BC Golf House Society president Jim Sutherland wrote in the program accompanying the awards dinner for the 2015 BC Golf Hall of Fame affair that every two years the induction ceremony is held and that, “Every two years it seems less and less likely that the Golf Hall of Fame of British Columbia will be able to maintain the standards to which it has become accustomed.”
Much to his and many other’s delight, the class of 2015 more than lived up to those lofty standards as it witnessed the inclusion of Lyle Crawford, Rick Gibson, Gail Graham, Alvie Thompson and Jennifer Wyatt into the hallowed hall.
As Sutherland pointed out, four years ago the new members included a 4-time LPGA champion, a regular on the men’s Champions Tour and a 4-time winner of each of the Irish and Canadian Women’s Amateur Championships, among other notables.
Then, two years ago, the inductees added achievements that include four more LPGA titles, two victories on the PGA TOUR and the 1994 Dunhill Cup along with many other honours.
When Sutherland wondered if that level of achievement could be maintained he needed only wait until this year’s honourees rolled out their resumes upon induction.
Between the five players who went into the hall this year there was another significant title haul from the LPGA , a collection of Asian Tour victories from a player who holds current membership on the European Senior Tour and one professional and amateur with very impressive provincial and national golf resumes.
As Sutherland so aptly stated, “Once again the Golf Hall of Fame of BC has beaten the odds.”
During a very entertaining and informal ‘fireside chat’ format hosted by City TV’s Breakfast Television host Dawn Chubai, the distinguished guests were treated to some terrific stories and sharing of emotions as each of the new inductees conversed with Chubai and then addressed those assembled with their acceptance speech.
While Alvie Thompson, Gail Graham and Jennifer Wyatt were present to acknowledge their induction to the hall, Rick Gibson was represented by his son Karl and the late Lyle Crawford by his two daughters, Tracey and Shelley.
Each acceptance speech came from the heart, took time to acknowlege and praise family, friends and loved ones and also included plenty of laughter as all concerned displayed a marvellous sense of humour to go along with their humilty in accepting the award.
Former CPGA Champion and 1963 Masters participant Alvie Thompson got the night off to a rousing start as he demonstated a very quick wit belying his advancing years and the proceedings continued on that note throughout the affair.
The appreciation expressed by the families of Lyle Crawford and Rick Gibson was further echoed by those in attendance in support of both Jennifer Wyatt and Gail Graham.
Moments such as when Graham paused during her speech to take a ‘selfie’ with the assembled dinner guests in the background and when Wyatt acknowledged the rousing support of her ladies hockey team also gave the evening a sense of youthful fun and entertainment, avoiding the air of stuffiness that can sometimes accompany such gatherings.
As Jim Sutherland welcomed the newest members of the BC Golf Hall of Fame, he also took the time to look to the future and wish those next in line the same success in collecting titles while urging that “the odds forever be beaten.”
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