Com­mu­nity spirit alive in Golden Gate

Kapi-Mana News - - GARDENING - KRIS DANDO

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.’’

PHOTO: SI­MON ALLISON

Mem­bers of the Golden Gate Golf group that play a round an­nu­ally to fos­ter spirit among neigh­bours on their street in Pare­mata.

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