About 18 years ago, a small group of retired golfers began to meet each Monday morning over a cup of coffee to continue the friendship and companionship they had shared on the golf course.
Initially, the group comprised Ray Findlay and Bill Newton, who met at Ray’s home, where they were later joined by a couple of chaps still playing golf. As time went by, the group continued to grow.
It was to become known as the MMGCC — Monday Morning Gentleman’s Coffee Club. Initially, meeting in private homes, then the Barooga Botanical Gardens.
And finally, Sporties, where the 12 staunch former golfers meet each Monday morning for coffee, a chat and a lot of storytelling with the mates whom they shared a love of the game.
Today, with all the action indoors and not on the fairways, there are many great stories being recalled, some true, some with a slight fabrication, encouraging much laughter and undoubtedly an avenue for future stories.
Their best golf is now played in the clubhouse as age catches up. The oldest member is
92-year-old Kevin Ansell, and the youngest two to three are in their mid ’70s.
Group leader Ray Findlay said they had lost four members of the group, and others had moved away.
“So we felt it was about time to recruit some younger chaps like Ross Percy and three other ‘youngies’ in their ’80s,” Ray said.
“We represent a variety of different working backgrounds. None of us were locals, but moved to the district from Melbourne and other areas.
“We’re pretty selective whom we invite to join.
“Several of us are widowers, and the camaraderie and friendships amongst the group is what keeps us going. We also like to help each other out when we can.”
The group has had several different names bandied about by others at Sporties, however, the one which has stuck, at the suggestion of former lady golfer Nancy Cope, partner of John McAllister, is unprintable.
Understandably, it appears to have struck a chord with many of the golfing fraternity.
Having met the 12 retired characters, I realise they each have quite a story to tell and over the
next few months propose to feature each one in this column.
So hang on to your hats, everyone. There could be some interesting stories coming up.
First up in next week’s issue of On the Grapevine is patriarch of the group, 92-year-old Kevin Ansell.