Manchester and District Golf Captains

 

History


Founded 1955

The Society had its origins in two Golf Clubs: Stockport and Cavendish in Buxton.

Three members of Stockport: Tom Gribbin who was the Manchester Evening News Golf Correspondent, Jack Milner who had been President of the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs and John Farnworth all past Captains along with Ted Paessler, a Past Captain of Cavendish, met together and decided much of the experience of running golf clubs in the Manchester area was being wasted. It was felt that the experience of Captains would be better preserved if Golf Club Captains formed a Society and the amalgamation of ideas might also provide an opportunity for some very pleasant golfing occasions whilst putting to good use collective "know-how".


E.A.Paessler
J.H.Farnworth
J.R.Whalley
J.Milner
G.L.Q.Henriques
T.M.Gribbin

The four founders met on several occasions to discuss and thrash out the details and decided to form the Society. They needed a President and asked George Henriques a Past Captain of Cavendish, Past President of the English Golf Union and former England player. Reg Whalley, a Past Captain of Stockport and well known journalist of the day was asked to be the first Captain. Tom Gribbin, a Past Captain of Reddish Vale and well known throughout the Manchester golfing scene, accepted the position of Honorary Secretary. John Farnworth, a Past Captain of Stockport and a respected Manchester accountant became Honorary Treasurer. The Founders decided to approach The Duke of Devonshire to become the Society Patron which he readily accepted. The Duke attended the first dinner and the Silver Jubilee Dinner twenty-five years later and continued his support for the Society and its objectives for nearly fifty years until his death in 2004.

All that was needed at this stage was for a Lawyer, Arthur Dean, to put together the Rules and Bye-laws which he did very thoroughly and these lasted for over fifty years until they were updated in 2007.

The objectives as declared in the Rules are to further the interest of golf, to maintain its traditions, and to bring together those who have been actively involved in the administrative control of the game. The arrangement whereby Past Captains automatically become Vice-Presidents and are retained on the Executive for some years has meant they stay close to the Society after leaving office.

The membership grew rapidly and a series of annual competitions was soon established. These were quickly followed by the first annual match against the Liverpool Captains' Society and Society Matches against our companion Societies: Bolton, Shropshire & Herefordshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Leeds, Chester, South Cheshire, Worcestershire and particularly, Derbyshire and Northumberland. Through our connection with the last two, long-stand friendships have developed and indeed our Society was able to help in their formation through the good offices of Jack Spedding who replaced Tom Gribbin as Honorary Secretary and stayed in office for over twenty-five years.

For many of these years Stanley Powell, a Past Captain of Stockport, became the Honorary Treasurer whose stepson, Geoffrey Harrison was Honorary Auditor until his retirement in 2004.

The Annual Dinner has become a major event of the golfing calendar and is usually attended by the Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Many dignitaries from other Captains' Societies and County Unions are also invited and we are honoured by their presence. For the first thirty or so years the Annual Dinner was held at the Manchester Reform Club and subsequently at the University. Support for the Dinner has grown considerably and is it now held at venues such as the Atlantic Suite at Manchester Airport, Mere Golf & Country Club, The Point at Lancashire C.C.C. The Midland Hotel and latterly returning to The Mere Resort

In 2015 the Executive agreed to remove the words “The Society of” from the Title and become an Association known as “Manchester and District Golf Captains”.

The Association plays in fifteen meetings or matches annually and membership is over six hundred and fifty. Junior Golf continues to be supported through donations to the County Union organisations.

Long may we enjoy our golf, and may we endeavour to help other golfers attain the high standards we set ourselves to maintain the traditions, rules and enjoy golf as players and administrators of the game.

E.A. Paessler J. Milner J.H. Farnworth G.L.Q. Henriques J.R. Whalley T.M. Gribbin

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