Northern’s Hall of Fame is about recognition, acknowledgement and celebration of a member’s achievement and contribution to the life of our club as a player, a leader or a club representative. Northern Golf Club takes great pleasure in recognising Lorraine Kerwin.
Lorraine who was born in 1927 joined Northern from Royal Park in 1964. She was already an established golfer having played in a winning pennant side with Royal Park. It didn’t take Lorraine long to get involved in pennant at Northern and she first made the team in 1965 and then didn’t miss a pennant match for the next 26 years. She played with a number of Northern stalwarts who also chalked up big numbers; Betty Drury, Dawn Rae and Judy Manning who all managed considerably more than 20 years as Northern pennant players.
Lorraine said that things were very different when she first joined the Club as an Associate. Some might remember those days. Now we’re all members. The women were not allowed into the bar except on Thursday competition days. And except for that day the women had to give way to everyone on the course, men she means, and even had to give way to a 12 year old boy. Never short of a word, Lorraine said that stuck in her gizzard. I think she’s over that now but I remember her giving me a hard time when her picture that should have been on the wall went missing. Now it’s probably in storage.
Lorraine has quite an enviable playing record at Northern. An outstanding golfer who played off a handicap of 3 (or 4), she won the Ladies Club Championship twice, in 1968 and 1969 and the Ladies Foursomes Championship 11 times between 1971 and 1989; four times with Fran Bretherton and the remainder with Elsie Eames. She also won the Mixed Foursomes Championship 5 times between 1971 and 1980 with Dick Hann.
Lorraine played a part in winning four flags; 1966 in Division 2, 1974 Section 3 when they lost the final but won the flag and 1982 Section 2 to be part of Northern’s only women’s team to reach Section 1. Lorraine said, ‘We had a wonderful team, everyone got on well and there was a great team spirit. We were helped a lot by the professionals, Alan Heil and later John Davis. They were fantastic.’ She played in the seconds, Section 7, in 1983 and won again. Has any other lady played in more winning teams? Has anyone?
Lorraine said that Northern found Section 1 very tough and they only lasted one season at the top. The Men have found it tough too! They fared no better.
Lorraine’s team included Betty Drury, Judy Manning, Elaine Keating, Glenis Bolmat, 8 time Club Champion Elsie Eames, and Di Pavich, a state team member who later turned professional. Lorraine’s team had won 17 club championships between them. Lorraine said that a great highlight of her 26 years of representing Northern was to defeat Barbara Dillon, a state player, in a pennant match.
Lorraine was actively involved in the club; serving on the Ladies Committee for 13 years. She was Captain in 1972 and 1973, and President in 1978 and 1979. She also served as Vice Captain for 3 years and Vice President for 2 years. A significant contribution over a long period of time.
Lorraine was proud of her club and defended it as the best club on our side of the Yarra even when baited by Elaine Keating’s father, a Medway Life Member, in the Medway rivalry. “How’s the second-best club north of the Yarra going? (he asked). (Lorraine) I wouldn’t know. I haven’t played at Medway in ages.”
Lorraine was also an important contributor to the First 75 Years book. They gave her just one page to write about Women’s Pennant. She called her article “Ladies Pennant – it started with a win”. You would have thought that Jack Hastie might have given her more space in his 72 page book. There are plenty of stories about men.
However this required some extensive researching through minutes and other records and provided a great story of the early years at Northern and some tales about the expenses paid by the Ladies Committee to the pennant players. She mentioned that highly-respected Betty Drury (the godmother) had played pennant for 27 years but overlooked her own 26 unbroken years.
Lorraine also showed her love the club beyond her Committee service by spending countless hours caring for the gardens around the clubhouse and doing more than her share to beautify Northern Golf Club. She must have brought her gardening gloves to golf.
However she has been known to embarrass herself, recently being ready for a village bus trip a week ahead of time, and once when selling showbags with other Northerners at the Show asking a yawning gentleman would he like to go to bed. I’m not sure that that came out as was intended. On another matter, where does the nickname, Derange, come from?
Lorraine has been a great player, a great servant of the club and a great leader at Northern and is most highly deserving of the recognition of all members by her induction into the Northern Golf Club Hall of Fame. Lorraine might even say ‘about time!’ Please acknowledge our latest inductee, Lorraine Kerwin.