Royal Queensland Golf Club Heritage Day Luncheon
Thank you, Mr Hinton, for your kind introduction. Mr President; Directors; Club Captains; Royal Queensland Golf Club Members.
It is a great honour to join you in the Club’s historic centenary year.
Today we reflect on the grit and vision of the founders of our Club a century ago.
As my predecessor Governor and Patron, Sir James Ramsay, remarked at the opening of this very Clubhouse in 1982, the original course was built on swampland without bulldozers – “horse and scoop were the means”… a term, incidentally – “horse and scoop” – which might accurately describe your Patron’s golf swing!
What remarkable people those founders were.
Now, unlike when building golf courses, clarity of vision and determination do not always translate into tactical success when playing on them!
I say that, of course, from relative safety as a ‘non-playing’ Patron – a moniker which persists despite ultimately unsuccessful overtures from successive Presidents.
It has nonetheless been an immense honour to be your Patron these past six years, to attend these memorable Heritage Day Luncheons, and to host in January a reception to launch Dr Lynagh’s magnificent centenary publication.
If the past century has taught us anything, it’s that this Club can execute a fine ‘recovery shot’ from unfavourable lies – drought, the Great Depression, a great big bridge!
I have every confidence it will continue to draw on these experiences as it confronts current coronavirus challenges.
One of the truly remarkable aspects of our Club is its ability to adapt and reinvent itself.
I wish Members well in your deliberations – animated ones, no doubt – on the future use of the land East of the Gateway, as you balance tradition with progressiveness. Without tainting my Governor neutrality, and accounting for my own scoring, I should say I would happily open and play at the mini-golf course – with Charlie Earp’s help!
Of course, today, our focus is unashamedly on the latter (heritage), and so as Governor and proud Patron, I pay tribute to the rich history and heritage of this remarkable Queensland institution.
I congratulate the winners of today’s Awards I will shortly present, including the 70th recipient of the Governor’s Trophy.
Finally, I thank the management, officials and Members for their ongoing stewardship of this richly uplifting Club.
Let’s hope 2020 ends the way it started – with a Club Member replicating Jed Morgan’s incredible victory here in the Australian Amateur Championships at the Australian PGA Championship in December, which I very much hope to attend.