L-R: Peter Byrne, John McGoldrick, John Brennan, Ian Forrester, Warwick Wheatley, Peter Fox, Phil Pile, David Swallow, Tony Barwick & Richard Benson.
This week is National Volunteer Week (May 20 – 26, 2019). National Volunteer Week (NVW) acknowledges the generous contribution of the 6 million volunteers Australia wide.
Volunteering Australia is celebrating the 30th edition of National Volunteer Week in 2019 and has announced the theme for 2019 as “Making a world of difference”.
Nothing could be a more apt definition of the work that volunteers contribute to Duntryleague. They really do make a world of difference.
To the many members who volunteer their time, labour, materials and expertise to various areas of Duntryleague:
There’s no better time than National Volunteers Week to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers. Your contributions & efforts are recognised, truly welcomed & immeasurable in my opinion.
Your support is an absolute asset and speaks volumes in terms of members’ passion for our wonderful facility.
This is part 1 of a 5 part series highlighting the work of different groups of volunteers at Duntryleague and their contribution to different aspects of the club.
Kicking off part 1 – Dad’s Army.
Like clockwork at 9am on a Thursday morning, a group of blokes affectionately known as Dad’s Army meet at Duntryleague. There are no golf clubs in sight, only high viz vests and hard hats.
“10 – 14 blokes – depending on who’s healthy turn up” explained John Brennan. “We check in with Grant (Duntryleague Superintendent), he lets us know what needs doing but we’re pretty self-sufficient”.
The understated Dad’s Army team provide massive support to Grant and his Fairways Course Management team. Grant spoke of how great a help the Thursday Dad’s Army team are to ongoing maintenance of the Duntryleague course in a recent interview.
“We’re good at raking” joked John when asked about the skills amongst the group. “He’s a good raker, he’s a good raker, he’s good at standing with his rake…”. The friendly banter and camaraderie amongst the group is obvious.
“We love it, we play golf together on a Wednesday, we do this on a Thursday…we’ve all been involved for a very long time, I’ve been doing it 20 years, most are at least 10-15 years” added John.
“You look forward to it, it’s great to get out and do something physical, but it is also great mentally, we really enjoy what we do” explained Peter Fox.
The team spend about 3 hrs on a Thursday, doing a lot of cleaning up around the course, under trees, trimming branches, raking leaves.
“We cleared out under the trees at the end of the driving range. That was a tough job, took about 4 days.” explained Warwick Wheatley.
The group has a diverse background from travel to farming, but everyone brings something to the team.
“We’ve got short blokes for the low branches, tall blokes for the higher ones… ” joked Warwick. “Our chainsaw bloke is away today so no chopping down branches today” added John McGoldrick.
“The club put on a great morning tea for us, cakes, slices, little pancakes, it’s great.” added John Brennan
Whilst it sounds like a win-win for all involved, and the volunteers clearly enjoy what they do, Duntryleague would like to extend a very big thank you to the whole Dad’s Army team.
Week in, week out, year after year for 5, 10, 15, even 20 years is an incredible commitment to volunteering time and expertise. The team does work that needs to be done to keep the course looking as spick and span as it does. Without the volunteer help it either wouldn’t get done or would cost the club a lot of money to get done. Every golfer who goes in the trees extends an extra big thank you for making the finding of, and laying club on their ball, that little bit easier.
For anyone who would like to be involved, new volunteers are always welcome. Please contact the club and we can put you in touch with the Dad’s Army team.