South Charlotte

Rama Swim & Racquet Club going strong after 49 years

Some people are beginning to think “next summer” when you say the words “swim club.”

Not so for the members of the Rama Swim & Racquet Club at 6109 Wheeler Drive in south Charlotte.

“We have activities planned for every month of the year,” said club President John Orton. “Our focus is on having a safe, fun place for kids and their families to come and enjoy themselves.”

The club will host a fall festival Oct. 25 that will be open to the public.

If you do the math, you’ll note that Rama Swim & Racquet Club will celebrate 50 years of operation next summer. Plans for two celebrations marking that occasion already are in place.

The staff attributes the club’s lasting success to the fact members participate fully and that each year brings new members.

“We have good value for family fun,” Orton said. “We have a monthly dinner club, team fun nights, preschool night with crafts, spring and fall festivals – so many reasons to stay in the club in addition to the swimming, tennis and volleyball.

“Our July Fourth celebration is awesome. We have a big parade led by police cars, firetrucks, the kids decorate their bikes, and everyone participates.

“Next summer’s celebration, of course, will be very special.”

The club was the January 1965 brainchild of founding members Superior Court Judge Marvin Gray, Henry Eubanks, Jack Jeanette, Art Reidman, Jay White, Bob Perry and George Machres.

“We had this idea for a swim club, and there were eight-and-a-half acres of land available near our homes that developers didn’t seem to want because of the neighboring railroad tracks and the electrical lines,” said Gray, now retired. “Being a lawyer at the time, I drew up the articles of incorporation. Each man contributed his time and talents, and money, to the project.

“My dear friend, O.P. Crowder of Crowder Construction, was a great help and benefactor. Joe Foraday did the actual pool construction. All the founders signed the mortgage for the land, and by June 28, 1965, the pool opened.”

Gray, 83, was the first president of the club. His daughter, Jane Boland, also has been a president recently.

“My children swam on the swim team and enjoyed many years here,” Gray said. “My grandchildren have enjoyed the club, too. In fact, my granddaughter, Kathryn Boland, is currently a member.”

The club’s website is

“Everything is on our website,” Orton said. “We have made many long-lasting friendships here, and we are very proud of how great our club is.”