By Pauline Stewart
At the annual General Meeting of the Mercury Bay Golf Club held in October Shane Hardy was awarded Life Membership of the Club in recognition of his involvement in playing the game and being part of the Golf Club’s administration over many years.
Shane first joined the golf club in 1971 when it was a Nine-hole course at its current site in Golf Road, close to Whitianga Airport.
Over the years he has supported the club in many capacities including being President from 2009-2011 and is currently Club Patron.
Voluntary work by members is a huge part of maintaining the golf course and Shane remains very active in this group. On a Thursday, Shane is often seen out on the green as part of a volunteer working bee. The Informer looked for him on a Thursday morning and had to go to Hole 20 to find him.
Shane says, “We joined the golf club in its early years. We were just young blokes. There were three of us. Most of the members were much older, but they cherished us. That’s the word I would use. It really mattered to them that we had joined the club. They were so friendly, interested in us and included us, not just in the golfing. I can’t forget that. It showed us the way to be in a small town. My two mates have gone now.”
Shane continues. “Sometimes, it would be raining, and I would think -. ‘No golf today’. But I would get a phone call from one of the older members, and it would go something like this. “It’s too wet to play golf but could you bring a shovel and gum boots? Off we would go. We were always trying to manage the amount of water on the course. The flooding was very widespread. It’s a great course now.
“The reality was that for a few years, I was Regional Director for the electricity department and this area was growing so fast. We could not keep up with the laying of lines for properties. There was no time to play golf. Once I retired, then I decided to give golf more time. I like the game. We did more working bees than we did rounds of golf for many years. It was all good.”
Shane came to Whitianga when he was two years old in 1945. He has seen so many changes, and he has so many stories. Shane and his wife, Eleanor, ‘cherish’ their life in Mercury Bay.
Caption: Working bees are a regular part of the Mercury Bay Golf Club activities.