Valentine’s comes early at the Country Club

Sunday's fun day winners Gia and Enricco Bozza with Wayne

Valentine arrived early at the club this year with a busy weekend of events culminating with a roast lunch on Sunday to help rekindle the flames of love and friendship.

There are various interpretations as to how Valentine’s Day came about, but all lead back to the Roman Empire around 486.

The day first became associated with love in the 14th century through the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer, and fully evolved into an occasion for lovers to express their love in the 18th century.

Also Read: Young Ladysmith golfer who loves to beat his dad.

Saturday started as any normal Saturday would at the club when 370 odd Park Runners completed their weekly five kilometre exercise routine around the beautifully tranquil, scenic and undulating golf course. This picturesque scene of absolute calm and silence would soon be broken by the sounds of gunfire and mayhem that later that afternoon became known as “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre 2 – The Sequel”.

Also Read: The golf bug bites on Ladysmith Pharmacy day.

The original massacre occurred in 1929 when George “Bugs” Moran of the Irish North Side gang and his men were lured to his warehouse, supposedly by Al “Scarface” Capone of the Italian South Side gang and where seven men were shot and killed as a warning to George (who arrived late and survived) and others not to encroach on their turf.

The sequel followed much the same plot when Stuart “Al” Hanlon and Roy ‘Capone” Gibbons of the Reservoir gang lured two unsuspecting boot loggers – namely Etienne “Bugsy” de Pindray and Steve “the Moran” Dixon – onto the golf course at the Ladysmith Country Club with promises of huge rewards.

The meeting started out as a civilised affair, but soon turned into an absolute massacre when “Al” started to fire like a Thompson machine gun, with deadly accuracy from all angles, even collecting a few birdies, while “Capone” from a safe distance urged him on, with the maniacal laugh of a madman. So shattered were “Bugsy” and “the Moran” that on the 17th, with the sound of gunfire and laughter still ringing in his ears and with “Al” and “Capone” chattering away like machine guns behind him, “the Moran” had a fresh air shot.

While this bloodshed was taking place, Vernon Naidoo and his student Cameron Wessels went quietly about their business and won on a “shoot out” from Aiden Sorcha and his granddad Chia with both on 70 points.

Vernon was not at prize-giving and the rumour goes that he was outplayed by his student, who has now become the master, and was afraid of the chirping that was bound to happen. It was also stated that Aiden, playing in his first tournament, showed his granddad just how easy golf was.

Stuart Hanlon, aka “Al”, ran away with all the two-club money with a finely hit shot that was heading straight for the dam till it hit a tree and landed a mere foot or two from the pin. He and Wayne won the ‘nearest the pin’ prizes on the 12th and 11th respectively. The staff were at the club early on Sunday to prepare for the Valentine’s lunch and get the course ready for the six-hole mashie fun golf day. A number of wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers and friends partook in this unusual format to reaffirm their love for each other.

The golf section, ensuring the utmost safety of all concerned, had a lawyer on duty as well as a medical assistant on standby just in case. I’m glad to report that the lawyer and the assistant services were not required, but it was touch and go at one stage. The couple that won were Gia and Enrico Bozza, who happily received the trophy from the golf captain, with Murray Hume and Charlotte van Rensburg following them home in second place.

Roy Gibbons won the ‘longest putt’ after Linda left her putt a little short and were both happy to receive their prize. The much-awaited lunch followed and compliments must go to Anna and the staff for a really superb meal which was enjoyed by all who booked. There was much discussion about the club that there should be more family / sports days, so watch this space.

Well done to all the winners, especially the youngsters, and see you at the club. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HARRISMITH – LADYSMITH CHALLENGE HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

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