Tribute paid to New Norfolk Golf Club pioneers

IT was a special moment in the long history of the New Norfolk Golf Club last Saturday (September 9) when former president and captain Peter Howell returned to his old stomping ground. Mr Howell has also been a key figure in business and local government, having co-founded the Derwent Gazette in 1953, managed the Derwent Printery, and served as a member of the then New Norfolk Council.

He was the warden of New Norfolk from 1987-94 and became the municipality’s first mayor when the title changed from warden in 1994. Mr Howell and his late wife moved to New South Wales after his retirement from council duties. He became associated with the Tweed Heads Bowls Club, which he served for more than 15 years including about half that time as its chairman. The club has nearly 25,000 members and honoured Mr Howell with life membership.

Now aged 95 and living in Hobart, his attention recently turned to finding a way to support the New Norfolk Golf Club and acknowledge those who obtained a permanent home after three temporary venues around the town. “It’s certainly wonderful to be here again and it brings back many so many wonderful memories,” Mr Howell said on Saturday.

Derwent Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis, left, with former mayor Peter Howell.

New Norfolk Golf Club president Glenn Heron and vice president Leigh Heron introduced Mr Howell to the members present on the day. He also met the current club captain, Graeme Triffitt, and other club stalwarts Les
McKenzie, David Giles, Martin Woodhams, Wade Coleman, Alan Leitch and Doug Jenkins.

Mr Howell presented the club with a custom-made golf course clock, made in England, which has been installed on the front wall of the clubhouse. A plaque next to the clock reads: “This clock is a timely reminder to remember the men and women who made this golf course possible … and now it’s time to play your best game.” SEE THE VIDEO

He said he had known most of those people and they had come from all walks of life, led by a lawyer and a journalist, referring to Joe Dixon and Joe Cowburn. “They came together with one idea and that was to make a golf course they could call their own and make it as good as they possibly could,” he said.

“They set the foundation of what you have today and I must say you are keeping faith with those earlier movers because things look so good … the greens, fairways and this clubhouse are a credit to you and those who have been involved through the years.”

Mr Howell thanked NNGC secretary Mark Ashton for his assistance in having the $1500 clock installed. Among those attending Saturday’s presentation was Councillor Michelle Dracoulis, who last year was elected as the municipality’s first female mayor.

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