Dann sets out her plans for Rookery Park

PUBLISHED: 16:13 12 April 2012

New Rookery Ladies' captain, Deborah Dann, smiles at her giant teddy adorning a signed Lowestoft Town shirt. By  David Batley

New Rookery Ladies' captain, Deborah Dann, smiles at her giant teddy adorning a signed Lowestoft Town shirt. By David Batley


Deborah Dann is the daughter of Arthur, a former local headteacher, high quality maths teacher and Suffolk tennis player, who won the Lowestoft Championship six years in a row before retiring undefeated.

As he was also a member of Rookery and the old Pakefield club, it is not surprising that Deborah took up both tennis and golf at an early age.

Her great delight came when she won the Lowestoft Mixed Tennis Championship when partnered by her father. Although she gave up golf for 30 years, her love of tennis remained and she became a successful junior player.

She also excelled at badminton and became her school’s Victrix Ludoram. After becoming a competent skier she returned to golf 18 months ago because she “fancied the idea of taking regular exercise in beautiful surroundings, accompanied by enjoyable companions”.

She was given a handicap of 20, which she is anxious to reduce to 18. She confesses to having a ‘severe problem’ with putting, believing that she must be the only lady member who can line up a six-inch putt and still miss it.

Like all captains who have faced a drive-in, in front of a crowd, she admitted to being seized by nerves.

However, instead of allowing herself to become a desperate Dann she adopted the attitude that, as she was certain she was about to make a complete fool of herself, she might just as well relax and “make a complete job of it”.

She marched up to the ball with a smile and simply launched herself into the shot. There followed a majestic, flowing swing which sent the ball almost 190 yards straight up the middle of the fairway. She remains in a state of disbelief.

After this amazing effort she thanked her vice-captain, Jenny Ives, for arranging a colourful and imaginative drive-in ceremony.

The themes were flowers, animals and Lowestoft Town Football Club. After supporting Norwich City for many years the new captain felt that she wanted to support a Suffolk team, preferably one which wore blue shirts.

Clearly preferring trawlers to tractors she became a season ticket holder at Crown Meadow.

She was delighted when Jean Halliday produced a large teddy bear clad in a signed Town football shirt.

A mechanical dog threatened to become the star of the show as it barked, begged and wagged its tail on cue throughout the proceedings. However, the star animal was Jackie Hardiman’s beautiful pony, whose behaviour was immaculate throughout the ceremony.

As her captain’s charity Deborah Dann has chosen The Brooke, the leading UK charity which helps to alleviate the suffering of working animals abroad and train the people who look after them.

She confesses to finding it easier to get on with the mules, horses and donkeys than she does with many people, although she is quick to exclude her Rookery companions, family and working colleagues from such a statement.

Once a senior nurse, she now works within administration at Snape Maltings. She hopes that the classical music, which surrounds her daily, will bring rhythm and harmony to both her captaincy and her golf swing.

The new captain hopes to promote a “sense of fun” in her year in office, following the “excellent example” of her predecessor, Lyn Lay.

Her advice to any “bar critics” is to use their energies constructively, to “join in and make a difference”. Members wish her well.

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