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Albert J. "Bert" Myer, V

Michael Orgill

Someone whose croquet career spans nearly that of the United States Croquet Association itself is unusual. Bert Myer is one of those rare individuals. He was introduced to croquet in 1958 at the age of 14 in an end-of-the-summer, three-day, mixed-doubles, nine wicket tournament. He still plays in this annual event. In the early 1970s, Bert and his wife Ann constructed a nine wicket court in the backyard of their New Hampshire home and established the Hampstead Croquet Association to encourage their neighbors and friends to play the game. In 1982, Bert discovered six wicket croquet when he and his fellow club members attended the second annual Harvard-Yale croquet match in Cambridge, Mass. There they met several top officers of the USCA, including its founder and president Jack Osborn. Thus began Bert’s serious croquet career.

He first became the USCA New Hampshire District President in 1984, and in 1988 succeeded Foxy Carter as USCA VP for the New England Region when Foxy became USCA President.  During those years, he further served on a number of USCA committees, participated in numerous USCA sanctioned tournaments around the country (as he still does today), and was coach of the Harvard national-champion croquet team. Together with Foxy, Bert established Newport, R.I., as the center of croquet in New England and nearly doubled regional tournament participation at Newport.

In 1988, he and Ann built a regulation-size, bent grass croquet court in their backyard. They continued to host the Hampstead Croquet Association, but also organized USCA sanctioned tournaments, taught six wicket croquet and promoted participation in regional and national events.

In 1991, Bert was an advisor to Carleton Mabee when he wrote his now-classic book on croquet court construction. Bert was an immense help in laying it out, even constructing a miniature version of the book with hand-colored thumbnail drawings and illustrations. He offered his time gratis in order to promote something he truly loved. According to Carl, without Bert’s help the book would never have been published.

From 1992 through 1995, Bert produced the USCA Croquet Annual, a spectacular publication that highlighted croquet’s many dimensions. Those publications, more than any before or since, captured and presented Jack Osborn’s vision for American croquet. They contained beautiful photographs of elite clubs hosting croquet tournaments around the country and well-written articles on a wide variety of croquet-related topics. Damon Bidencope, this year’s other HOF inductee, contributed an article on International Rules for the 1992 edition. They were consistently produced with professional graphic design features that were reinforced by high-end advertisements from Rolex, Estée Lauder, Jaguar and world-class resorts in Palm Beach and Bermuda.

Bert went on to edit 14 issues of the Croquet Bulletin from 1996 through 1998. Additionally, from the 1980s to this day, Bert has contributed photographs, interviews and comprehensive articles to numerous publications extolling the attributes of serious croquet.

Most recently, Bert initiated the publicity for the first New Hampshire-Vermont Tournament, held in Rye, N.H., in July 2015. Bert is featured in a report by WMUR Channel 9 News. This may also be viewed on YouTube.

Bert is currently a Class 1 National Referee and holds a USCA handicap of 1.

Bert’s letters of support come from three current US Croquet Hall of Fame members, five national-champion players and a past USCA President and Treasurer. These people have all been major contributors to the success and growth of the USCA in tournament management and play, association management, committee leadership, croquet instruction and court construction.

In his own words: “In croquet, I discovered something endlessly fascinating, appealing, challenging and fun. I hoped my enthusiasm would become contagious and attract others to the game. The USCA seemed the perfect vehicle for my efforts to spread the word.”

Bert has been a vigorous and enthusiastic ambassador and promoter of croquet for more than 30 years. His own court, his own local club, his communication and promotion work for the USCA and the sport of croquet throughout the years and his unique style of humor have made him one of the best ambassadors for croquet.

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