Two years ago when Dot Burgess became president of the Brandon Ladies Golf League at the Wheat City Golf Course, she decided her personal goal was to find a way of honouring members who had many years of service in the club and who had put in many dedicated hours organizing projects.
A committee of members was struck to develop the criteria and research the membership for those who would qualify to become Honorary Life Members. Alex Town, Shirley Bray, Isabel Hitchens and Mary Adams formed the committee.
The Brandon Golf and Country Club was established in 1920, and enjoyed many years of private membership until 1975 when the members voted to transfer all assets to the City of Brandon.
The Brandon Ladies Golf Club was formed in 1976. Several of the members joined and were active in the club from early times, and so have reached the first of the life member criteria, which is to have been a member of the club for a minimum of 25 years.
Other criteria involved merit points awarded for contributions to the club, such as holding an executive office and/or serving on committees such as Ladies Western Open, draw, competitions, handicap, membership among others.
There were eight members who met the criteria and a luncheon honouring them was held at Mum’s Wheat City Restaurant on Oct. 26.
The eight Honorary Life Members are Mary Donovan, Shirley Bray, Grace Lindenberg, Mary Adams, Anne Cowie, Alex Town, and two members named posthumously — Isobelle Ferguson (2010) and Doreen Hatch (2011).
Each lady was honoured separately and given flowers and a framed photo of the group (taken at an earlier date). A plaque and picture will be displayed in the pro shop of the Wheat City Golf Club when it re-opens in the spring.
The honourees told the luncheon gathering that they had so many fond memories of their games and times spent at the facility, some golfing and some in the past curling there — Shirley Bray threw the ‘last rock’ at the closing ceremony for the Wheat City Curling Club.
The league has changed a lot over the years, with changing lifestyles of members, and changing demographics.
"We are not quite the competitive league we once were, and yet the members are all dedicated to our golf course," Burgess said. "Last year when we had the 300-year flood, we hung in there when there a modified golf course; this year was more of the same as the crew began to rebuild the course.
"We had a lot of fun over the last two years, despite or perhaps because of the problems with the course being shorter."
Burgess said she is personally grateful to all the nominees and recipients who spent many hours volunteering their time to make this league a success.
"These eight ladies passed on to us a love of the game, and the desire to make our league or our club better," she said.