The Struggle Continues as War Looms

The 6th Annual General Meeting was held at The Strand Hotel, and it was decided to have a benzine tin at each tee box with the correct length of each hole established and recorded on the tin. It was also decided to have sand at each tee as in early years. Sand was used to place the ball on and water used to make the sand moist so it could be shaped into a mound.

Several garages were erected for members vehicles in 1930. Over the years these garages were used stabling the club’s horses. At this meeting a request was made from the local clergy for use of the course which was granted only for weekdays. This is the first time this type of membership was approved by the committee (5-day membership). Another request was made by flying enthusiasts to use the course as a landing field which was rejected.

history 1930 jonesyThe course was unfenced, and problems arose due to straying stock. The property adjoining the course to the north was owned by a butchering firm and used as a holding yard. The presence of cattle was so serious that a fence was constructed and the cattle owners forced to remove their cattle.

Miss Margaret Elizabeth Jones (Affectionately known as “Jonesy”)

Devoted 24 years of her life to advancement of Ladies Golf in Far North Queensland. She joined the Cairns Club on 21st March 1930, acting as the Associates Secretary from 1933 until 12th November 1957. She died in office aged 75 years.

In 1958 the Associates planted a pink Cassia tree near the 17th Tee, in honor of Miss Jones. In 1964 a bronze plaque was fixed to this tree. In 1998 due to a change in the course the plaque was relocated below a tree near the 18th Green.

Mr. S. H. Warner

Mr. Warner can truly be described as the "Father of the Cairns Golf Club." He was one of the three foundation Vice Presidents and became President in September 1924. He remained President of the Club until 1941. From 1941 until his death in December 1943 he was Patron of the Club. He was President of the Club for 17 consecutive terms.

Mr. Warner was a popular and respected businessman who devoted his time, talents and pocketbook to the progress of the Golf club. His personal and business integrity was a big factor in securing bank loans for the Club during its early years. His far sightedness in advising the Club to purchase land to provide for the future expansion of the Course, would save the Club a considerable amount of money. Records confirm that it was families of many of the larger business houses that were prominent in the development and success of the Cairns Golf club.

history 1930 georgeThe following are the years of service that each of the Warner family, plus those linked by marriage, contributed to the development of the Club. S.H. Warner 20 years, J.R. Warner 27 years, W.H. Warner14 years. Hazel Gummow nee Warner, 11 years, George Gummow 30 years and Mrs M Warner (Bill Warner's wife) 3 years. A Grand total of 105 years. Other families such as the Draper, Langan, Griffiths, Hastie, Harris, MacDonnell, Taylor, were very prominent.
The April Meeting passed a Motion providing a special trophy for competition by Associate Members — "Cairns Ladies Cup," was introduced and played for on Open Days held by Associates. It was a teams event (four to a team) and played over 27 holes, one restriction was that only those with handicaps of 1 to 18 were eligible. The cost of the trophy not to exceed £4. This cup was destroyed in the 1970 Clubhouse fire.

Cairns's Teams regularly visited sister clubs in the District with the mode of travel differing to that in use today. Bitumen roads were rare and motor vehicles were restricted to a select few. During 1931 a Cairns team travelled to the Drumsara (Mossman) Golf Club, with players travelling by boat. The launch "Magneta" was hired with players paying £1/0/0d for the return fare. The Magneta was the flag ship of the Cairns Aquatic Club. It was hired out to those requiring transportation.

The Cairns Course since its inception was restricted to nine holes. During the later half of 1931 the Committee took steps to increase this number. The Meeting held on the 20th November 1931 empowered its green's committee to prepare plans for a second nine holes.
With the machinery available today, time taken to mow fairways and greens is counted in hours, not days, as was the case when horse drawn mowers were used. In 1934 it was reported that the time taken to mow 9 fairways once and cut the greens twice was seven days.
During the early thirties the world was in the midst of a depression, money was scarce, and the Club was forced to seek loans to provide the necessities required in the running of a golf club.

The May Meeting called on members to support the raising of an interest free loan of £166/0/0d for the purpose of purchasing a refrigerator. The loan would be repaid over a period of two years. In late 1934 the Green's Committee was given authority to trial, and if acceptable, purchase, a Berrigan mower, that was for sale from the Babinda Golf Club. The trial was successful and the mower purchased for £30. As well as the mower, the sale of a horse for £5 was also negotiated. In the early years, Caddies were a part of the golfing scene, and the June Meeting in 1934 recorded the completion of a "caddies" shed.
The introduction of push buggies, as used by todays golfers, did not occur until 1947. Bryan McCallum, a former Club Member, who also caddied prior to 1947 advised that Ray Howarth in 1947 was the 1st member to use a push buggy on the Cairns Course.
Throughout the Minutes, mention of the word "Bogey" is prevalent. Today's usage describes a type of competition, or where the score taken by a player at a particular hole is one over the par for the hole. Its usage in earlier years was slightly different, in that, it described the par of a hole, hence reference to lowering or lengthening the "Bogey" of a hole, or holes, is encountered in many Minute books.

Until 1935 Members practicing on the course were charged green fees. However, the July
Meeting in 1935 amended the rule to allow Members to practice without fees, provided that they received lessons from the Professional, and that such practice was restricted to one fairway and green.

Throughout this period little mention is made of Juniors, which is attributed to the Liquor laws in force at the time, which prevented Juniors from becoming Members of golf clubs. However, some Juniors did play but these were never allowed in the Clubhouse. The September Meeting agreed that Juniors were eligible to compete in competitions but paid the same green fees as Members.
Early in 1939 the Club constructed 6 additional motor garages at a cost of £10 each, with construction costs being borne by the Members concerned. The Annual Meeting heard that F. R. Irelands would provide the maintenance of all plant and machinery owned by the Club.

history 1930 ladies dayNote – the construction of motor garages in lieu of Members lockers underlines status of people playing golf in that era, not everyone would have been wealthy enough to purchase, or even drive motor cars in that era. As well as garaging motor vechiles, space was also provided for the storage of golfing equipment.

A second Special Meeting in March discussed problems with catering, and permission was given for the appointment of a resident Caterer with a renumeration of £2 per week being paid. Mrs. Topping was the successful applicant.

With the appointment of Mrs Topping it was thought that the problems associated with the provision of afternoon teas would disappear – but no – more problems would follow. A dispute between Associate Members and the Caterer, concerning the price charged for a pot of tea and sandwiches, was discussed at the June Committee Meeting. Mrs. Topping’s charge of 9d for a pot of tea and sandwiches was claimed by Associates as too high and they requested that the price be lowered to 6d. Mrs. Topping resigned as Caterer on 18th August 1939

At the end of 1939 the Greens Committee was instructed to proceed with the plans to extend the Course to 18 holes, and tenders were called for the clearing of 20 to 25 acres to accommodate the extra holes. Messrs. Murray and Skinner were awarded the contract and clearing commenced but was halted and the tender cancelled due to the outbreak of World War Two.