15th APRIL 1926 – 3rd DECEMBER 2016
December 3rd 2016 saw the passing of Morriss Marsh. For those of you who did not know Morriss, he was the prime mover in the purchase of the Lions Table Tennis Club (“LTTC”) in Maurepas Road back in the early 70’s. He was part of a small group of people that convinced everybody involved within the Club at that time that a change in direction was needed. He saw that continuing in rented premises was not the way forward, and that purchasing their own property was without doubt the route to take. Typical of his drive, Morriss was at the forefront of organising such a challenge and because of his forethought and untold generosity, things were put into place with the idea soon becoming reality in the short order. No sooner had the LTTC members been introduced to their new premises, they started to increase membership and subsequently, over the years to come, and in part due to the ownership experience, had the confidence to develop the social side of the building with a view to providing an income for their membership on more than one front. LTTC developed the property and created self-catering apartments in a new second storey construction at one end of the building.
As time passed, and visitors fell, the LTTC membership became bigger and bigger and having reached the building’s full development potential, started to outgrow it. Their members discussed ways to better position themselves for the future whilst maintaining the opportunities for table tennis as a whole. After much soul searching and discussion, it was decided to sell the building and move in with the other clubs already at the Hougue du Pommier Centre, so in 2004 the LTTC membership decided generously and unselfishly to gift the Guernsey Table Tennis Association (“GTTA”) a large portion of the proceeds of the sale. This money helped to create and fund the Centre and the rest they say is history as we now have a building where all local table tennis clubs are housed under one roof.
Morriss was not alone in his thoughts, efforts and vision of how Guernsey table tennis should develop but because of his infectious enthusiasm, hard work and drive, things got done, he carried through ideas which over the years were to pay dividends for the sport of table tennis. Because of his desire to improve the facilities of the sport, he, with his vision and tenacity laid the foundations of what we all currently enjoy. Everyone who was involved at that time, the LTTC and the GTTA owe Morriss a huge debt of gratitude for where we are today and mourn the passing of one of its first and longest friends.
Although not seen in table tennis circles in recent years, the older members of the table tennis fraternity cannot let this moment pass without recognising and remembering Morriss’s contribution to the progress and development of Guernsey table tennis, indirectly, he played a very big part in the table tennis facilities that we now have.
Morriss was a generous and genuine person off the table, but a real fighter on it. There are many stories that old hands can tell, but most of all they will tell you how the back of a score sheet has never looked the same again!
Our thoughts are with Howard and Kevin and their families.