Top News

Abercrombie Golf Club reaches 100th year

Two golfers putt out on the ninth green, sometime in the mid-1950s.
Two golfers putt out on the ninth green, sometime in the mid-1950s. - Contributed

ABERCROMBIE, N.S. – It’s unlikely that charter members at Abercrombie Golf Club could have envisioned that their little course would still be up and running a century later.

“There’s been a lot of clubs come and go,” says Jonathan Garron, director of golf at Abercrombie, which is marking its 100th year in 2019.

“To stay around and stay in business – to get to that 100 years and still going pretty strong is a huge accomplishment.”

There are only a handful of golf courses in Nova Scotia that are older than Abercrombie; among them – this is not necessarily a complete list – are Truro Golf Club (opened in 1903), Amherst, Yarmouth Links (built in the 1800s), Digby Pines (1905), Chester, Brightwood in Dartmouth and Lingan, which is in Cape Breton.

“There would be a few older than us,” says Garron, “but I don’t think there’s a lot. It’s the test of time – we’ve been very fortunate. We are still fairly strong and a lot of it comes back to the support of the membership.”

As part of its centennial celebrations, the club will also host the Nova Scotia Men’s Amateur championship on July 5-7.

“There’s a lot of local people from my understanding that wants to register and play,” said Garron, “which will be nice for us, to have a strong contingent who will play and compete.”

He added that the course itself is in great condition.

“It’s probably the best it’s ever wintered. We should open with no (temporary tees or greens). We’re really looking forward to a strong year.”

Shown are four of the charter members at Abercrombie Golf Club. From left are: George ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, J.S.M. Mason, J.P. MacNeil and Dr. Garfield MacDonald. This photo was taken in 1938.
Shown are four of the charter members at Abercrombie Golf Club. From left are: George ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, J.S.M. Mason, J.P. MacNeil and Dr. Garfield MacDonald. This photo was taken in 1938.

 

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Grant Dunlop has been a member at Abercrombie since 1960. It is believed he is the longest continuous-serving member, having started there when he was about nine years old. He still golfs four times a week.

“We father played, my mother played, we all played golf,” says Dunlop, who deserves credit for gathering most of the information in this article.

His brother Allan, who died a few years ago, had been employed with Nova Scotia Archives, and as Abercrombie was approaching its 75th anniversary, he suggested that it might be a good idea to look into the club’s history.

In the early 1990s, Grant Dunlop, started going through microfilm at the library in New Glasgow, poring over old newspapers, piecing together the past. It would prove to be more work than he’d imagined.

“I didn’t think it would take me a year to do it,” he says with a smile.

He figures that Abercrombie has hosted close to 30 provincial and national golf championships (it was home of the 2015 Canadian men’s amateur).

“It’s a nice accomplishment, to still be here a hundred years later.”

Junior members from 1962.
Junior members from 1962.

 

IN THE CLUBHOUSE

• Abercrombie has twice had its clubhouse burn to the ground. The original went up in flames in 1956, following a social event held there; a year later, a new one was built at a cost of $29,000, or what would be roughly $250,000 today.

• In 1968, a section was added to the building to accommodate the Bluenose Curling Club. 1968 was also the year the club went from being a nine-hole course to its current 18.

• That clubhouse lasted until 1989, when a fire that started in the clubhouse kitchen destroyed the facility. It was re-built the next year (a trailer was used as a temporary clubhouse for the 1989 season) and the Bluenose Curling Club relocated to Park Street in New Glasgow.

• Dunlop said there are a few original holes on the course: No. 1, which has a rebuilt green, and holes 7, 8 and 9 and what is now the 11th hole. Also, what is now the 10th hole used to be the sixth.

DOMINATING THE FIELD

• In an eight-year span beginning in 1977, John T. MacLeod, Jr. won the men’s championship seven times (nine overall). MacLeod also won the N.S. men’s amateur twice (in 1969 he was the first junior to ever win it) and again in 1986, when he captured the title at his home course in Abercrombie).

• Kevin Scott has won it six times and is the two-time defending champion.

• W.H. “Nan” Ross won the women’s division 15 times, and six in a row from 1937-1942.

• The last 12 women’s titles have been won by Debbie Bray (five), Julia Henderson (four) and Michelle Buck (three). Bray has captured 10 overall.

List of Abercrombie Golf Club champions

MEN

1926: Dr. Garfield MacDonald

1927: Unknown

1928: T.L. McCall

1929: J.S.M. Mason

1930: George ‘Stonewall’ Jackson

1931: Ross Nesbitt

1932: Ross Nesbitt

1933: Unknown

1934: Dr. W.R. Fraser

1935: E.S. MacKenzie

1936: J.S.M. Mason

1937: Unknown

1938: Unknown

1939: Rev. Robert Condon

1940: J.W.H. Sutherland

1941: J.W.H. Sutherland

1942: J.B. Keay

1943: Unknown

1944: Unknown

1945: Unknown

1946: Harry McNaughton Jr.

1947: Bill Mutch

1948: J.S. “Bing” Spencer

1949: Robert “Lugs” Rae

1950: J.S. “Bing” Spencer

1951: Unknown

1952: Harry McNaughton Jr.

1953: Unknown

1954: J.S. “Bing” Spencer

1955: Robert “Lugs” Rae

1956: Danny Hood, Jr.

1957: Hughie Sutherland

1958: Danny Hood, Jr.

1959: Hughie Sutherland

1960: Nesbit “Nip” Ross

1961: Joe Mitchell

1962: Bill Cuin

1963: Glenn Austin

1964: Bill Cuin

1965: Unknown

1966: Tom MacDonald

1967: Sid Lockhart

1968: Danny Hood Jr.

1969: Avard “Push” Madore

1970: Wayne Madore

1971: Stan Rozicki

1972: Bill Cuin

1973: David MacLean

1974: John T. MacLeod Jr.

1975: David MacLean

1976: John Young

1977-1980: John T. MacLeod Jr.

1981: Fred Fergus

1982-1984: John T. MacLeod Jr.

1985: Dave Callaghan

1986: Steve Saulnier

1987: Aaron Callaghan

1988: Clark Savage

1989: Bob Wong

1990: Harvey Cormier

1991: David Canfield

1992: John “Jook Munroe

1993: John “Jook Munroe

1994: David Canfield

1995: Lee Fanning

1996: John “Jook Munroe

1997: Kevin Scott

1998: John T. MacLeod Jr.

1999: John “Jook Munroe

2000: Bon Wong

2001: Jamie MacIntosh

2002: Bruce Horne

2003: Brad Smith

2004: Grant Dunlop

2005-2007: Ray Hogan

2008: Kevin Scott

2009: Jim “S.T.” MacDonald

2010: Glenn MacLean

2011: Kevin Scott

2012: Glenn MacLean

2013: Jamie Aitken

2014: Kevin Scott

2015: Devan MacDonald

2016: Mark Fortune

2017: Kevin Scott

2018: Kevin Scott

WOMEN

1922: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1923: Unknown

1924: Unknown

1925-1928: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1929: Unknown

1930-1932: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1933: Rube MacGregor

1934-1935: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1936: Unknown

1937-1942: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1943: Unknown

1944: Unknown

1945-1947: W.H. “Nan” Ross

1949-1960: Faun MacDearmid

1961: Mary Armstrong

1962: Fran MacDearmid

1963: Unknown

1964: Unknown

1965: Alta Roy

1966: Unknown

1967: Unknown

1968: Faun MacDearmid

1969: Mary Goodine

1970-1973: Faun MacDearmid

1974: Unknown

1975-1977: Debbie MacLeod

1978-1980: Unknown

1981: Joan MacConnell

1982: Unknown

1983: Joanne Johnson

1984-1986: Unknown

1987: Joanne Johnson

1988: Joanne Johnson

1989-1990: Unknown

1991: Sarah Marks

1992: Joyce Jackson

1993: Sarah Marks

1994: Sarah Marks

1995: Joyce Jackson

1996: Margo Hilchey

1997: Sarah Marks

1998: Sue Lewis

1999: Sarah Marks

2000: Michelle Buck

2001-2005: Debbie Bray

2006: Bea White

2007: Debbie Bray

2008: Michelle Buck

2009: Michelle Buck

2010-2012: Julia Henderson

2013: Debbie Bray

2014: Debbie Bray

2015: Julia Henderson

2016: Debbie Bray

2017: Debbie Bray

2018: Michelle Buck

A group of seniors from Abercrombie Golf Club play against Truro Golf Club members every fall. Shown in this undated photo, in front from left are: Grant Dunlop, John “Jook” Munroe, Bob Wong, Bruce Gordon, Peter Dufault and Ron Carlyle. In back from left are: Jim MacDonald, Harvey Cormier, Malcolm Hutt, Mike Smith, Ross MacDonald and Don MacDougall.
A group of seniors from Abercrombie Golf Club play against Truro Golf Club members every fall. Shown in this undated photo, in front from left are: Grant Dunlop, John “Jook” Munroe, Bob Wong, Bruce Gordon, Peter Dufault and Ron Carlyle. In back from left are: Jim MacDonald, Harvey Cormier, Malcolm Hutt, Mike Smith, Ross MacDonald and Don MacDougall.

 

Recent Stories