On Thursday 9th June I attended the funeral service of theformer England International and local League Player Pam Mortimer who passed away peacefully on the 21st May at the age of 83.
I am therefore delighted to say a few words to remember Pam.
The service was full of vibrant and upbeat music which epitomised her enjoyment of life and supported by eloquentmemories from two of her children Kelvin and Valda, itprovided a fitting tribute to their mother and to her fine career in table tennis.
As Pam played the sport in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s very few of our current players will be aware of her achievements. At the age of 21 she was playing with some of the illustrious players at that time including Johnny Leach, Diane Rowe and Ann Haydon who went on to have a successful tennis career as Ann Jones.
For information regarding Pam’s national and international successes, Paul Stimpson has written an excellent summary on behalf of Table Tennis England which can be accessed via http://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/featured-news/englands-pam-mortimer-passes-away/
I hope you will take the opportunity of reading this article.
When Pam moved to Devon to live in Torquay she continued her table tennis career by playing in the Exeter and the South Devon and Torbay Table Tennis Leagues and with plenty of success. In fact she won 8 Ladies Singles and 12 Doubles titles in the Exeter League and 5 titles in South Devon and Torbay.
I am pretty certain I played against Pam on one occasion when I returned to Devon to work in the 1970’s. It was at the Paignton YMCA and if I recall it correctly, the match was over very quickly with Pam the winner of course!
Dennis Gibbs a current league player and still performing at a high level also recalls playing her as follows:
“I remember Pam as a formidable player and a very nice person. I played one Exeter match with Pam and also played against her a couple of times when I managed to get into the first division. Pam did an exhibition with Maurece Travis at the Kingsteignton Youth Club when I was about 14. I recall her being very competitive and really good against the push or chop ball with a fast backhand serve followed by a forehand hit. After recovering from a major illness, I think that was when Pam stopped playing, coupled with the fact that her daughter Valda (Lake) was becoming a very good tennis player”
Maurece Travis played with Pam in the Exeter League for anumber of years and also mentions that she had a very flat backhand serve followed up by a forehand smash.
The South Devon and Torbay Table Tennis League will remember Pam with great affection.
Pam Mortimer in action with Ann Haydon (Jones)