Community spirit alive in Golden Gate
It was a pity Norm wasn’t around for this one.
The 28th annual Golden Gate Golf Tournament was held on December 2 at Judgeford, bringing together a dedicated group of souls for banter, a beer and friendly Ambrose-rules golf.
However, the tournament had a much higher purpose than that, attendee Wayne Norrie said.
‘‘This was started many, many years ago as a way to bring the neighbours in Seaview Rd [Paremata, also known as the Golden Gate] together, so everyone could get to know each other a bit better,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s all well and good to wave to your neighbours, or chat over the back fence, but a social occasion like this means you get to know them more as people.
‘‘It really fosters community spirit and more streets and neighbourhoods should do it.’’
Stalwart Norm Shaw, a cornerstone of the event since it began, couldn’t attend due to ill health, so the rest of the group wore T-shirts honouring Shaw’s moniker as ‘‘The Bard’’.
‘‘It was a shame he couldn’t be there, but I’m sure Norm was present in spirit,’’ Norrie said.
Along with golf, a street cricket match at Adventure Park is into its 22nd year and for 19 years straight the women of Seaview Rd have got together for Melbourne Cup Day.
‘‘The cricket is more like Dad’s Army playing cricket these days,’’ Norrie said.
‘‘There have been a few injur- ies and one year all the kids bowled at us like they were Trent Boult, which didn’t go well.
‘‘So we changed the rules that you have to have a mortgage or pay rent to be eligible to play.’’
Not everyone who attended the sports lived on Seaview Rd, but were all ‘‘within the distance that [founder] Mark Thomson can hit a 6-iron off his front lawn’’, Norrie said.
He said the annual events were in jeopardy a few years ago as families got busy, but had come back strongly.
In the wake of earthquakes and flooding, knowing your neighbours was vital, Norrie said.
‘‘This is good old-fashioned community stuff, a simple and powerful thing.
‘‘The golf and cricket provide a sense of belonging and anyone new who moves into the area immediately gets an invite.
‘‘It’s never too late to start something like this in your street.’’
Members of the Golden Gate Golf group that play a round annually to foster spirit among neighbours on their street in Paremata.