As someone whose whole adult life has been influenced by the Hastings Golf Club, I deem it a privilege and a pleasure to be the president of such an outstanding club and in particular to hold that office during the club’s centennial year.
To say that our golf club has had a major part in moulding who and what l am would not be exaggerating. From the time l joined almost 40 years ago as a junior member until the present I have continually been impressed by people who have personified the best in traditions of service, sportsmanship and fellowship as members of the Hastings Golf Club.
People like Charlie Slater and Colin Lowe, who looked after the juniors in days when there was no such thing as a junior golf co-ordinator. They set you on the right path and kept an eye on you from time to time to make sure you remained there. Their interest in us meant a great deal to the juniors of our time.
People like club presidents Bill Harvey and Lester Breakwell who started the golf club on the course of its greatest period of development with the holding of the Watties tournaments during the 1960s when thousands of people came to Bridge Pa to watch the likes of Bob Charles, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Tony Jacklin, Martin Roesink and our own Stuart Jones play golf of the highest quality.
People like the club secretary by whom many measure all club secretaries, Stuart Robertson, who had a gruff exterior but a heart of gold and always had our best interests in mind. Or a later successor in Kevin Ahern who moulded the club’s committee into a highly-efficient unit.
It was impossible to be exposed to the example of people like these and many who have followed them and not be influenced for the good by them. Our club has been fortunate in attracting not only some of the country’s finest players of the game but also some of its most able administrators, both paid and unpaid.
The legacy of these people, both men and women, is plain to see. We have a thriving club, a magnificent course and a club spirit which should be the envy of any sporting club in the country.
Those golfing pioneers who started us on this journey 100 years ago this year deserve our recognition and it is appropriate that our history to date is being recorded and some of the people who helped shape what we are as a club are recognised for their contribution.
This is not the end of an era, merely a marker post in our development. On and over the horizon there are other opportunities, other challenges. As someone who has derived enormous satisfaction from their association with the Hastings Golf Club l am sure those to follow will also find the experience rewarding.