The celebrations for Blacklion’s first 50 years culminated on Sunday when two stalwarts of the club planted a red oak tree. Bob Thompson and Josie Clancy former captains of the club were cheered to the echo by a plethora of past captains, presidents and members.
A huge turnout for the evening of nostalgia and reminiscence included visitors from Castlehume, Enniskillen, Nuremore, Cavan and Bundoran. M.C. for the evening, club secretary Pat Gallery introduced President Paddy Maguire who, in a comprehensive and moving speech paid tribute to the early leaders who showed such foresight and perseverance to establish Blacklion Golf Club. Paddy mentioned Dan McCann’s initiative in proposing a golf club in a small Cavan village, Bertie Armstrong and Michael O’Dwyer who were instrumental in getting the project underway and many members of the fledgling club: Hugh and Josie Clancy, Kevin Curran, Peadar and Annie Greene, Vincent and Teresa McGovern, Kevin and Joan Lunny, Mairead O’Dolan, Teresa O’Dwyer and Bob and Hilda Thompson.
Paddy reflected that other courses might prove more challenging with grander clubhouses but few could compare with the serenity and beauty of Blacklion. However, the main asset of Blacklion is its ethos; members and visitors are made to feel at home and all are treated as equals. Its friendliness is a legacy which the present club strives to maintain.
The culture of voluntary labour inherited from those early days persists to this day. So many people in so many ways have contributed to the club’s well-being.
Finally, Paddy paid tribute to the ladies of the club for ensuring that this special night would live long in memory – Lady Captain Pat Illand, Josephine Gallery, Yvonne Cullen and Eileen Tracey. And of course his present(!) wife Kathleen for choosing the prizes. Paddy sat down to ringing applause.
Lady Captain Pat Illand, while acknowledging the past presidents and captains, made special reference to the unsung heroes – the ordinary club members without whom the club could not function. When they saw a job needing to be done, they did it – these were the foundations on which the club was based.
Josephine Gallery spoke of the backbone of the club – the ladies’ section. Though small in number, they had taken the lead from trail-blazers like her parents. She had grown up with the club – it was a place of friendships with golf as a bonus.
On behalf of the visitors, Forster Richardson, president of Castlehume remembered playing in Blacklion in the early days. He had enjoyed playing the course and agreed that the friendliness of the club was second to none.
At this point, President Paddy Maguire, Captain Francis O’Reilly and Lady Captain Pat Illand cut the anniversary cake