The Annual General Meeting held at the Stand Hotel on 13th February 1940 was the first held during the War Years. The Annual Report showed Membership of the Club as 188, including - Members 90, Associates 82, Life Members 6, Country Members 4 and Non Playing Members 6. Included in the report was a statement showing that the whole of the Club's property had been converted to freehold, and that plans were in hand for the conversion of the course to 18 holes. The Club had made a profit of £204/0/4d in 1939 as against £109/8/7d in 1938.

The President, Dr. Langan, in his report blamed the reduction in the playing strength on

enlistments into the armed forces. Interestingly, the Annual Meeting dealt with several Motions in respect to enlistments, one being that Members enlisting in the services would be granted Life Membership of the Club. This offer was never taken up, Members later returning to play were never made Life Members. Resolutions passed at Meetings confirm handicap limits of 27 were applied. Tournaments were restricted to daily rounds of 27 holes. The 1940 December Meeting received a Motion from Mr. Griffiths, “that as the number of Members playing on Saturday afternoons has declined, it may be in the best interest of the Club if Associate Members were allowed to hold competitions on these afternoons.” Mr. Griffith’s Motion lapsed for the want of a seconder.

A Special Meeting in December 1940 discussed the appointment of a Greenkeeper and Mr. Bob Thomson was appointed. The appointment conflicted with the agreement previously in force with the Club’s Professional, Mr. Leo Corry, who did the work, and for which he was receiving additional wages. Corry objected strongly to the new appointment, and threatened, that if his additional revenue was denied, he would leave the Club. In the end Corry was offered 2-1/2 days’ work at award wages, which he accepted. His services were terminated during the war years, but he remained in the district and was reinstated as Professional at the end of hostilities.

The Annual Meeting held at the Strand Hotel in February 1941 saw the election of Mr. G. H. Griffiths as Captain, a position he held for 11 years, the continuity being broken only once in 1949. Other long serving Captains in the Club’ history would be K. A. G. Wilkinson 11 terms and G. D. Gummow 9 terms. The Annual report showed that the Club made a loss in 1940 of £193/5/3d. green fees were down by £92/0/0d and subscriptions by £69/0/0d.

During the early part of 1941 a request was received from the Associates Committee to change their golf day from Thursday to Tuesday afternoons. The request was granted, with the proviso, that the ground staff would not cut or prepare greens for Tuesday play. The playing day would remain in effect until after the end of the war. Reasons for the change was explained by Mrs. Pedersen "that Thursday afternoons during the war was "Red Cross Day" and many of the Associates were active in this organisation".

Although the interest of Committee Members was focused on the interests of the Club, in money matters, they were clearly orientated towards their own welfare, as is clearly pointed out in the Minutes shown for the February 1941 Meeting. At this meeting the Committee moved the following Motion, “That the Committee purchase a casket ticket at each monthly meeting, in the event of the ticket inning first prize, £2,000/0/0d was to be handed to the Club with the remaining £4,000/0/0d divided among Committee Members."


1940 gh griffithsG. H. Griffiths

A Truly remarkable man.George served the Club continuously for 41 years and 8 months as Committeeman, Vice Captain, Captain 11 Terms, President, 6 Terms, and Patron.

His wife, Annie, served on the Associates Committee for 23 years. With his brother Jack he guided the Club through the turbulent war years of 1939 to 1945.

George, the Principal of Advanx Motor Work, with sons Charles and Thomas were Club Champions. All three held the Club Championship on numerous occasions..

George, his wife Annie, brother Jack and his eldest son Charles were elevated to Life Members.

In 1998 the ashes of George and his wife were buried beside No. 8 Tee and a monument erected to honour their work. A photo of the memorial which stands at the front of Tee No.8 is shown below.

An interesting item to come from the Committee Meeting held in January 1942 was a Motion put by Messrs. Griffiths and Draper, "That the Club reimburse the Greenkeeper, Mr. R. Thomson, for two bicycle tyres and tubes that had been worn out by him in the services of the Club." The push bike was used to transport him, or his offsider, or perhaps both, to various parts of the course.


1940 jr warnerMr. J.R. Warner

Son of Mr. S. H. Warner. Jack Reid Warner was Vice Captain of the Club in 1928, and Treasurer from 1929/45 inclusive. Vice President from 1946/1953 inclusive and Club Champion from 1927/1936 and again in 1938 and 1946, a total of 12 Titles           

The Championships were not played from 1942.1945 due to the Second World War. Mr. Warner returned to the Club as Patron in 1973. At the start of World War Two Jack Warner was the Treasurer of the Golf Club, it was he who wrote the report that advised that Club that it was in danger of folding. He was elevated Life Member in 1975.

The Annual Meeting in 1942 was told that the Club had to prune its expenditure if it were to cope with prevailing conditions. Membership had declined due to resignations, brought on by

enlistments, plus a lack of petrol to transport players to the Club. The March Committee Meeting in 1942 again referred to the serious falling off in attendances, which it attributed to petrol restrictions and suggested that the Club may be forced to close its operations if the situation did not improve.

Shortages due to the war took its toll, with the supply of golf balls becoming a serious problem. Trophies were  normally golf balls, but with the shortage of balls, the practice was discontinued and savings stamps were substituted. Complaints were received from Members, but fell on deaf ears. The May Committee passed a special Motion, granting military personnel special priveleges when on the course. They were treated as guests of the Club and not subject to green fees. As the Minutes will later show this privelege did not last long. In 1942 the stationing of Australian and U.S. servicemen in the Cairns area  saw the numbers of servicemen greatly increase and the Club could not afford to miss out on additional revenue.

Australian troops occupied the empty Greenkeepers cottage with the Club being offered a rental of £10/0/0d per week. Since the inception of the Club, Meetings were held at the Strand Hotel on the Esplanade. when the U.S. Army commandeered the hotel for its exclusive use,  Meetings were transferred to the offices of Mr. C. Woodward, the first Meeting being held there in August 1942. The U.S. Army had made approaches for the use of the golf club as an officers club but  this was refused by the Committee.

The Years from 1939 to 1945 were by far the most interesting in the history of the Club. The economy of the country was in a sorry state this reflected in the finances of the Club which was on the verge of disbanding, but with the arrival of U.S. troops and the stationing of Australian personnel on the Course saw a change in this direction. Evening functions held by both U. S. and Australian forces were increasingly popular. Major Crowe of the 26th Australian Corps. A. C. S. applied to hold weekly dances, which were approved with a hiring fee of £6/0/0d per night, the same as for the Americans. Crowe queried the amount and the Committee agreed to lower the fee to £5/0/0d per night. However, the Americans were still charged at the higher rate. The reasons for the change is not recorded, but history will reveal that Australian personnel were paid a lot less than their American cousins and as the hall was being hired to fellow Australians it is reasonable to assume that this may have been the reason.

Beer supplies, or the lack of, and the presentation of war stamps in lieu of golf balls as trophies were among the main topics discussed at the January 1943 Meeting. Jack Griffiths, the House Chairman, told the Meeting  the Club needed a further nine gallons of beer per week to meet the needs of drinkers visiting the Club. Brother George told the meeting, that Members complained about the presentation of war stamps in lieu of balls, but no action was taken on this matter and the Committee remained firm. Local liquor merchants were insisting, that spirits were hard to obtain, the Club must take half the whisky quota in Australian brands. The suggested choice was a well known Australian brand "Corio" and old timers would shudder at the thought of such a choice.

U. S. and Australian troops were holding weekly dances in the clubhouse and although

finances were improving the supply of beer and golf balls caused great concerns. Records show that George Griffiths always managed to keep Members supplied with golf balls. George introduced local rules to assist them. One such local rule was – “Members are allowed to change their golf balls once reaching the putting surface of greens.” Under this rule, Members hit off the tee and played fairway shots with badly marked balls, but on reaching the green the balls were replaced with one of better quality.

Mr. Jack Woodward, recalls that the Club always made special welcome to U. S. officers playing the course, mainly because they always had good supplies of balls, several of which usually finding their way into golf bags of Members. The influx of golfers playing on the course, the army personnel stationed in the area, created problems for the Committee. Three anti-aircraft guns were placed on the course, and at one Meeting, it was reported that troops on the course were incorrectly attired, playing the course with their shirts off. Army vehicles were using the Committee parking area and troops used the locker room for showering. Etc. The Meeting resolved that this must stop. Locks were placed on the entrances to all facilities and approaches made to the officer in charge of the troops requesting that they enforce the correct dress standards and prevent troops from using the Club’s facilities. War or no war, correct dress standards had to be observed.

Worse was to come, and when it was found that troops were drinking more than their share of the beer quota, the Committee got really upset. George Griffiths advised that with the increased use of the Course by servicemen, extra beer quotas were necessary. In one week, 72 servicemen used the Course - Prior to the arrival of the troops, a good week would see 25 players on the course. Increased quotas were applied for, but what really upset George was how the beer quota was being consumed.

At the October Meeting, George reported that golf playing servicemen played three holes and then retired to the bar for drinks, continued for a further three holes, repeating the procedure again and again until their round finished. In one Saturday afternoon, nine gallons of beer had been consumed. This procedure severely stretched the available beer quota and the drinking habits of these players depleted stocks, sometimes denying Club Members a drink on the completion of their rounds. The Committee moved swiftly passing a Motion, that the sale of beer would be restricted until the first gaggles in the competition completed their rounds.

Towards the end of 1943 troops were being moved out of Cairns and this was having an effect on bar profits. However, the Club received additional revenue by renting the spring, situated to the left side of the present 13th fairway to the Wrotham Park Grazing Co. for watering of their stock, and a fee of 1/0d was set.

Even though the war had turned in favor of the Allies, rationing of most commodities was still in force. Rationing not only effected the supply of beer and golf balls, but also linen. Jack Griffiths advised the Committee that the Club’s supply of tea towels and other towels should be replaced. during, and after the war, all linen, towels, and other materials could only be obtained by surrendering the necessary number of coupons. She stated that 56 coupons were allowed per person, per year, for the supply of clothes.

In 1944 American an Australian troops garrisoned in the far north were being withdrawn and sent to other areas. The Membership of the Club was listed as totaling 85, including 48 Members, 28 Associates, 6 Life Members, one Country Member, one Junior Member and one Non-Playing Member. The Club was subjected to severe shortages, as was the entire country, and difficulties were being experienced in obtaining a supply of golf balls and alcohol. The President, Dr. A. M. Langan advised the Annual Meeting that available golf balls would only be distributed to Members, and no balls were to be sold or given to visitors, nonmembers, or service personnel.

In 1944 the course consisted of 9 holes with a bogey, or par, of 36. Associates played a par of 37 with their 8th hole being a par 4. The par for each hole in order of play was - 4, 3, 5, 5, 3, 4, 5, 3, and 4. In 1944 Members and Associates played the same rating, except number eight. Approaches to the Sub Collector of Customs resulted in the Club receiving an increase in its wines and spirits quotas, bringing it to 10 gallons of spirits and 24 bottles of wine. Trophy winners in 1944 were presented with War Saving Bonds in lieu of golf balls. In the later part of 1944 the Club found itself with an overstock of Gin, and the Committee decided that until stocks returned to their normal levels, trophy winners would win bottles of Gin, in lieu of Bonds.


1940 pic1
1940 pic2cc

At the Annual Meeting in 1945 Mr. N. P. Draper was elected as

Patron, Dr. A. M. Langan was returned as President and Mr. G. H. Griffiths as Captain. The Membership had increased from 85 to 117. Golf balls were still in short supply and the March Meeting received a circular from the Q. G. U. advising that if sufficient stocks of used balls were not returned to manufacturers for recovering, the game would suffer a serious decline due to the lack of balls.  The non supply of golf balls was a very big problem, and in the years from 1944 to 1946 several local rules were introduced allowing Members to change their ball once on the green. Members carried a good ball for putting, using second class balls for other play.

Meals to Members would cost 2/6d with an additional 6d for sweets, with the price for afternoon teas being one shilling.