Tough but ‘practical’ decision made to postpone celebrations

Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
The Otago Golf Club has waited 150 years for its biggest celebration — and it will just need to hold on for one more year.

The club has made the difficult decision to postpone its 150th celebration events from next month to November 18-20, 2022.

There was simply too much uncertainty around the Covid outbreak, and too many question marks over how to safely hold a function under current restrictions, Otago general manager Shelley Duncan said yesterday.

"It’s just too hard to predict what we could do," Duncan said.

"But we knew we couldn’t have the functions we wanted to have because of social distancing.

"We felt it was the best call to make for everybody.

"It’s a tough decision, but the practical decision, given there is no certainty around Covid right now."

About 240 people had registered for a cocktail party, and the 150th celebrations were set to attract about 350 people across a range of events, Duncan said.

The club had advised members and special guests, including New Zealand golfing great Sir Bob Charles and former prime minister Sir John Key.

"I haven’t had anyone grizzle about it. In fact, they’re all kind of saying it’s a relief. We know where we are.

"We could have waited a week to 10 days out then gone into Level 3 or something, and been in trouble."

There was still plenty of excitement around marking the milestone at the oldest golf club in the southern hemisphere, Duncan said.

"We turned 150 in about September, so our thinking is we are 150 for the next year, which is kind of nice.

"Then we will cap off the end of that year, when we’re all vaccinated and the world is getting back to some normality, with a big celebration."

It will also mean the club’s treasured trophy, the St Andrew’s Cross, will be played for 150 years since it was first awarded in 1872.

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