The Canterbury Golf Annual Awards Dinner was held last Friday evening at Russley Golf Club, and the 150 people who attended were treated to a fine evening of awards, fun, and stories from guest speaker Mark Greatbatch.
MC Phil McGoldrick loosened the crowd up with a very funny golfing joke and then the evening began with Juliana Hung (Russley) winning the Riccarton Park Golf Complex Girl's Junior Golfer of the Year, and Hiroki Miya (Russley) winning the Riccarton Park Golf Complex Boy's Junior Golfer of the Year. Both were interviewed by Rachel Thow and spoke with maturity about their achievement, goals and aspirations.
After the entree, five Canterbury Golf Service Awards were made. Amelia Garvey (Kaiapoi) and Hillary O'Connor (Pegasus) were recognised for their contribution to women's rep golf since the ages of 12 and 13 (respectively). Craig Vining (Russley) was recognised for his contribution to junior golf, and Gary McAuley (Russley) for his contribution to men's rep golf selection and management. Rangiora's Bruce Hutchison got warm applause for his 25 year contribution to North Canterbury rep golf and the regional committee.
After the dinner break a new award was made for the Fenix Canterbury Golf Ambassador of the Year. The award recognises player excellence in sportsmanship, leadership, etiquette and values during the season. Tom Parker (Christchurch) was the inaugural winner and examples of his fine sportsmanship and teamwork were highlighted in the citation. Next the best stroke average Liz Douglas and Vardon Trophies were won by Amelia Garvey with a record low stroke average of 68.3 and Tom Parker for the men with a scoring average of 69.83.
Then it was the turn of special guest speaker Mark Greatbatch. The audience were captivated with a mix of personal anecdotes from his cricket playing career, his experiences as a keen & passionate golfer, and some particularly funny stories about famous players he has interacted with in both sports. He also had some words of wisdom for our young players based on his extensive coaching career that included coaching the New Zealand Men's Cricket Team.
After dessert the Eagles Golfing Society Promising Player of the Year Awards were made. It was a family affair with Russley's Maddie May picking up the girls award, and brother Zach the boys. Again, both spoke maturely about their golf and aspirations for the future.
In a special moment for the evening, Rangiora's Sue McFarlane received a Canterbury Golf Life Membership for her huge contribution over the last 30 years. Life Member Cushla McGillivray read a citation that highlighted Sue's dedication to women's golf prior to the amalgamation, and her leadership for women during the amalgamation process. She continued to serve on the Canterbury Golf Board afterwards, and was also involved in women's rep golf management and course rating.
New Zealand Golf Chair Murray Ward presented the Golf Warehouse Women's Golfer of the Year won by Amelia Garvey and the Golf Warehouse Men's Golfer of the Year won by Tom Parker. Both players were New Zealand reps this year. Amelia at the recent Queen Sirikit Cup, and Tom for the upcoming NZ Men's Junior Team.
Greendale Secretary Marie Michael was rewarded with the Trevinos Administrator of the Year Award for her fine work facilitating many new tournaments, initiatives, and programmes at the club over the past year that has resulted in increased membership and income. She has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in her role, and was pleasantly surprised to receive the award.
The evening culminated with Rawhiti's Denis Cotton winning the Trevinos Volunteer of the Year Award. At 75, he is at the club everyday giving up his time tidying around the course and helping out in the clubhouse. Even a broken arm could not stop him turning up. He is also due to receive a New Brighton Community Service Award.
Canterbury Golf President Peter MacDonald presented both awards, and thanked all those involved with Canterbury Golf, particularly Clubs for hosting interclub and tournaments, the Canterbury Golf staff and volunteer management, and parents of young players who have had a major hand in fostering the talent that exists in Canterbury.
We congratulate all the award winners, and thank all those that attended this special occasion.