Festival Golf Day – Neath Golf Club 19th May 2017

The Provincial Ryder Cup Goes East

The inaugural “Ryder Cup” golf tournament between Brethren representing the East and West of the Masonic Province of South Wales was held at Neath Golf Club, Swansea on Friday 19th May 2017. The event, organised by WBro Phil Osborne of the RP St John Charles Lodge No 6466, was well attended with the Deputy Provincial Grand Master VWBro Roy Woodward Captaining the West team and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master WBro Alan Gardener Captaining the East. All proceeds on the day to be donated to support the 2021 RMBI Festival.

The contest was played using a Ryder Cup format with 6 four-ball matches in the morning followed by 12 afternoon singles. The morning matches set the tone with the East winning 4 matches and halving 2 to lead by 5 points to 1. The afternoon singles was a tighter affair with the Deputy and Assistant playing against each other and ending their match in an honourable half. However the East finally ran out the winners by 11 points to 7.

So, much to the dismay of the Deputy PGM, VWBro Roy Woodward, he had to present the cup to the (gleeful) Assistant PGM, WBro Alan Gardener. You can see from the photo that this was definitely a case of “West was not best”.

WBro Alan Gardener is not one to gloat. However it has been evidenced  that at an Installation evening at the  Lodge of  Harmony at Cardiff Masonic Hall on the Saturday following the event, where the APGM WBro Alan Gardener was the Executive attending, he happened to mention the victorious East many times, not only at the Festive board but also on the Second Raising in the Temple. Rumour has it the cup is on his bedside table.

Anyway… away from the sweet smell of success, some great golf was played by both sides on a day that included a brief spell of inclement weather with rain and hailstones at one point. However that “great luminary of nature” came out in the afternoon and some great golf was played by some, with others a standard that would not have disgraced the “Crazy Golf ” scene. However a fine day was had by all and thanks to the generosity of all the Brethren, East and West that played and as importantly those non playing Brethren that generously supported the event, a sum of £1,850 was raised towards the 2021 Festival.

Aside from the result, the day once again gave proof of the friendship and closeness of the Brethren in the Province of South Wales. Freemasonry in South Wales was once again the winner. It is hoped that this can become an annual event which again can be played in the true spirit of friendship.

Congratulations to WBro Alan Gardener and his winning band of warriors. In the words of Arnie, and from the West the message is “We will be back”.

Phil Osborne.