The Billy Hughes Memorial Day has quickly become one of the standout days in the Newlands golf and social calendar. The timesheet for the 2017 event held on Saturday 29th July filled up quickly with teams eager to pay their respects to Billy and to try and win his prize.
That should come as no surprise to anyone as Billy was one of the most liked and respected members of Newlands. For older members he was an ever present part of the social life of Newlands. For newer members he was the man who made sure that they quickly became part of the club. He went to great lengths to make sure that every new comer was welcome. Once you met Billy you could relax as you knew you had a friend. More importantly once you had the seal of Billy’s approval you could be sure of being everyone’s friend.
His Memorial Day has continued to go from strength to strength. While the competition to win is fierce it remains a day when meeting old friends and making new ones is more important. Moving the event to a Saturday was a great success as it gave an opportunity to all those who wanted to play. Especially striking was the amount of sponsorship given by individuals and companies eager to be involved. Every hole and every tee was sponsored while wonderful prizes were donated to the raffle. This would have pleased Billy as he never liked to see an opportunity to raise money in a good cause wasted.
On the day the prizes were won by very suitable and deserving teams. First prize was won narrowly by a team of long standing in Newlands. Louis and Betty O’Hanlon, old friends and neighbours of Billy, lead their team to victory while the Raymond family, Brian, Cameron, Aaron and Alex, showed that new young talent was coming through. Billy would have been delighted to see those two teams fighting out the final count.
After the prizegiving Karen Hughes held a special raffle for a Late Late Show extravanza prize. Karen showed a previously unseen talent as an auctioneer as she literally forced the price up from 50 euro to an amazing 1000 euro. There better be something for everyone in the audience that night! Her dad would have been amazed and very proud of her. Tina, Billy’s wife, certainly was.
It’s wonderful to see all of Billy’s family there on the night enjoying the atmosphere, joining in the singing, and showing all the Newlands family that golf is more than a game.
Newlands is lucky to have so many generations of families playing. We are especially lucky to have had Billy Hughes as member. If the highest honour a club can give is to make someone a life member Billy must be due a special award. However he’d have been more than happy with his special day. Roll on next year.