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An ode to Te Puia Springs

MANY trips down memory lane were taken in the clubhouse at Te Puia Springs Golf Club’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday, November 14.

Around 50 people from the popular East Coast club’s past and present came together for the jubilee.

Among the guests was East Coast farmer and “bush poet” Graeme Williams, whose family have a strong connection to the Coast and, indeed, the Springs club.

He presented his poetic version of the history of the club to the delight of those who attended.

It went as follows —

The year was 1945

And the war had found an end.

Optimism was rampant

As invariably was the trend.

Freedom was highly valued

Despite the price being terribly high.

A group of hearty locals

Thought a golf course they would try.

Ellis Rouse, Freddie Jefferd Geoff Cotterill and several more.

Needed to approach the landowner

Indeed Ellis’s mother-in-law.

Ellis’s wife Nell

Was equal to the task.

And as history now recalls

All she had to do was ask.

Land was duly acquired

From Kahinu Station as was named.

And immediately from the scrub

A fledgling golf club she was claimed.

AB, Dob, RW

And many, many more.

Fronted with dough and labour To get it off the floor.

Nell’s brother Tommy Smith

Was employed to lay the greens.

Horses, scoops and shovels

Were the extent of his machines.

Thirteen greens by him were laid

Planted, watered and duly played.

Every member from the start

Rolled their sleeves and played their part.

Working bees were part of life

Father, daughter, son and wife.

This family involvement from the start

Has held this club distinctly apart.

The hospitality is second to none

Leading the country as to how it’s done.

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

As Pare Horomia would say.

Is the reason this iconic club

Is still putting along today.

The membership per usual

Despite being far from long.

Has heart and soul and passion

As it has had all along.

It’s dangerous mentioning names

But there’s some that I will do.

As every generation

Has some that bind the club like glue.

Everyone contributes

Not only the ones upon the wall.

Even the slackers and the hackers

Who contribute bugger all.

Cythia Colbert and Nelson Truman

Epitomise the true soul of the club.

Thousands of voluntary hours

That effectively subsidise the sub.

I applaud you one and all

For your effort, work and care.

Allowing anyone lucky enough

This iconic course to share.

I’ll finish with the Rooster

The undisputed kaiwhakahaere of the club.

Known on every fairway

And I dare say every pub.

Had he turned professional

With his incredible ability to win.

He’d have putted for the silver

And driven for the gin.

It’s the likes of Peter Rouse

And his ever-supporting wife.

That have made this little club

Such an iconic part of life.

Tiger’s desperate to join

I gather he’s googled several looks.

Cynthia told him to bugger off

As he’d upset all the cooks.

So raise a glass to one and all

Especially members past.

And acknowledge combined contribution

Enabling a small club like this to last.

An oak tree needs an acorn

To flourish to something fine.

Here’s to slices, hooks and dongas

And more of the summer wine.