AUCHTERMUCHTY GOLFING   SOCIETY

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SILVER JUBILEE 2000

The Auchtermuchty Golfing Society celebrated their Silver Jubilee on March 13th, 2000, when they held their Annual General Meeting. Co-incidentally, this was the  exact date of the first meeting in 1975. To celebrate that event, The Society held a Silver Jubilee Supper on Friday 14th April, 2002 in the Royal Hotel, Auchtermuchty. All of the former members were invited to attend and meet and exchange stories (and lies) with the current membership. 

Society Captain Dick Greig welcomed a disparate gathering including two of the founder members, Drew Bennett and Dave Lockhart, though both have since abandoned the clubs in favour of other pursuits. Secretary Martin McDevitt read correspondence from some of the “old boys” who could not make it to the gathering. Society President and Life Member Jack Suttie spoke warmly of Absent Friends. He mentioned all of the Society members who had passed on, recalling with humourous anecdotes, their golfing prowess. 

Captain Greig, in his inimitable way, charted the Society history from the earliest days, having himself joined in the second year of its existence. He talked of Annual General Meetings in which the principal officers had turned up the worse for wear, the resultant uproar prompting the framing of special rules regarding alcohol and meetings. He remembered some of the characters and events from Society Sunday mornings: the member who carried his clubs like arrows in a quiver but whose golf would have been no worse had he actually used arrows; the member who walked down the 15th fairway with the flag from the 14th green stuck in his golf bag; the member who threw clubs at a crow making off with his ball, and many others too numerous, and considering the laws of libel, too contentious to mention here. 

He recalled the increase in annual subscriptions and the amount of controversy raised when the Sunday Sweep was increased to 20 pence! He talked of Annual Outings where there was no food available after 36 holes of golf and the Secretary, who had been despatched to find something nutritious, returned with packets of crisps. He spoke of the various trophies which had since “passed on”, particularly the Sputnik, a curious looking object, formed from a wooden pyramid, surmounted with a large plastic golf ball, topped with four putter heads protruding from this ball, from each of which was hung a small medal. A thing of beauty it was not. John Kerr had won it two years running and had found good use for it as a doorstop. He spoke of the Yellow Jersey, a garment probably capable of assisting the housing shortage in Kosovo, and the Society tradition of awarding it each year at the Annual Outing for Outstanding Play (not). 

He spoke of the kenspeckle group who, over the years, had been office-bearers. He included former secretary, Dave Ferguson, somewhat of a stickler for the rules; former President Bert Arnold, a man with a curious way of extracting the last drop from his glass; former Captain Ken Powrie who had referred to his committee as hardly bothering to turn up and who had called the then secretary “dilatory”. He said that but for some of these men there would be no Society today. 

He made reference to how the standard of golf being played had improved over the years and spoke of the current membership. In closing, he complimented the current office-bearers and said the Society was  now the best-run club of which he had ever been a member. 

Guest speaker Bob Drummond, a former Captain of Ladybank Golf Club, a man well known to Society members, having followed the Society at close range for many years, it being his habit to play directly behind the Sunday morning groups. He proceeded to highlight and roundly abuse several prominent Society members, Captain Greig, Secretary McDevitt, Falkland “Leg-end” Bill Suttie among them. He spoke of the warmth and admiration with which the Society is viewed by the Ladybank club. He spoke of the need for continuous and speedy play on a Sunday morning, not exactly a surprise to the members, as Mr. Drummond is seen regularly examining his wristwatch in an exaggerated attempt to indicate haste. He spoke of the mixture of golfing ability and age in the Society and said that it was good to see some of the younger blood among the company. On a more personal note he was sure that one day his family would feature in Society annals, his son being a current member. He said the Society was in great heart and wished it well for the next twenty-five years.  

Martin McDevitt read humourous extracts from a “local” newspaper containing references to all the members of the company. No one was excluded; not even those (with or without excuses) who could not make it to the Supper. Mention was made of the member asked to leave his local hostelry as it was the Happy Hour, whose defence was that he began each day with a smile, just to get it over with. McDevitt mentioned local members and builders, “Haudit" & " Daudit”, their forthcoming theatrical debut in Swan Lake, and their prominent parts.  He spoke of the member who said he sometimes woke up grumpy, but usually just let her sleep. He went on to roundly abuse assorted others from the assembled group in terms not normally associated with a family gathering.  

Founder Member Drew Bennett spoke of his delight at being asked to give the vote of thanks at such a gathering, notwithstanding the fact that he had only discovered the previous evening on his return from a business trip that he was “on the bill”. He recalled with great warmth the earliest days of the Society and his small part in them. He expressed admiration for the current membership and office bearers for keeping the Society going in such an admirable fashion. He spoke of the need for new blood and paid particular mention of the fact that the several of the older members had sons who had now joined the Society. He shared with the company a poem recalling the recent Scotland-England rugby match which the English, to their great chagrin, had lost. In so doing he nearly raised the roof. In closing, he congratulated the Society for organising such a star-studded evening and paid great tribute to the quality of the speakers who had preceded him.  

The evening finished in the usual fashion. Much later.