History of FNQVGA



This is the first draft of a history of the FNQVGA before files get lost. The final history may be more detailed & I hope to fill in any gaps by contacting a few of the founders.

Enjoy & if you find any errors, or can add to it eg with regard to Christian names of those named, please let any of the committee know so I can make amendments or additions.

When completed, the history will include several Honour Boards. Unfortunately, the names of some of the trophy winners have not been included in various reports, so if you know who won what & when, please help fill the gaps by contacting any of the committee with details. I have excluded some trophies which we no longer play for.


On 12th July 1983, the inaugural meeting of the Far North Queensland Senior Golf Association was held at Cairns Golf Club with 29 members present & 4 apologies, so it can be assumed from these numbers that older golfers had been meeting & playing for some time before the meeting.

Those present were David Hopton, Fred Frazer, Col Woods, Les Ives, M Millard, K Montgomery, Clive Hull, A Maingay, W Linder, E Hepburn, George Press, Cec Evans, E O'Brien, Ted Thomassen, Mal Cook, Adrian Fay, G Kretchmann, Lou Cappellano, George Baulch, Stan Townson, R King, Norm Maloney, Ken Holder, Tim Paterson, Al Sarsfield, Vince Donnelly, D Jackson, Tony Murray, Bill Lawrence & apologies were received from V Bergman, S Boyd, J Kerr, D Fang Yuen

David Hopton was inaugural Patron
Fred Frazer was inaugural President
K Montgomery was inaugural Captain

The keynote of the Association was 'Friendship'.

Play was set for every 1st & 3rd Tuesday at Cairns Golf Club. Foundation membership was 58 & membership fee was $5.

For the period 12th July to 29th November 1983 the Assn had 9 games, 8 at Cairns & 1 at Gordonvale with an average of 28 players & finished the year with 86 members. An out of season game was played at Mareeba, attracting a record number of 41 players & it was expressed that future programmes include visits to outside clubs.

Publicity was received through Dick Chant of the ABC & John Schlach of the Cairns Post.

Adrian Fay donated a shield for the Annual Championships. An inaugural net profit of $40 was made.

1st AGM held at Cairns GC on 3rd April 1984 & constitution adopted, subject to including a proviso that to be eligible to play in the Championship, a player must be a member & have played in at least 6 competitions of the Assn in the financial year in which the Championship is held.

1st Championships were played at Gordonvale. 

A Christmas dinner was held at Newmarket Hotel.

Unfortunately, no record exists of the green fees paid.

Following On

In 1984, 17 games were played, 11 at Cairns, 2 at Mareeba & Mossman & 1 each at Gordonvale and Half Moon Bay. 25 members donated trophies for games played & lunches were provided, but no record was made of cost of the games or lunches.

2nd AGM held at Cairns GC on 4th December 1984 changed the constitution to restrict playing in the championships unless a member for 2 months prior to the date thereof. Also, the Qld Veteran Golfers Union had invited the Assn to affiliate, which was declined as an affiliation fee was involved.

In 1985 it was decided not to include Atherton as a venue as their green fees were too high & they would not reduce them. The Championships were to be played at Mareeba & Cairns & a plaque was donated for the Championships by Tim Patterson for the best gross over the 36 holes with the Adrian Fay Shield awarded to best net score over 36 holes of the Championships. More 4BBB games were to be included in the programme, as they were popular.

F Frazer resigned in May over a programming disagreement & Ted Thomasson was appointed in his place.

Membership was reported at 103 & Atherton & Innisfail were included in the program. 20 games were played at Cairns, Mareeba, Gordonvale, Half Moon Bay & Mossman. 2 games were organised for the ladies. Membership fees were $5 & Green fees $4.

A Christmas function was held at Cairns GC for $11 per head, start of a tradition.

In 1986 Ted Thomasson died during the year & his family offer a trophy in his memory, to be awarded to the aggregate of the best 3 cards of 7 stableford events played after 1st July.

Resolved to write to LOLGA (Little Old Ladies Golf Association) seeking interest in joining for 2 4BBB games. 

In 1987 Membership fees for 1988 were increased to $10 & comp fees held at $4 which included NTPs & light refreshments. Start times for comps to be 12 noon in Cairns & 10am for country clubs. 22 games were played includingCardwell & 2 ladies days & 2 with LOLGA.

Annual dinner held at Cairns GC for $15 per head, including drinks subsidised by $5 ph.

In 1988 El Arish & Tully were included in the program. Handicapping was discussed – it seems there were burglars even in those days! Membership stood at 107.

In 1990 the committee was asked to investigate possible games at Mirage & Paradise Palms after which games were arranged at both, but at the Mirage course at Port Douglas there were some ructions when members drove their buggies into the car park.

In 1991 the Assn resolved to affiliate with the Queensland Veteran Golf Union. Membership slipped to 119 after the formation of the Coral Coast Veterans Assn., but attendances averaged 56.

In 1992 the Assn changed its name to the Far North Queensland Veteran Golf Association at an EGM on 12th March, as required by the QVGU. Comp fees increased to $5.

In 1993 the Championships were changed to 4 age groups, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+ , (which presents difficulties with completing the honour boards.)

In 1995 Championships reverted to A, B, C grades. Arguments with Mossman about not letting us use 2 tees, which prolongs the day. Membership increased to 145. 

In 1996 Assn withdraws from playing at clubs in the Coral Coast Veterans area. Ties in Championships to be decided by sudden death playoff & if not present, forfeit. Membership at 174.

In 1997 Tee off times standardised at 0830, later amended to 0900. Applied for incorporation under the Qld Associations Incorporation Act, effective from 2nd March 1998 No IA19083. Shirts obtained for $25.

In 1998 Assn expresses interest to QVGU to run the Qld Veterans Open State Golf Championship in 1999 & when accepted Don Thomson appointed as interin Chairman of the organising sub committee. Event to be held at Cairns GC on 26/27 July 1999, with nomination fee set at $50 to include green fees & dinner at Brothers Leagues Club & a welcome BBQ on the 25th July at Cairns GC at a cost of $10 ph. Courtesy coaches would be provided free.  At the AGM, ladies were accepted as members of the Assn (but still not accepted as members by QVGU).  Prior to this ladies could only play if accompanied by a male who was a member.

In 1999 The Qld Veterans Open State Golf Championship was held on 26/27 July at Cairns GC. 180 players competed & the event returned a profit of $1741, of which half was remitted to QVGU. 100 ladies played at Gordonvale & the Assn donated $500 for trophies & misc expenses to that event. A shotgun start was introduced for the final game at Cairns & wef 2000 starting times at all venues to be 0830. Request received to play weekly.

The New Millennium

In 2000 the Assn registered interest with QVGU & AVGU about hosting the National Championships in 2009. Mt Isa asked to join the Assn for $10 membership & the Assn donated $50 for trophies. Registered for ABN no 83404984624. Membership 197 & 32 games played with average attendances of 73. Ladies permitted to play in the field as long as they arranged their own fours, otherwise continue to play at end of the field.

In 2001 decided comp winners would be decided on a count back. Members up to 211, green fees $6. Xmas dinner costs $15 including 2 drinks, visitors $20. Mention made of a Ted Stanton & Bob Bailey perpetual trophy.

In 2002 It was decided to give Mt Isa a trophy & cover the costs of their Secretary. Membership stood at 254 with 37 games played.

In 2003 shirts were available for $35, Xmas dinner cost $25 including 2 drinks. Registration times for comps were set at between 0730 & 0830. A 20th Anniversary function was held with a shirt & meal for 6 original members. In March we queried with the Aust Golf Union if membership of the Paradise Palms Frequent Player Club fulfils our constitutional requirement for our members to be “financial members of a registered golf club”. The AGU referred the matter to the QGU which advised in July that it did.

In 2004 green fees were increased to $7, played 39 games on 12 courses with average attendances of 86. In Feb we were advised that a Golf Access Aust member was not a member affiliated with the AGU & therefore not considered a financial member entitled to play in our comps. In May, the QVGU published basic requirements for conduct of State Championships & suggested cost of trophies for various grades. In Nov QVGU increased affiliation fees from $1.50 to $2.

In 2005 membership was 284, 41 games were played over 10 courses with average attendances of 93. QVGU confirmed we could host the National Championships in 2009. 

In 2006 planning for the National Championships commenced and a levy on on members of $1 per game on top of comp fees of $7 & annual membership fee would be raised to $15 pa between Dec '06 & Jul '09 be introduced to cover costs. Cyclone Larry in March caused severe disruption to games.

In 2007 on 7th July the Assn changed its name to Far North Queensland Veteran Golfers Association Inc. (no IA19083) to avoid confusion with forces veterans. Membership climbed to 319. Babinda & Millaa Millaa games were moved to later in the year to avoid the wet weather.

In 2008 it was decided to note the 25th anniversary of the Assn at the Cairns game but hold no special function. The Assn decided to take a trial of Golf Link. Membership climbed to 322. Ravenshoe & Mossman were dropped from the playing list. Millaa Millaa requested their game be scheduled only in Oct/Nov to avoid bad weather.

In 2009 QVGU advised in Sep that they had established a Veteran Women Golfers Association wef 1/1/10 as a separate Division 22. The National Championships In Aug were a great success & set the Assn up well for some years with the profit from it. Innisfail was removed from the playing list as it was part of the Coral Coast District. Ravenshoe was also removed from the playing list. Their games were allocated to Gordonvale & Mareeba. Mossman was included again.

In 2010 Membership fees reverted to $10pa & comp fees to $7. The Slope system of handicapping was introduced. Two divisions for men were introduced for comps on 18 hole courses where numbers were over 90. Women's championship to be stroke play & their NTPs to be 2nd shot on the most difficult par 3s.

In 2011 Dave Lawler offered a '75 & Over' Trophy which was to be a gross event in conjunction with the Championships.

In 2013 There was another disagreement with Mossman over the cancellation of a game there due to wet weather when only 2 out of 20 members present wished to play, following which the club invoiced us for loss of income.  The invoice was declined, the remaining 3 games at Mossman removed from our program and the club was advised we would not include them in future programs.

In 2014 the change in the handicapping system presented difficulties with 2 day competitions held at different clubs and it was resolved to hold any such at the one venue from 2015.

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