ANNUAL SHAREHOLDERS MEETING
OF MCKELLAR GOLF CLUB LIMITED
At a largely attended meeting of the shareholders of McKellar Golf Club Limited, Ottawa,
Held in the board room of the Y.M.C.A. much enthusiasm was shown for the reports of
the past year.
In practically the first year, the current revenue had shown a small surplus over ordinary
expenditure. Nearly four hundred members had joined last season. Casual and daily
players had also used the club in goodly numbers.
The Green Committee, of which Mr. J. E. Caldwell is chairman, reported the various
improvements on the course. Towards the close of the season, temporary greens were
made, while new permanent greens were being reconstructed and he felt that players of
this year would find considerable to enthuse over when spring rolled round.
This winter two new fairways were being cleared out continuing from No. 14, which
would make the course championship length. Mr. W. A. Smith had won the Club
Member tags from the final years of the McKellar Park Golf Club are a rare sight.
They are yet another reminder of the history of golf in Ottawa and a golf club
The House Committee through the Board of Directors recommended an experienced
lost to the sprawl of urban living.
chef for the catering. New lounge quarters for the men are proposed for early attention.
The first professional change for the 1931 season is announced this month.
The monthly dance programme will again be a feature.
Ernie Wakelam, the well known Brockville professional, has been offered and
accepted the pro berth at the McKellar Club, Ottawa. This is one of Ottawa’s
Miss Bertha Cowan, President of the ladies’ section, gave a splendid report and a hearty youngest clubs which the past two or three years has made phenomenal
vote of thanks was tendered to the ladies for splendid manner in which their successes
progress, having an enthusiastic membership to-day of over five hundred.
were attained. At a later date, the ladies’ section will hold their election.
Wakelam will be a distinct addition to golf in the capital. He is not only a
capable coach but a player quite above the average. In the Canadian Open
The election of officers: W. H. Dwyer, President; G. F. Hodgins, Vice-President; A. McKechnie,
Championship at Montreal last year he was the leading Canadian player with
the excellent score of 294, which won the “Canadian Golfer” first prize. He has
Secretary-Treasurer; Directors, J. E. Caldwell, N. A. Irwin, A. A. McDonald, W. H. Cochrane, T.
always figured well up in the leading Canadian championships and tournaments.
Bert Cole, H. Nicol and G. Carson; Green Committee, J. E.Caldwell (chairman), W. H. Cochrane,
Ernie laid the foundations of a sound game in England. As a boy he caddied at
A.A. McDonald; House Committee, G. F. Hodgins (chairman), T. Bert Cole, N. Irwin; A.A.
Hoylake, the famous Liverpool course, and worked at the bench at Prenton.
McDonald, Captain. Vice-Captain will be appointed later on. After “doing his bit and doing it well” in the war he came out to Canada and was
for two years at the Island of Orleans Golf Club, Que., and then for three years
— at the Kent Golf Links, Que., since when he has been engaged at Brockville,
Ontario. McKellar has made a splendid professional selection in securing his
From these minutes, we see that McKellar Park Golf Club was a viable services. Wakelam writes the “Canadian Golfer”: - “I have been very happy in
operation with an operational clubhouse, a membership of around 400 and Brockville and it is with deep regret that I am leaving so many good friends, but
housing a separate pro-shop. Obviously, course maintenance was not as fortunately I shall be able to see them from time to time, as Ottawa is not very
complex as it is today. Evidence of this can be found in aerial photographs of the far distant.”
course through its existence. Fairways lack the definition that can be seen in
today’s golf courses. Caring for the grass at McKellar Park Golf Club was a The McKellar Park Golf Club continued to operate during these troubled times.
family affair for the father and son team of Tom Unsworth Sr. and Jr. Ernie Wakelam stayed on until 1934. Other professionals who worked at the
golf club through the years included R.A. (Bob) Ferns, Frank Mann, A.J.
The stock market crash of October 29, 1929 on “Black Tuesday” launched the Stimpson and Ben Kerr.
“Great Depression,” which began to be felt in Nepean in late 1930. The subject
of residents of McKellar paying for water and sewers being brought into their Former Royal Ottawa golf professional Tom Mann passed along the information
area for future growth was discussed at Nepean Council in 1930. that his dad Frank left his head professional’s job in Willowdale to serve as
McKellar Park’s head professional in 1936 and 1937. Not only did Frank set the
“However, there were only 48 houses in McKellar at the time. Part of the land course record of 65 at McKellar Park Golf Club, he also met and married Jean
had become a golf course, and the golf course and nearly all the residents had Unsworth, who was the greenskeeper’s daughter. Frank left McKellar Park
their own wells and septic tanks, which were operating with perfect safety. The Golf Club in 1938 for Tecumseh Golf Club, where he stayed for 20 years. Frank
residents objected to paying higher rates for services they would not enjoy for finished his career at the Ladies Club of Toronto.
some years, and in the end they were not compelled to come in.” - Bruce S.
Elliott, on page 224 of his book – The City Beyond. By 1935, Nepean Township was in severe financial trouble with homeowners
defaulting on taxes and the township assuming ownership of hundreds of town
In an article from Canadian Golfer, December, 1930, page 609, an announcement lots, which were being sold off for $25. In 1943, McKellar lots were selling for
was made about McKellar Park Golf Club’s 1st professional. $200.
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