August 26 - September 1, 2012: Issue 73
Album 52: Photographs of the Allen family, November 1909 Digital Order No. a1373019.
Caption reads 'Sunday 21st of November 1909; Barranjoey Lighthouse,
Lion Island on extreme left'
Above: Mrs Gonsalves Cows at Waratah Street, Palm Beach- the Golf Course paddock was their agistment and the milk fed all in Plam Beach - in 'season' and out.
Palm Beach 1945. Image No 3910r courtesy State Library of NSW
Joan Hammond, 1935-36, Australian Golf Club (Rosebery, N.S.W.)
Home and Away Hood Image 32922, courtesy State Library of NSW
Palm Beach (N.S.W.) – 1948 (Motor Camp: 260 sites 30 x 30.
Professional men maintain camp year round. Note golf course,
tennis courts, beach surf, fishing and boating.
Unsatisfactory campers are evicted under local Gout
(Company) Reserves Act. Photographer unknown.
Part of the Archives ACT collection.
Members of the Australian Women's Golf Team who sailed for England yesterday,
11 April 1950. Left-right: Miss Pat Borthwick (Aust. and N.S.W. champion),
Burtta Cheney (Vic.), Joan Fletcher (Qld) Maxine Bishop (W.A.),
Miss Cheney is not a member of the team but is travelling to England and will
play the Women's Open Golf Championship in Ireland
courtesy State library of Western Australia
Palm Beach camping reserve, circa 1930-40, nla.pic-an23125315 by Frank Hurley,
Courtesy National Library of Australia
W M Hughes at Anniversary Regatta on Sydney Harbour,
1939, hood_19493, courtesy State Library of NSW.
Palm Beach Golf Course 2011, taken from Sunrise Hill by AJG.
Station Beach - beside Palm Beach Golf Course, 2012, by AJG
Palm Beach Golf Course
The fairways at Palm Beach are our final field of dreams for this first look at Pittwater fields, their shifts, progressions and who dreamed what where. Originally a sand tombola and short coastal grasses from which Garigal people would fish, with Light Keepers for the Barrenjoey Lighthouse once living in cottages located near the present 6th tee of the Palm Beach Golf Course, and a vegetable garden just south of its perimeters, these 8 or so hectares have played host to the an Attorney General about to become Prime Minister during WWII, launched the golfing careers of Joan Hammond, Pat Borthwick and Jan Delaney, and even appeared in an infamous divorce case as the greens where a snob occurred, was witnessed, reported and recorded.
Although records indicate Palm Beach visitors having a bit of a putt in the earliest 1920's, the official permission was granted in 1926:
This was a few years after the first paddocks were groomed in 1920 by Henry Wilshire for use as a golf range for summer visitors. According to the Certificate of Title, Henry Austin Wilshire, purchased the land opposite "Sunrise Cottage" from the Barrenjoey Land Company in 1913, and built his home, which in 1922 he sold to Lady Maitland, wife of Sir Herbert Lethington Maitland, eminent Sydney surgeon. This property was at 19 Palm Beach Road.
MR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE. The death occurred recently of Mr. Henry Austin Wilshire, a well-known city architect, who, amongst other things, was closely associated with Furlough House, Narrabeen, the well-known seaside holiday resort for the wives and children of soldiers, of which he was honorary architect and adviser. He was one of the pioneers of Palm Beach, and was one of the founders of the Australasian Pioneers' Club. The deceased was the youngest son of the late James R. Wilshire, M.L.C., Sydney's second Mayor, whose grandfather (James Wilshire) arrived in Sydney in 1792 as Deputy Commissioner-General [sic: he was deputy commissary from about 1808], and married Esther Pitt, a relative of Admiral Lord Nelson. In the Registrar-General's Department are some quaint references to the grants of land given to James Wilshire, including 570 acres extending from Strathfield to Cook's River, and several acres at Brickfield-hill, Sydney. The deceased leaves a widow and one daughter. MR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE. (1923, August 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16089284
By 1924 things were beginning to be a bit more organised and early in 1925 a meeting was held:
GOLF. PALM BEACH CLUB. A well-attended meeting of the club was held at Palm Beach, when Mr. C. R. Crossman was unanimously elected the first president, Mr. Crossman (who is an old member of, and ex-president of the Cammeray Golf Club) and the late Mr. Henry Wilshire, laid the foundations of the Palm Beach Club, setting out the original course and putting in much labour in clearing and setting up the greens. The links are charmingly situated on Pittwater at sea level, and there is offered to golfers the opportunity of play in pleasant and attractive conditions. A new course has now been cut out, and a general scheme of improvement of the links is projected, which, with the necessary financial support from residents and visitors, it is hoped will be possible of realisation during 1925. The club membership now numbers about fifty, and a substantial increase is expected. GOLF. (1925, January 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16184028
The people behind the Palm Beach Recreation Club
Palm Beach Recreation Club, Limited, capital £3000, divided Into 600 shares of £5 each. First directors, C. R. Crossman, E. R. Moser,H. L. Tress, A. A. Oxlade, S H. Hammond, S.B. Hooper, and A. C. F. Webb. COMPANY NEWS. (1926, August 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16329572
Originally there was no fence between the park and the course. In 1932 the course was fenced with a low painted rail fence and white painted stones marked the tees.
As with all things Pittwater during her agricultural eras, cows used to roam over those fair grasses. Residents clearly recall the dairy cows that used to provide milk for their families from the 1920’s and through the 1930’s. Not without complaint from visitors however;
CLUB NOTES. DANGER OF WANDERING STOCK. Straying cattle have become a nuisance and a danger at several resorts which are popular with motorists says the RACA notably at Palm Beach, where wandering beasts upset the hampers of picnic parties, and crane their heads into cars in search of food. In addition, the presence of such animals on the adjacent roads is also troublesome and dangerous at night. The R.A.C.A. urges that steps should be taken to compel owners of such stock to keep them off the roads and away from picnic and camping areas. CLUB NOTES. (1933, January 26). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16948342
It was during these years that this renowned course, and her teachers, gave NSW golf some of the best amateurs (no one was paid then) to make and break records.
The first and perhaps most well known is Joan Hammond. Joan’s family would holiday at Palm Beach and Joan was encouraged by her father, after a bad accident which damaged her arm, to take up golf to strengthen this arm:
"I began to play golf," said Miss Hammond, "in a most haphazard fashion. My family thought it would help to strengthen my arm if I played golf regularly. I was at boarding school at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Pymble, so that few opportunities for golf arose, but in the holidays at Palm Beach I spent my days in the water or on the links. I played with the men, and that is one reason why I think I got on so quickly. They were so much better than I was that I always had good opponents to try to emulate."
Her first competition was won at thirteen years of age at Palm Beach, and then when she was a year older she won the Palm Beach championship, and held it for three successive years. At sixteen she entered for the junior championship of New South Wales and won it on her first appearance. This was in 1929. Miss Hammond was again successful in 1930. "But I was ineligible by one day to compete for the third year," she said. , ‘I think I was the first to begin surfboard riding among the girls at Palm Beach," she said; .'to me I think it is one of the most exciting sports." Sailing has always been one of Miss Hammonds chief Interests. Jottings on Sport. (1935, November 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20 Supplement: Women's Supplement. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17212374
Shortly before her death this lady was interviewed at length and her origins at Palm Beach golf course was spoken of:
Well, we had a weekend place at Palm Beach, north of Sydney, and there again my father gave me a little set of golf clubs, as ... a miniature set, at first to try,... our place was right on the golf links and the ninth green — it was a short course, only nine holes, and the ninth green was right by our front verandah,... our old home is now the clubhouse, and I used to just hop over and practise on the ninth green, and putt and chip and do these things, and then I got a full set. Not only, I think, as we said in those days a driver — you don't call them that today: they're numbered one, two, three and four, etc — but I had a driver, I had a clique, I had a machet and a putter but they were the full, and ... eventually, friends of my father, three very well-known Sydney men who used to come to Palm Beach, I can remember them now, there was Percy Hunter, Alan Box and a Mr Moses, I never knew his other name, and these three men one day they called over and said, ‘Would Joan like to join us and make a four?’ So I did. And from that time on, I made a four when I came back from school in the holidays, this time of the year, Christmas always, I played with these three men, and so my game ... I never had a lesson, but I learned from watching them, and hitting just as they did, and Alan Box was a very good golfer, Percy Hunter was ... not that I knew it, I didn't, I just knew Mr Hunter and Mr Box and ... just played the game and enjoyed every moment of it.
That was another thing, I was very naive, and I went on being very naive for many many many years because I don't know whether they had bets on the go ... on the side, but I expect they do — all the men did evidently — and I never knew anything about having bets, and even in my championship, when I was winning the championships, there the caddies would be betting, and my ... evidently my opponents were betting and I ... betting was going on everywhere, but I didn't know, and for some ... reason, nobody even thought of asking me to put money up or would I play for so much or anything. I had ... I was never asked, they must have known that I wouldn't know what they were talking about anyhow. So my golf improved because of playing with these men, and that's really how I learned to hit through and, you might say, put some oomph into it.
Joan Hammond on Palm Beach Golf Course and Clubhouse from transcription of Biography: From; Aust. Govt. Biographies HERE
Miss Hammond won the women's junior golf championship for New South Wales in 1929, and the women's state championship in 1932, 1934, and 1935. 1929 was also the year her father lost all his wealth and the family fortunes changed. Joan Hammond had always wanted to sing though and in 1935, through Sydney wide golf club and community group support through the ‘Joan Hammond Fund’ she was enabled to go to Vienna to study. This support continued throughout her studies. This lady went on to become a world renowned soprano, selling over 1 million copies of her recording of the aria "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi. Recorded in English under the title "O My Beloved Father", Ms Hammond received a Gold Record award for 1 million sold copies on 27 August 1969.
MISS JOAN HAMMOND. Sportswoman and Songster. FROM GOLF TO GRAND OPERA. "Just as my championship golf career had an unexpected beginning so ii is to have a sudden end," said Miss Joan Hammond, the associate golf champion of New South Wales. Miss Hammond will leave for Vienna early in the new year to finish her musical education, and, as she possesses a voice of rare quality, it is expected that Australia will soon possess another singer of international fame.
MISS HAMMOND was expected by many to gain an international reputation as a golfer if she was given the opportunity of competition overseas. Now in the space of a few months the whole aspect of her career has changed. Miss Hammond, despite her versatility on the sports field, has always placed singing before everything else. She has appeared on the opera stage in Sydney as recently as this year with the Fuller company, and in the hope that she would one day be given her big chance she has continued her linguistic as well as her musical education. Fortune smiled on her a few months ago when Lady Hore-Ruthven heard her sing at an afternoon function. Lady Hore-Ruthven's extensive knowledge of music-she finished her musical studies in Vienna-recognised the beauty of Miss Hammond's voice, and she has been a fairy godmother to her ever since.; Jottings on Sport
The committee in charge of the Joan Hammond Fund is holding a novelty event at the Palm Beach Golf Club on May 15 The event will be a Canadian foursome, and players will be restricted to the use of three clubs each The day will be more of a picnic outing than one of serious competition Entries will close on May 8 GOLF SEASON OPENS. (1939, April 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 32. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17578755
1939 was a good year for being social: Member Entertained.Associates of the Palm Beach Golf Club entertained one of their members, Mrs. J. F. Giles, at afternoon tea at the club house on Saturday afternoon to say farewell. Mrs. Giles will leave with her husband in the Orion on March 22 for a tour of England and the Continent. She was presented with a travelling bag. On Friday a number of friends entertained her at Farmer's, and presented her with a travelling case. SOCIAL AND PERSONAL. (1939, March 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17584208
While Joan Hammond was beloved of the public, others were creating notoriety for themselves. In 1931 one of the, then, longest divorce cases between grazier and master butcher Sydney John Field and his soon to be ex-wife Ivy Gladys brought up the subject of other goings on on the greens;
IN DIVORCE. (Before the Judge in Divorce, Mr. Justice Owen.) FIELD V FIELD. The hearing was continued of the consolidated suit In which Ivy Gladys Field (formerly Ongley) and her husband, Sydney John Field, master butcher and grazier, on the ground of his alleged adultery with Clare Meta Wilson, who was given leave to intervene. are both petitioning for divorce on the ground of adultery, the wife adding the issue of cruelty. Ronald Nott, one of the three co-respondents, cross-examined by Mr Maxwell, K C, said he paid the rent of Mr Powell’s house in Portland-street on one occasion Asked to produce his cheque-butts for the years 1929-1930-1931, witness said they were all destroyed
Mr Maxwell asked the witness how a surf towel given him by Mr Field last Christmas came to be found in the Portland-street house Mr Nott explained that he brought It up from Palm Beach to get it washed at Ms sister's, at Rose Bay He called at Portland-street, and left the towel there by mistake Mr Maxwell Will you swear that you were not at the Powells on January 3 last?-YesI was at Palm Beach, and did not come up until January 7
Frances Alice Burgess, wife of a Melbourne barrister, and a sister of the co-respondent, Nott, said she remembered witnessing a meeting between her brother and Mr Field, at the Palm Beach golf course in 1930. She noticed that they were not speaking to one another, and asked the reason Mr Field said, "We had a bit of a tiff There was nothing in it and I have forgotten all about it I have got nothing against Ronnie at all " Mr Will Prior, who was present, said "Shake hands and don't be foolish " They did so, and were good friends again. The suit is part heard. IN DIVORCE. (1931, December 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16818748
A few years later the second lady champion to rise from these greens:
The winner of the "Golf In Australia" Cup, Miss Pat Borthwick, is only 13 years of age. Her net score of 02 was four strokes below the scratch score. She played in her school tunic, and since there are years of junior golf ahead of her, she would win the junior title eventually if she continues to improve. Her game was learnt on the Palm Beach course during the school holidays and it is from that club she entered the competition. MISS BARBARA CRAGO'S RECORD. (1939, June 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17599171
Seventeen years later this girl was still winning:
N.S.W. CHAMPION LEADING IN WOMEN'S GOLF MELBOURNE, Thursday. Miss Pat Borthwick, NSW champion, took two strokes off the course record at Commonwealth Links when she finished the leader in today's qualifying round of the Women's National Golf Championship. Her record of 76, automatically reduces her handicap of 3, the lowest held by any woman golfer in Australia. N.S.W. CHAMPION LEADING IN WOMEN'S GOLF. (1948, September 24). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2767453
MISS BORTHWICK WINS WOMENS GOLF MELBOURNE, Thursday. In a keenly fought match, in which fortunes fluctuated throughout, Miss Pat Borthwick (N.S.W.) defeated Miss Joan Fletcher (Q.), 5 and 4 in the final of the women's golf championship to-day. Miss Borthwick had a scratchy start, but went to one up at the9th, then lost four holes In a row. Fighting back she held Miss Fletcher to one hole at the 18th,and led two up at the 27th. MISS BORTHWICK WINS WOMEN'S GOLF. (1948, October 1).The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2768588
In 1950, when she sailed for England as part of t he Australian Women's Golf Team, she was Australian as well as NSW champion. As Pat Borthwick was south of the border, winning, a few birds were playing with those who played on the links:
THOSE PALM BEACH CROWS who have an appetite for golf balls. Captain "Dusty" Rhodes with skill and cunning had managed to collect half-a-dozen new (repeat, new) golf balls and set off to enjoy a round or two with Rear-Admiral G. D. Moore. . . No sooner did they drive off with the new balls than the crows swooped and "holed in one" . . .Sydney's Talking About—. (1947, March 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18005688
During the years Pat Borthwick was still practicing on the Palm Beach greens during her summer holidays, there were others who would visit due to their passion for the game and the beauty of the course and its environment:
MR. HUGHES ON 77th BIRTHDAY Mr. W. M. Hughes, Attorney-General and Minister for the Navy, celebrated his.77th birthday yesterday with a round of golf at Palm Beach Golf Course. He is shown about to enter his car after completing the game. MR. HUGHES ON 77th BIRTHDAY. (1941, September 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27946055
From the same paper, listing his birthday gifts: Mr W. M. Hughes, celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday at his home at Lindfield ... in addition he received golf clubs…
William Morris Hughes, born on 25th of September 1862, would have actually been 79 in 1941. He was our 7th Prime Minister (1915 to 1923) and longest serving Parliamentarian, not retiring and serving from the 1st parliament in 1901 to the 20th in 1952, a total of 51 years and 7 months.
Jan Delaney is another who dreamed of doing and did courtesy of the Palm Beach Golf course:
Golf Finalist Is Only 15: Fifteen-year-old Jan Delaney will play Carole Adamson, 17,in the State junior girls' golf championship final at Royal Sydney today. Miss Delaney, of Manly Club, is the youngest player ever to reach the final. Miss Adamson, Wollongong, is playing in her fifth junior championship, and was beaten in last year's final. Because of her greater experience she is expected to beat Miss Delaney today. The match begins at 10 a.m. In the semi-finals yesterday, Miss Delaney beat 18-yearold June Gillespie at the 19thhole. Miss Adamson beat; fellow Wollongong player Mary Dorahy, five and four. Miss Delaney has a good drive, and yesterday was superior to-Miss Gillespie in her short game and on the greens. She started playing golf on the short Palm Beach course when 12, and was taught by professional Sam Richardson. Golf Finalist Is Only 15. (1952, May 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved , from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article29439000
TITLE WINNER YOUNGEST EVER Manly player Miss Jan Delaney yesterday became the youngest golfer ever to win the State junior championship. Miss Delaney turned 15 years of age on January 29 (May 1952 SMH report)
Fifteen-year-old Manly junior Jan Delaney teamed with 18-year-old June Gillespie to win the Ladies' Golf Union foursomes handicap at Royal Sydney yesterday. (May 13th, 1952 SMH Report)
The Club has also been part of the community for all its existence and, during times of scarcity, applied a 'waste not, want not' policy to help ensure visitors would be looked after. Warringah Shore Records - Minutes of Meetings records:
31. 18/3/1941: Barrenjoey S.L.S. Club, requesting permission to erect a small structure in a central position overlooking Barrenjoey surf beach for the housing of a surf reel, box line and for life - saving gear, the structure to be a temporary one-as-it is the Club's intention to seek the Council’s permission to erect a Clubhouse at some future date if circumstances permit the surf club to remain in being, and to supply active patrols Saturdays Sundays and holidays (b) stating the Palm Beach Golf Club-has given the Club its shelter shed at No 4 tee and if the Council approves, the Club will re-erect this building. Resolved: that the Council agree to the proposal provided that the Works Committee of the site after an inspection in company with the club’s representatives.
Fifty years later, in 2002, the Palm Beach Golf Course is a 9-hole, par 32 course that is mostly flat and occupies 8 hectares of land. A pro-shop is located on the golf course. The golf club’s clubhouse is now located on the southern side of Beach Road opposite the golf course entrance. In 2002 the Club had approximately 800 members and around 30,000 rounds of golf were played.