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History of the Salt Spring Island Golf Club

    News & Events    May 14, 2019

March 23, 1928, saw a public meeting at Mahon Hall. Thirty-three people attended with the intention of forming a golf club. With W.E. Scott in the chair, K. Butterfield undertook secretarial duties. It was announced that a committee which had been appointed by the Salt Spring Island Development Association had been exceedingly busy.

‘Barnsbury’, the estate on which our present course is situated, was chosen as a golf course site since arrangements could be made to utilize some of the land. Mr. Norman Wilson, who farmed the land, was also available to work on the proposed course and to allow partial use of his dwelling by members, Action accelerated quickly. Money was allocated for seed and labour, fees struck. These were set at twenty dollars for a man, twenty-five for man & wife. One must remember that male chauvinism was still in vogue.

The organizational committee comprised W.E. Scott, J. Watson, G.C. Mouat, F.C. Turner, T.F. Speed, K. Butterfield, Dr. E.H. Lawson with Norman Wilson an ex officio member. At the committee meeting following the general meeting, officers were exhorted to recruit new members for the embryo club. It was decided that the services of a professional golf planner would be an asset. Accordingly, G.C. Mouat wrote to Canadian Pacific Railroad’s Captain Neroustrsos for aid in seeking such a person. Courteney and Duncan Golf Clubs were to be contacted for copies of their constitutions and by-laws.

While these matters were hanging fire, the committee came to grips with trying to form an agreement between the club and Norman Wilson of ‘Barnsbury’. Preliminary items were discussed and a special sub-committee set up to deal with the proposed agreement.

Mr. W.B. Jackson, Q.C., was asked to represent the club regarding incorporation, overseeing the lease agreement, and preparing the club constitution.
Shortly after that meeting, the committee received word that Mr. G.F. Donaldson, a Canadian Pacific Railway engineer, would be available by the C.P.R. to assist in laying out the golf course. He was asked to visit Salt Spring Island on April 16, 1928 aboard the ‘Steamship Charmer’.

Acknowledgement of the completion of Donaldson’s course planning was given at the committee meeting of April 30, 1928. The plans consisted of estimates for seed, clearing et cetera and the location of greens and fairways. That part of his work netted him the princely sum of twenty-five dollars. Grass seed came to $123.16. While we tend to think of costs then as very modest, they represented a very considerable outlay in those days.

During this meeting we hear of a Mr. Schwengers for the first time. The gentlemen will recognize that name. More will be heard of that person later.
The May 9 meeting of ’28 witnessed the clause by clause examination, discussion and agreement of the new by-laws and constitution. Lawyer Jackson was to have the club incorporation papers ready for the first Annual General Meeting set for May 29. Mr. Jackson’s fee was $20.

October 23, 1928 “Victoria Daily Colonist”

“Under ideal climatic conditions, the unofficial opening of the Salt Spring island Golf Club took place last Friday, several members and guests being present. President W.E. Scott, in his opening remarks, called attention to the valuable asset the golf course would be to the island, and hoped that a large number would join and that those who did not play would give it their moral support. He gave much praise to Norman Wilson for the work he had done in the last six months in getting the course into such excellent shape. He added that although at present the course was only a nine-hole one, the intention is in time to extend it to an eighteen as there is land available.”

“Mr. Watson, chairman of the greens committee drove off the first ball.”

Salt Spring Island Golf Course – Archive Photo Postcard

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