The House that Dutchy Built

by Pam Olley

March 14, 2018

The Welland Tennis Club dedicate a court to honour the late Dutchy Doerr. A fitting gesture to an exceptional man.

Chris Zanuttini, President Welland Tennis Club and Al DiCenso hold the plaque which will mark the Dutchy Doerr memorial court.

Dutchy Doerr left this world for the big tennis court in the sky on July 12th, 2016 at the age of 95. Welland Tennis Club started their 2017 season by holding a celebration for Dutchy to dedicate the red clay court closest to the clubhouse as the Dutchy Doerr Memorial Court.

It was a great time for people to share their Dutchy stories and to reminisce on the various ways that Dutchy had made the members of Welland Tennis Club feel included and develop the sort of club spirit that keeps a club thriving. Welland Tennis Club had become known as the “House that Dutchy” built echoing Babe Ruth’s capacity to draw a crowd.

Al DiCenso summarised Dutchy’s influence.

“He went beyond the "House". He made the Welland Tennis Club feel like a home! Comfortable, a happy place, a supportive place, a fun place. For Dutchy it was not all about the elite players, it was about the round robins, the club tournaments, but not only the A level.....just as important to Dutchy were the B,C and D draws.

Dutchy Doerr and Al DiCenso recognize Stacey Alaster for her contribution to Welland Tennis Club as a junior.

And oh, how he enjoyed the social mixed doubles tournaments. Calling people, encouraging, giving new players confidence that they would enjoy the experience.

Dutchy Doerr was an exceptional man. A wonderful character! A small man in stature, but with a soft heart, a huge laugh, and a welcoming smile that made him stand far taller!”

It was Dutchy who ignited the passion for tennis that carried Stacey Alaster to her stellar career in tennis management. Perhaps she best expressed the feeling of the membership about naming the court in Dutchy’s memory in her letter to the group. “Thanks to everyone who helped to create the Dutchy Doerr Memorial Court and to everyone who will play on this court in the years to come, may they enjoy the sport as much as Dutchy.”