GDSC Ladies Golf Club members Yvonne Gillette, Mick Rogan (RFS), Cathy Jones (Club President), Kaye Musgrave (Hospital Auxiliary), Alba Linklater (Hospital Auxiliary), Jennifer Dowd (Westpac Helicopter), Meredith Corrigan, Judy Burt, Robyn Wilkes for the handing over of donations after the closure of the Westlawn Golf Course.
GDSC Ladies Golf Club members Yvonne Gillette, Mick Rogan (RFS), Cathy Jones (Club President), Kaye Musgrave (Hospital Auxiliary), Alba Linklater (Hospital Auxiliary), Jennifer Dowd (Westpac Helicopter), Meredith Corrigan, Judy Burt, Robyn Wilkes for the handing over of donations after the closure of the Westlawn Golf Course.

SILVER LINING: Ladies Golf Club fold, donate funding to RFS

GOLF : As the closure of the iconic Westlawn Golf Course draws near, the GDSC Ladies Golf Club decided to make the most of an unfortunate situation.

After the GDSC decided not to continue their support of the course, club president Cathy Jones has had to look into options for the future.

“We’ve been forced to fold and the men’s and women’s clubs will unite under the banner of the Westlawn Golf Club where we will be playing socially at the Grafton District Golf Club,” Jones said.

With the last of their funds before the close on December 31, the GDSC Ladies Golf Club decided to donate $780 to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service and the Hospital Auxiliary as well as a further $1400 to the Grafton Rural Fire Service.

Hospital Auxiliary representatives Kaye Musgrove and Alba Linklater during the handing over of a donation from Cathy Jones after the announced closure of the Westlawn Golf Course for January 2020.
Hospital Auxiliary representatives Kaye Musgrove and Alba Linklater during the handing over of a donation from Cathy Jones after the announced closure of the Westlawn Golf Course for January 2020.

“There were obvious reasons for us choosing the RFS, but we wanted the money to stay in Grafton. We wanted it to benefit the wider community,” Jones said.

“Every charity organisation in the region was worthy but those three will benefit the most people in the Clarence Valley.”

While the club has found a silver lining in the closure of the course and a future at Grafton’s main club, Jones still believes it will be incredibly harmful to a wide range of demographics.

“Grafton District Golf Club have offered a membership and cart hire deal so that we can play on Fridays and Sundays as a social club,” she said.

“I haven’t been playing here for very long but it is such an easily accessible course for people who can’t traverse the terrain in South Grafton. We’ll have members who will just have to stop playing. At a later stage in life, that was often their only exercise.

“This is a very accommodating course for beginners at a young age as well – so it’s not just the older demographic missing out,” she said.

RFS member Mick Rogan with GDSC Ladies Club President Cathy Jones during the handing over of a donation after the announced closure of the Westlawn Golf Course for January 2020.
RFS member Mick Rogan with GDSC Ladies Club President Cathy Jones during the handing over of a donation after the announced closure of the Westlawn Golf Course for January 2020.

While RFS Grafton representative Mick Rogan is disappointed by the closure of the course, he was thankful for some much-needed support.

“My father had deep ties with the course. I think he would turn in his grave. He only died this year and I have so many fond memories here. It’s upsetting to say the least,” Rogan said.

“It is a shame, but talking to some of the members in the brigade, they’re really keen to get some equipment supplied to us to help on the firefront.”

The donation is one of many from the Clarence community amid a terrible season of bushfires.

“It’s been very handy and the people of Grafton including the ladies from the GDSC golf club have been very generous,” Rogan said.

“We’ve earmarked a couple of things we want to buy for the trucks.

“We only really have two fundraisers a year with our Bunnings Warehouse barbecue but the donations we have received out of this tragedy are really going to help us.

“It’s been one huge team effort from all the brigades in the Valley. Our members have done extraordinary things and I believe they deserve bravery awards.”