Royal Queensland Gold Club Heritage Day Luncheon
Thank you, Mr Dobson, for your kind introduction. Royal Queensland Golf Club President, Dr Evelyn Foley; Directors; Club Captains; Honorary Life Members and Members; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
I am delighted to join the members of this historic golf club this afternoon for my very first Heritage Day luncheon as your Patron, and I thank Dr Evelyn Foley for continuing the tradition of inviting Queensland’s Governors to this event.
Before I go further, I feel a confession is required – I am not and have never been much of a golfer! However, my husband Graeme and I are very keen walkers and I hope that I will soon discover the pleasure of ‘the sport of kings’ when I try out the set of clubs my parents recently gave me. I just hope that, in the process, I don’t conclude, as various writers have quipped, that golf is a good walk spoiled!
Over the past century, no fewer than 14 of my predecessors have maintained ties with this club, including our 13th Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan, who turned the first sod of a bunker in 1921, and the keenest golfer among our modern Governors, Major General Peter Arnison, who donated the perpetual Governor’s Trophy.
I am particularly pleased to be presenting the Governor’s Medal and commend the club on the decision made in 2005 to establish this medal to recognise and reward female golfers.
Fortunately, it’s a long time since Lord Moncrieff, a Scottish judge, suggested that women should drive the ball no further than 70 or 80 yards because (and I quote) “the posture and gestures required for a full swing are not particularly graceful when the player is clad in female dress”!
It is also an honour for me today to present the Governor-General’s Trophy. Awarded for the first time on the very first Heritage Day in 2008 by the Governor-General of the time, the late Major General Michael Jeffrey, it’s a prize that fittingly recognises, in perpetuity, the official opening of this course in 1921 by one of his predecessors, Lord Forster.
And of course, the opportunity to present the Carnegie Clark brassie, has given me a wonderful opportunity to learn something of both a great golf champion and the much-loved ‘hickory game’ – including the fact that it is a hickory club that features on your club’s logo.
While I may not yet be able to tell you whether that club is a brassie, a spoon or a mashie, it is marvellous to see this link with the very foundation of this club preserved in this way.
I congratulate all the winners and once again thank your President, Dr Evelyn Foley, and your Captain, Mr Chris Clayton, for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. It is a delight to be here at my first Royal Queensland Golf Club Heritage Day luncheon as Patron, and I very much look forward to joining you during future Ekka weeks – especially if the chef once again offers Strawberries à la Ekka as dessert!
It now gives me great pleasure to present a Certificate of Vice-Regal Patronage to your Club President, Dr Evelyn Foley.