by Joe McLean
On Wednesday, July 27th, 2022, one hundred years after the formation of the Women’s Branch of the Ottawa City & District Golf Association, twelve ladies representing the six clubs that played in the 1st Women’s City & District Championship in 1922 played a fun 9-hole tournament called the Founder’s Cup on the Royal Nine at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
This initiative by the OVGA and the Royal Ottawa Golf Club was first proposed by OVGA Board Member Alex Pugh to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s City & District Championship.
The entry list for the June 13, 1922 championship tournament held at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club included 37 women from the Royal Ottawa Golf Club, 15 from the Ottawa Hunt & Motor Club, 14 from the Rivermead Golf club, 10 from the Cataraqui Golf Club in Kingston, 7 from the Brockville Country Club and 3 from the Links O’Tay Golf & Country Club in Perth.
Representing their clubs in this 2022 Founder’s Cup competition were Jennifer Mirsky & Sandra (Sandy) Moir from the Royal Ottawa Golf Club; Louise Boudreault & Brettel Dawson from the Rivermead Golf Club; Barb Johns & Doreen Best from the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club; Cathy Townshend & Marsha Lindsay from the Brockville Country Club; Mary Lynne Wilson & Dianne Brady from the Perth Golf Club and Judy Valberg & Nancy Mills from the Cataraqui Golf & Country Club.
Along with the participants in the 2022 Women’s City & District Championship, the Founder’s Cup participants were treated to refreshments an awards in the Alexa Fraser Lounge.
During a brief ceremony honoring all those representing their Clubs in attendance Ottawa Valley Golf Association Historian Joe McLean talked about the history of the Women’s Division of the OVGA.
He was followed by Jennifer Mirsky, Club Captain and Chair of the Heritage Committee of The Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
“On behalf of the Board and the Members of The Royal Ottawa Golf Club, welcome to everyone.
Not to toot my own horn, but a point that is especially important this evening… I am very proud to tell you that I am, as well as the Chair of The Royal’s Heritage Committee, the Club Captain. Ladies… we’ve come a long way!
As Joe has already told you, this is a special anniversary for the women golfers in our region. I would like to thank the OVGA for recognizing the 100 years of the women’s city & district by holding the Founders’ Cup at The Royal Ottawa today. The Royal Ottawa was the first venue for the event and one of the founding clubs. We are proud to continue to be a club that is willing and pleased to offer our support for area events.
The minutes of the inaugural meeting of the organizing committee of the women from the Rivermead, the Hunt, and The Royal are dated June 1st, 1922. Those ladies must have been pretty sure of themselves….. as the ladies of The Royal had already requested the use of their course.
In our club’s minutes of May 30th 1922, two days before the inaugural meeting of the organizing group, it is noted that:
‘A request was received from the Ladies’ Club to hold the Ladies’ City and District Championship on the Royal Ottawa links on June 13th. This application was approved.’
And boom, history was made.
Somehow, they also managed to arrange practice rounds on the Monday, and driving, approach, and putting competitions in the afternoon of the Championship day. All of which was followed by a dinner dance in the evening!
I think they had all been working on the details for quite some time.
As with the other founding clubs, we are proud to be part of golf history in the region. It is a place of pride to be in such good company.
We are pleased to know that 100 years later, the Ahearn Cup, donated by Nora Ahearn, a Royal Ottawa member, is still the championship cup.
And, please note, we are in the Alexa Fraser Lounge. Alexa won the Ahearn Cup eight times.
We are very proud to be part of the history of the Ladies’ division and sincerely thank the OVGA for marking this special anniversary celebration at our Club.”
Sherry Rodenkirch, Director of tournaments for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association, then presented each of the participating clubs in the Founder’s Cup celebration with commemorative plaques.
Sherry Thompson then presented crystal awards to the winning team in the Founder’s Cup competition from the Rivermead Golf Club – Louise Boudreault & Brettel Dawson.
In a press release put out by OVGA Communications Director Sherry Thompson, the OVGA’s Sherry Rodenkirch talked about the Founder’s Cup celebration and summed up the day’s activities.
“The day proved to be everything hoped for by the OVGA: a wonderful group of ladies and men who share a love of the game”, said Sherry Rodenkirch. “The 12 ladies who represented the six original clubs that competed in the inaugural Ladies’ City & District Championship in 1921 were delightful. They brought with them the spirit that the 1921 ladies had hoped for when they started this tournament- an event of friendship and camaraderie, tossed in with competition. This is what we still see today in the many events that the OVGA offers.”
Congratulations to the Ottawa Valley Golf Association and the Royal Ottawa Golf Club for sponsoring this Founder’s Cup initiative commemorating 100 years of women’s competitive golf in the Ottawa area.