Membership was now over 820.
The Vice-Captain was appointed as the Press Officer for the DMVGA and this practice continues today (2000’s).
The Secretary mentioned at the AGM that a number of our members had reached high office with Paddy Arnold as the President and Horace Elliott the Captain of Ilfracombe and also recorded that Ilfracombe had won the Palairet Trophy, the North Devon League and they completed a treble by winning the Emerton-Court Competition – some performance!!
A suggestion that Emerton-Court matches revert to being played on neutral courses was turned down.
It was also suggested that members play in three balls in our meetings with members of other Clubs (currently players from the same Club made up each group) – not the first time this had been raised. It was however stated “that though this was the ideal it was not practical to arrange.”
“It was mentioned that the Torrington Representative – J Williams – was under 60 years of age but was doing an excellent job and therefore the DMVGA would allow him to play in our meetings as a guest!!”
Membership was now up to 856.
The Spring Meeting at Staddon Heights had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
The Vice-Captain had submitted a paper proposing that the Emerton-Court Competition format be revised (backwards) by playing only one match per round on neutral courses. It was decided against this change.
Honorary Life Membership was conferred on R Jones, J J Urell, C Michael, J Thomas, A Dymond, R J Longstaff and H W Britton.
Our donation to the County Juniors remained at £100.
A match with Gordon Emerton-Court’s county – Kent- was discussed as thoughts turned to our 25th year and how it might be celebrated. The match with Kent did in fact commence in 1999.
Membership was now up to 937.
Recent membership had been granted to Libbaton and Dartmouth who had applied to enter the Emerton-Court Competition for this year.
Sadly, Libbaton had inadvertently played a Saunton member in their team and the “the Secretary had written to Libbaton” who apologised.
We continued with a donation to the County Juniors of £100 as we did in 1994.
Ilfracombe Veterans presented an engraved gavel and stand which is used today (2000’s) by the President when he chairs the AGM.
Yet another role for Alan Dunstan as he was this year’s President!
Membership was now up to 995.
The Rules of the Emerton-Court Competition (this wonderful competition of ours has certainly had an enormous amount of attention over the years!!) were discussed again after another query and it was confirmed that Rule 6 (Rule 5 in the 2000’s) be amended to emphasise that if a match is suspended due to adverse conditions the whole match must be replayed on a day agreed.
Additionally, Tavistock had questioned whether there should be a maximum handicap for the competition but it was decided not to introduce this proposal.
It was confirmed that Marks & Spencers’ Vouchers were given as prizes at our meetings.
Alan Dunstan and his wife, Betty, wished to present a Silver Salver to be played for in the annual match against the Devon Lady Veterans. Gratefully accepted by the Committee and remains the trophy for that match.
Membership had now reached four figures and stood at exactly 1000.
The DMVGA was now in the 25th year and the Committee felt that we should celebrate in some way. After discussing a number of options the President and Captain were asked to finalize and they purchased the Jubilee Silver Jug which was, and still is, played for as the major Trophy at our Summer Meeting.
It had also been suggested that a Jubilee Dinner be held but there was a lack of response and it was not pursued.
East Devon had unfortunately played a member of their Club in their Emerton-Court team who was not a member of the DMVGA. This resulted in yet another amendment to the Emerton-Court Rules as follows …..” any breach or default of these rules and conditions will cause disqualification of the team concerned”.
A match had been arranged for May 1996 at Tiverton between the President’s team and the Captain’s team.
A special presentation was made to Alan Dunstan to mark his 10 years as our Secretary/Treasurer.
The AGM which traditionally followed the Autumn Meeting was postponed until March 1997 because that meeting “was abandoned owing to adverse weather.”
Frank Dance, then our Captain, proposed that we consider the purchase of sweaters with badges for our members. Costs would be obtained and Committee members were asked to ascertain the demand from members.
Our donation to the County Juniors remained at £100.
The proposed match between the President and Captain’s teams did not take place after all.
The Association’s badged sweaters had proven very popular with members.
Given that the Secretary’s typewriter was worn out it was decided he could buy a Word Processor which “should not exceed £300.
We again donated £100 to the County Juniors.
Thurlestone had applied to join the DMVGA.
Messrs F Ludgate and A Dunstan were made Life Members of the DMVGA.
At the AGM the President advised the meeting that Alan Dunstan was retiring after serving as our Secretary/Treasurer for 12 years. Alan was thanked for his services and hard work and was presented with an inscribed silver gallery tray, a book of signatures of all members and a cheque. Members responded with a standing ovation. The President then presented Betty Dunstan with a porcelain figurine and Irene Setter with a decorative plate thanking them for their hard work over the many years they were involved (throughout Alan Dunstan’s period of office).
Tragically, Alan Dunstan (and two other Life Members) passed away during the year.
The Association now had 34 Clubs with over 1100 members.
The Secretary and Treasurer positions were split again with Frank Dance of Churston as Secretary and Gordon Moore of Staddon Heights as Treasurer and it was agreed that their Honoraria be £300 and £200 respectively.
Planning began to celebrate the upcoming Millennium and it was decided to produce a Millennium Plate to be given to all member Clubs and also to introduce a further competition for the Millennium Trophy.
The format of the Executive Committee was scaled down (previously included all Vice-Presidents – all Presidents at the end of their year became Vice-Presidents – and members from several Clubs) with the formal election at each AGM of the Officers who would be:- President, Vice-President, Captain, Vice-Captain, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer who would take office on 1st January following. In addition six members (called Elected Members) one from each of six different Devon Golf Clubs would be elected.
Gordon Emerton-Court had requested that a match be arranged between his Association of Kent Veteran Golfers (which he himself founded in 1995 when he was 89!!!) and the DMVGA with the first match in Devon in 1999 and a return in Kent in 2000.
There was further “tinkering” with the Emerton-Court Rules to specify a deadline for members to be registered to play (then it was on or before 1st April) and to confirm that handicaps must be official Club handicaps.
The Western Morning News competition had become so popular that numbers applying could not be accommodated and it was there decided to amend the rules for this event to allow “each Club to enter two teams of three players and all three cards will count to determine the result”.
The inaugural match against Kent took place at Churston on 20th May with Gordon Emerton-Court in the Kent team at the ripe old age of 93!!! Devon won the match by 6 – 4 and our pairing from Exeter/Dartmouth defeated Gordon and the Kent Secretary.
Gordon Emerton-Court had written a book of poems, with proceeds going to the Kent Air Ambulance, and the Committee purchased 10 copies for the Emerton-Court winners.
Once again, there was much debate about the number of members – now over 1200 – and various ideas about controlling numbers were considered by a Sub-Committee including increasing subscriptions/entry fees, stopping further recruitment etc. etc. However common sense prevailed and the solution was to seek to hold another two competitions from 2000 to enable more members to play.
The Secretary was to purchase the new Presidents Millennium Trophy (for 2000) with a glass trophy preferred and a maximum budget of £500.
It was decided that the Immediate Past Captain be added to the Executive Committee to serve until his Presidential year.
DMVGA shirts were added to sweaters and ties as items for sale to members.
The inaugural Millennium Trophy competition was held at Exeter and was a four man (in four different handicap ranges) team Medal competition with all cards counting!
There was also an additional meeting added to the program called the “2000 Meeting” for which there was no trophy but various prizes. “This is part of the programme to hold more events so that the maximum number of members may take part.”
A new Salver for the match against Cornwall was purchased since the original (provided by Gordon Emerton-Court and both Associations was full). This original was presented to Gordon by the Cornwall Captain at our match against Kent held at the Wildernesse Golf Club in July.
A suggestion to limit handicaps (again) in our competitions to 18 was again rejected.
Another refinement of the Emerton-Court Rules saw the words … “and players must have played in three qualifying rounds to obtain that handicap in the 12 months prior to the current match” …. was added to the Rule that “handicaps must be official Club handicaps”.
A move to change the DMVGA Rules to specify all members had to be Full Members of their Club was defeated.
The Annual General Meeting had traditionally been held after the Autumn Meeting from the first year but was now moved to take place after the Captain’s Invitation Meeting.
At this time both President and Captain were still presented with an award after their year in office, watch, salver etc. and the President used his sum to purchase an old mashie niblick, which had been made by the Churston Professional/Clubmaker in 1912, which he presented to Churston Golf Club from the DMVGA.