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Frances Godden, St. John's
Frances Godden, 2004

Frances Godden was born on May 31, 1926 in St John’s, Newfoundland, daughter of Bessie Gertrude (Dawe) and Edwin John Godden, businessman and owner of E.J. Godden Ltd. She was educated at Bishop Spencer College and was employed as a cipher clerk for the Navy during WWII.

At Bishop Spencer College, Frances enjoyed the weekly gym classes and school sports such as basketball and field hockey. Frances was introduced to tennis at a young age, when her father built a grass tennis court at the family home on Waterford Bridge Road. At this time, the Goddens, like many residents of St. John’s, maintained summer homes in the Mount Pearl area. A gravel tennis court was built by the Snow Brothers, where matches were played by vacationing families. There were no lessons or coaches available for the players.

The tennis season opened in June with the final tournament held in early September. Frances played on weekend and after work. The female tennis players wore above-knee shorts on the court, and dressed in all-white for tournaments. Frances played both singles and doubles for the Mount Pearl team, travelling to Harbour Grace, Corner Brook and Bell Island for tournaments. When the Snow brothers ceased operations at the Mount Pearl court, Barney’s Restaurant on Topsail Road opened gravel courts. Later, she played at Riverdale Tennis Club. In 1990, Frances Godden was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.


Audio "Tennis in Mount Pearl"
Audio "Proper Dress"
Audio "Going to Harbour Grace"
Audio "An Extensive Tennis Career"

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