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Innisfail Golf Club releases 100th anniversary book

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Innisfail Golf Club releases 100th anniversary book

Official unveiling of the anniversary book will be at the golf course during 100-year celebration Saturday

INNISFAIL – Two weeks ago Daryl Sugden had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

The 30-year member of the Innisfail Golf Club had just seen the finished production of Innisfail Golf Club: 100th Year Anniversary: An Illustrated History.

Sugden was the chair of the club’s history book committee, and was tasked to lead his team, which included Wendy and Dean Jordan, to tell the full story of the local institution that was officially incorporated July 11, 1924 under the original name of Me-too-seke, a Cree term meaning ‘Meeting Place in the Woods’.

But beyond the club’s opening, the committee needed stories, and having the Jordan couple on the team was a bonus as Dean is a past manager of the Innisfail & District Historical Village.

“And Wendy was there as well. They just have a real interest in the history of this area. They had done several projects, including the book of the history of the Oklahoma Hall that was put out a few years back,” said Sugden. “They just wanted to help out and they offered their services.”

And he conceded that journey to create a thorough and easy to read narrative of the club’s remarkable history was an adventure itself but always rewarding, and essential for the community to preserve.

“Of course, the next generation, the younger people that are around here, if they don’t hear the story it’ll be lost. It’ll be gone,” said Sugden. “I’m one of the younger people compared to the older folks that were founders of the club and who truly dedicated their time and tons of volunteer effort into making the club what it is today.

“If I hadn’t heard the story from some of these older folks I would have never known it.”

But after three years of dedicated archival research and talking to countless sources, the 130-page illustrated history project is finished, complementing the beauty of the 27-hole course itself, which is now regarded as one of the very best in the province.

“We definitely recognize what an incredible asset the golf course is,” said Innisfail mayor Jean Barclay, who was the first female golf professional in the province and a three-time Alberta Women’s PGA champion. “We know its importance to the community.

“Lots of people have moved to Innisfail because of the Innisfail Golf Course,” added Barclay. “You think of the economic impact it has when you have tournaments coming in. People come and stay overnight for weekends and play golf. It’s a huge attraction for this area.”

And for the club’s centennial year, there is a huge sporting attraction added.

 The Innisfail Golf Club was chosen by Golf Canada to host the Junior Boys Canadian Championship from August 13 to16; the first ever national championship at Innisfail.

But this coming weekend the focus will be on the new book, which in its first run has 300 books for sale at $50 each and is now available at the club’s Pro Shop.

On Saturday, July 13 at the club’s Divots Restaurant at 4 p.m. there will be an official unveiling of the book. If weather is good the plan is to have the book unveiling on the driving range.

There will be speeches from local dignitaries and plenty of stories told, but mostly goodwill all around for 100 memorable years.

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