Speech: Pennant Hills Golf Club

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House of Representatives

7 March 2023

I recently spoke at the centenary of the Pennant Hills Golf Club. I raised the centenary flag and dedicated the centenary clock tower.

The golf club is something extraordinary. The clubhouse was opened in 1939 with socials and dances. Then war hit, and part of the clubhouse was requisitioned by the military. The club has endured wars, droughts and developments and changes in the community. It’s a club that produced Australia’s best amateur golfer, Tony Gresham. It’s endured because people believed in creating not only a course but a community and an oasis in an expanding city.

Almost a quarter of a century ago, Robert Putnam wrote his famous book Bowling Alone, which highlighted the decline in community organisations—people being too busy for community and too busy to volunteer. This club has defied that. Since 1923, the average length of club membership has been 25 years. There can’t be many institutions that can boast of such longevity among members. Some members have been there much longer, like John Duckworth a member for 75 years and Shirley Baker, a member for 70 years.

The centenary celebrations include the publication of the fourth history of the club by Joan Isles, a luncheon, a gala ball, official ceremonies and many rounds of golf. The club has a foundation and is planning further expansion by renovating its pro shop. I want to acknowledge the leadership of the club: President Michael Rowan; Vice President Suzanne Fabian; Captain Damian Maguire; Treasurer David Blackshaw, General Manager Barnaby Sumner; chair of the foundation Ross Jackson; Graeme Martin; Ray Dearlove and everyone involved in the centenary celebrations. Happy centenary.

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