by Miss Francis Stacey – September 1979
Fifty years ago this year of 1976, saw the establishment of the Kogarah Golf Club. I remember very clearly one day when I was in the Chair at the Dental Surgery of the late Mr Stanley Binns, awaiting my turn to be attended to, when the telephone rang. It was Mr Riley, asking Mr Binns if he could meet him at the Moorefield Race Course at once to discuss something important in connection with the work going on for the Golf Course. To my delight, Mr Binns said, “you come too, Fran, and I will show it all to you.” So off we went to the Race Course in President Avenue, Kogarah.
I roamed about all over the Race Course with. Mr Binns and Mr Riley, learning where this fairway and that should be and backwards and forwards across the old stream which used to run through the course and which became one of the main hazards to us all in time to come, especially after wet weather.
The land to be used was inside the Race Course, although some of the tees were placed beyond and above the race track. This caused a real hazard also as so often the ball would hit a fence or become lost among the hoof marks (some very deep) of the horses.
The Members of the Golf Club had the use of most of the Members Stand at the Race Course. The lovely verandah on the President Avenue side, surrounded and shaded by the lovely old Moreton Bay Figs, which must have been a great age then. We also had the use of the cloakroom, washroom and last, but not least, the kitchen where Mrs Scott served us with lovely lunches and afternoon teas, all prepared by herself. The parking ground for cars was just inside the big gates, off President Avenue. It was most picturesque with the lovely big trees and a man to guard the cars, for a small fee.
I think there could never have been a happier group of people all together – with our President, the late Mrs Primrose, and our Secretary, Mrs Colvin. All our Annual Meetings were held on the big verandah or occasionally on the Race Course side where there was more seating accommodation, and cooler in summer. They were such happy days and I can still hear Mrs Primrose’s voice calling – “Ladies!” – when she wished to speak to us. The “Ladies” stopped their chatter immediately!!
I am sure no person who had been a foundation member would forget the kind and gentle patience given us by Mrs Primrose and Mrs Colvin in teaching us how to play golf, because few of us could play prior to joining the Club. Also to be remembered was the first Professional – Mr Scott, who gave wonderful lessons to all who wanted them, and I can still hear him advising us to “get that gay abandon” when swinging the club to drive the ball.
At the end of each year, the Annual Meeting and Luncheon was held on the verandah and afterwards the presentation of trophies. These were lovely, happy occasions also. One of my treasures is a very lovely picture of red poppies growing in the fields of France. This was presented to me by the late Mrs Fifi Binns, wife of the late Dr Will Binns, of Kogarah. On all the Annual Meeting days, members were invited to bring along their favourite dish to augment the luncheon table.
Some months ago we had occasion to use a number of taxis. One day we drove through Arncliffe and the driver remarked on the sad fate of Kogarah Golf Club and its amalgamation with Bonny Doone. He used to be a caddy at Kogarah, and remarked on all the people he had caddied for – mostly Mrs Primrose and Mrs Colvin. His name is Mr Higgerson and no doubt, some of you will remember him as he also caddied with others, too. He was most interested to hear of the 50th Anniversary being celebrated.
This article was first published in the November 1980 edition of our magazine.
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