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.
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.