Adelaide Hospital Table Tennis Team

It was common for hospital staff to compete in sport teams under the (Royal) Adelaide Hospital name. In 1928 this included a table tennis team.

Table Tennis came to Australia in the late 19th Century and was commonly known by the name Ping Pong.

The photograph below shows the Adelaide Hospital table tennis team from 1928.

The 1928 Adelaide Hospital Table Tennis Team
Adelaide Hospital Table Tennis Team – B Grade Premiers; September 1928. L to R – Back Row: RJ Cowan, R Barrow, SF Tee. Front Row: H Lines, G Chaplin (Captain), EJ Rogers. Full Record
A Winning Team

In 1928, they were the B grade minor premiers in the Public Service Association Table Tennis Competition. They competed against an Education Department team in the final, winning the match seven sets to five.

The match was full of interest throughout. Although sets were against Education they had a point advantage at the close of the match. the best performers for the winners were Rogers, Cowan, Tee and Lines…

The Advertiser, 20 August 1928, page 19

Referred to as the “Hospitals” team in newspaper coverage of the competitions, the team only lost one match in the competition.

Final tally of the 1928 Public Service Association B Grade Table Tennis Competition. Reproduced from The Advertiser.
Team Members

The team consisted of six members of the Adelaide Hospital and Hospitals Department:

  • RJ Cowan was a biochemist at the RAH Laboratory. In September 1947 he accepted appointment as Deputy Government Analyst in the Chemistry Department.
  • R Barrow was the Chief Clerk at the Adelaide Hospital. In October 1933 he donated blood to Cyril McEntee, an enquiry officer at the Adelaide Hospital. McEntee, who had been injured in a motorcycle accident, required a blood transfusion.
  • SF Tee was a laboratory assistant at the Adelaide Hospital.
  • H Lines was a junior clerk of the Adelaide Hospital.
  • G Chaplin was the captain of the team and worked as a pay clerk in the Inspector-General of Hospitals Department. He has a fascinating story. In 1933 he stole £1703 from the Hospitals Department. The theft and subsequent search for him caused a media sensation, with reports he dressed as a woman to avoid capture and spent part of the money on a xylophone. Chaplin was eventually caught in February 1934. You can read more about this story here.
  • EJ Rogers worked in the RAH Laboratory. In 1952 he was a member of an IMVS table tennis team that were the B grade premiers in the SA Table Tennis Association competition.
The 1953 IMVS Table Tennis Team
EJ Rogers – 3rd from Left, with IMVS table tennis team mates: Max Prest, Geoff Hill and D Downs. Full Record

In 1929 the Adelaide Hospital team joined the B grade of the South Australian Table Tennis Association tournament.

Written by Jonathan Hull, CALHN Health Museum