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Duncan McMartin

Duncan McMartin

One may wonder why a Canadian who had spent a large part of his colorful life in Bermuda would be inducted into the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame. Putting aside the fact that Duncan McMartin and his wife, Hilda McMartin, were members of the New York Croquet Club for almost a decade and rarely missed playing in any of the major New York or Palm Beach Invitationals, his contributions to the game of croquet in America are many.

Duncan's legendary prowess as an eagle eyed big game hunter, a bon vivant, with a penchant for eating champagne glasses, his game of golf and all around athletic abilities had all prepared him to excel as one of the sharpest shooting eyes in the game of croquet to which he became addicted just a few years before his death.

Shortly after Herbert Bayard Swope, Jr. and Joseph Tankoos introduced the game to Bermuda in 1970, (yes, you Anglophiles, croquet was imported to Bermuda from America, not England) Duncan realized that the plam tree dotted lawn at their beautiful Tuckers Town home Elephant Walk was too small for a competitive croquet court. Intent on rectifying the situation, the house was sold to the former Governor of Bermuda and after a few years of planning and building the new Elephant Walk complete with a spectacular full-size croquet court, built out of the side of the hill overlooking the 12th tee of the Mid-Ocean Golf Course, was completed. The finals of each Bermuda Invitational Tournament since have been held on Duncan's dream court. As one of Bermuda's finest woman players, Hilda McMartin carries on this tradition and for the past two years has presented the Duncan McMartin Memorial Trophy to the winner of the Bermuda Singles Title.

The remarkably high level of playing skill the Bermudians have achieved in the relatively short time they have been playing the game is further testimony to the quality of the Lawn That Duncan Built.

Duncan McMartin was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1980.

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