the Club, even before it was a ‘Club’! She, along with a group of avid tennis players enjoyed playing the game since 1949 on courts 1 and 2, clay courts. They were known as The Bluffers. Olivia, and many of the Bluffers formed The Scarborough Tennis Club in 1951.
Subsequently, Olivia volunteered on the Executive as the President, and in other positions. In 1959, she was honoured by the Scarborough Recreation and Parks Commission with a Citation for her efforts and accomplishments in promoting the game of Tennis.
Olivia was also involved in starting The Scarborough Tennis Federation. The Federation was comprised of three Clubs: Heron Park Tennis Club, MacGregor Tennis Club, and the Scarborough Tennis Club. This involved working with the Borough of Scarborough and the other two Clubs.
Olivia was also a highly skilled player. She won many Single Championships at the Club, and at the Scarborough and the Ontario regional competitions. Just take a look at the picture. Those trophies are all hers. Her one disappointment was never winning a Ladies Doubles tournament. As Olivia put it “I was always a bridesmaid”. Her Ladies Doubles partner remained her very good friend to the end. In 2004, the Club changed this disappointment. The existing Ladies Doubles trophy needed to be replaced. Olivia kindly donated a new Olivia Gibbins Ladies Doubles trophy and was able to present it herself that year.

She continued to be involved with the Club’s organization and administration, albeit on the sidelines. She never hesitated to give constructive help to the Executive. She was passionate (her words: “I’d rather serve than cook”) about the Club continuing in the traditions of the past, as well as being a leader in the Scarborough tennis community.
She was a big part of the 2001, Club’s 50th Anniversary plans. She was able to contact a lot of former members with whom she had remained friends over the years, either writing to them or phoning them. Olivia gave the Opening Remarks at the 50th. She also attended the 60th and 65th celebrations.
In her later years, when she had stopped playing tennis, Olivia would continue to pay her full Club fees. She would often join in on Opening Day, or come and watch the Club Championship Finals. She often reminisced about the past with interesting and colourful stories. The Club made her an Honorary Member.
Olivia was also a staunch supporter of the Doug Philpott Inner City Children’s Tennis Foundation. She would always add her own donation to supplement that of SBTC’s.
Her Celebration of Life on November 5, 2017 was very well attended by many family, friends, and tennis friends. On that day, SBTC unveiled The Olivia Gibbins Appreciation Award designed by the Club, to be presented to a Club Female member.
Thank-you Olivia for all your years of dedication and support to the Club.